Eating, Drinking & Seeing in Paris (and beyond): 5 Favorites in June & July

13 August 2014

The first half of summer whipped by with such breakneck speeds that I hardly had a moment to process it all and stay on top of my monthly highlights. Proof of time well spent, no? Below, five highlights from the last two months: Taking my family to my favorite spots in Paris Based on discussions with my father before his arrival last month, I was uncertain I’d get to adequately introduce him to the local dining and drinking spots I frequent the most – Fondation Café, Verjus, Willi’s Wine Bar, to name a few. All would depend on my little brother’s willingness to soldier through action-packed afternoons, museum visits and miles of walking. Setting low expectations in that regard proved to be the right move as I was pleasantly surprised by how much I ended up being able to show them. And of course, those experiences bore a few lessons. Check those out here! Discovering Menorca (aka my future retirement home) The trouble with vacation is that shortly after it ends and you’ve returned to a normal routine, the experience feels like an evanescent memory. Fortunately, I have more than Menorca’s unspoiled beaches to keep our trip last month front […]…

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In the Pastry Kitchens of Fauchon

19 December 2013

I didn’t think anything could rank higher than the opportunity I had last year to observe Sébastien Gaudard and his team prepare the Bûche de Noël for the year but last week’s visit to the kitchens of Fauchon, the épicerie fine that launched in 1886, trumped it by far. After several hours of observation and chatting with young pastry chef Patrick Pailler, I went into the tasting with a much greater sense of how the operation has functioned all these years. At the two week mark before Christmas, Fauchon was already working in overdrive to stock the Madeleine shop with their regular roster of pastries in addition to their limited edition holiday bûches, éclairs, and cakes. They do brisk business within the span of three weeks thanks to a more robust staff of 25, who set off to work long before the sun surfaces, and private orders that filter in daily (last year, Fauchon sold over 1,000 bûches and 2,200 santa hat cakes). I’ve never understood how people can dig into such beautiful pieces of food art and even less so now that I’ve seen firsthand the exacting technique and immense labor that goes into each glaze, cream puff, chocolate […]…

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