Franco File Friday: Emperor Norton

3 August 2012

As pervasive as American comforts have become in Paris, a number of foods remain poorly executed, modified for French tastes or entirely unexploited, motivating nostalgic expats to take matters into their own hands**. Doughnuts, glazed and glistening, are one such lacuna – and precisely where the story began for Omid and Alannah, a couple from San Francisco who moved to Paris four years ago for work. Although settled and immersed in their new home, it was after viewing a scene in Iron Man 2, where Robert Downey Jr. is sitting in the Randy’s Doughnuts sign in L.A. eating doughnuts, that the urge to make some of their own old-fashioned cake doughnuts grew with force. After hours of toiling and experimenting in the kitchen, A + O had their deep-fried prize. Experimentation became a recurring activity. They tested corn tortillas, tamales, and a plethora of other Mexican-inspired dishes, blogging about their creations and encouraging friends and locals to provide feedback. When their personal taste testers begged for more (and offered to pay), they began hosting dinner parties out of their home and quite naturally, Emperor Norton was born. (The name is a nod to the 19th century San Franciscan who declared himself […]…

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