Paris Snapshots: Favorites du Moment

23 March 2015

If you have followed this site or my quick stories on Instagram since January, you may have seen that the year didn’t start off especially smoothly. France took a physical and emotional hit, I was knocked down by the flu and my cat became quite ill, leaving us in a fog of vet visits and parental panic. I’m sure those of with you animals can certainly understand the wrenching feeling. Through it all, I’ve begun the process to make some big professional changes and done my best to fill my days with little pick-me-ups. Fortunately, a handful of projects and discoveries, most revolving around food, offered just the distraction I needed. Here are a few highlights: 1/ New éclair collection for spring from L’Eclair de Génie.  Rouge Baiser, seen above, was launched for Valentine’s Day and should be sticking around for some time. But the exciting developments are in Christophe Adam’s new fruit flavors – blood orange, crispy raspberry, vanilla/green apple, wild strawberry, pineapple or blackcurrant (see above, right) – and the Barlette, his new creation that blends a bar and a tartelette into one fruity, crunchy treat. All new flavors available as of April.Visit La Fabrique where the éclairs are […]…

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Top 5 Pastry Spots of the Moment in Paris

25 July 2014

Eclairs, meringues, cream puffs, chiffon cakes: only a handful of the pastries that have won the imaginations of some of France’s top talents. More than ever, pastry chefs are narrowing their focus to one or two specialties and dedicating shops around them. The above pâtisseries, among others, are stars of this growing movement and the subject of my first Wall Street Journal story, now online and on newsstands today! This isn’t my first time writing about the emerging trends in pastry (éclairs!) as it is quickly becoming a topic that both fascinates and delights. More than that, it’s endearing – nearly every pastry chef I’ve spoken to, for this story and others, slip into a sort of reverie when they talk about their craft. It’s easy to criticize the French for not being progressive enough in business and administration but they’re inventive and exacting when it comes to matters of the belly (with the technical prowess to back up the ideas). Of the selection I researched (read: tasted), the éclair remains my greatest weakness, a fact that continues to amuse me since it was my least favorite French pastry when I moved to France. The meringues mounds from Aux Merveilleux de […]…

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The New Wave of Eclairs in Paris

4 November 2013

French pastry remains a fierce object of fascination but these days, more for the ways in which it breaks with convention than for its storied past.  The most iconic is unequivocally the éclair, firmly anchored in the national consciousness and a consummate favorite among children and adults alike.  Despite its status as the most preferred pastry among French gourmands, the éclair has rarely inspired the imaginations of pastry chefs who have long perceived its simple form too limiting. But that’s beginning to change with the arrival of two shops entirely devoted to the cream-puff pastry, prepared to usher it into the canons of contemporary French pâtisserie. L’Eclair de Génie plays up the éclair as an epoch-defining work of art in a concept-store environment (an approach chef-owner Christophe Adam is familiar with from his tenure at Fauchon) while L’Atelier de l’Eclair introduces a savory form of the classic treat in addition to their many sweet iterations. I wrote about both for En Route Magazine (Air Canada) but what I didn’t mention was my personal favorite. By dint of crafting each éclair by hand, irregularities in the shells are noticeable at L’Atelier de l’Eclair and they’re fiercely proud of their artisanal approach, which I […]…

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