21.2.14

Franco File Friday: Stephanie of DelicatesseNY


We're forever hearing stories of Anglos uprooting themselves to be with French men for a life, they hope, of greater intrigue. Less common, at least in the realm of expat blogs, are the tales of French men and women who decamp abroad for love and adventure. Which is why I'm thrilled to have stumbled into the delicious world of Stéphanie from the blog DelicatesseNY, a French expat in Manhattan who catalogues her experiences through food and luscious photography (a gal after my own heart).

Professional opportunities as a writer inspired Stéphanie's move to New York in 2006 but that she has stayed this long reflects more amorous motivations. When she called upon her readers to guide her to the best croissant in town, an American man spoke up to recommend a bakery he knew and loved. They took the pastry confab offline and met at the bakery for their first date. What Stéphanie found there, however, was far less evanescent than a fulfilled sweet tooth - she and Danny, the clever blog reader, are now married and pursue their eating explorations together.

Here, she talks about missing France and finding tastes of home in New York.

Describe what you love about France in three words. 
Home. Family. Food

Something you miss most about your home country? 
This is a tough question. After 8 years in the US, what I have missed has evolved. In the beginning I didn't miss much. I was so busy discovering new things 24/7 that I wasn't paying attention to what I was missing. Now it's different, I miss everything! From the food to the language to the culture, even the notorious bad mood. 

Aside from the obvious parallels, what has been the most striking difference between New York and Paris? 
Without a doubt the speed of the city. Every time I find myself in Paris, I'm surprised to see that the French capital follows its own pace. I keep forgetting that stores and restaurants are closed on Mondays, I keep forgetting that the month of August is a dead month. I keep forgetting that stores shut the door at 7pm or so. I keep forgetting that the pharmacy is not opened 24/7.The quality of life is much better in France even though French people rarely realize it. In New York, it's an every day competition. And this competitive feeling is found in every aspect of life. Competition for a job, competition to get customers, competition to send kids to the best schools, competing for an apartment's lease. Competition is everywhere and you never stop being pushed to go faster...


Where you go in New York for a taste of home?
I developed some habits over the years but I always keep room for new discoveries. I always keep an eye open for what would bring some French comfort to my everyday life. For exemple there is nothing better than a good piece of bread to remind me home. So I naturally went to Il Buco Alimentari e Vineriafor their bread. The chef Baker, Kamel Saci is from South West of France and he kept his Southern accent so each time he speaks it's like taking a direct flight to Agen. His bread is just amazing. To me the best bread in the city. 

One place I go to when I'm homesick is Buvette in the West Village. The restaurant opened in 2011 and I've been a regular since then. 

My favorite spot for sophisticated French pastries is Dominique Ansel Bakery. Sure his Cronuts are delicious but I'm also a fan of his Kouin Aman, religieuses, pavlovas and éclairs.

For the charcuterie, I go to Epicerie Boulud. They have the best charcuterie in the city. I also like going to their restaurant next door Bar Boulud

Now on the cheese side, at the beginning I tried to keep buying my French favorites but I realized that it was a big mistake. Most of them are literally dying on the shelves and they are too old to be eaten or even to be sold if you ask me. So I naturally turned to American cheeses. The Extra Aged Pleasant Ridge Reserve and the Blue Mont Dairy Cheddar, both from Wisconsin, are two of my favorites.



The most frustrating French myth you hear in New York and would like to debunk?
One may assume French people are great cooks but that's a joke. Over half of the French people I've met in New York don't even know how to boil an egg !


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For more of Stephanie's gorgeous photos, restaurant reviews and adventures as an expat in New York City, be sure to follow her blog DelicatesseNY, connect with her on Twitter: @Delicatesseny and follow her stories on Facebook


*All photos courtesy of Stephanie//DelicatesseNY

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