Aux Merveilleux de Fred Opens in Manhattan !

23 January 2015

If 2014 was all about the Cronut and its evangelical, queue-happy enthusiasts, 2015 is poised to become the year of the meringue if pastry chef Frédéric Vaucamps has a say in the matter. And with a century-old recipe as a guidepost, his ‘Merveilleux’ are liable to become more than a passing trend. The serial patisserie shop owner from Lille is credited with popularizing the Merveilleux, an airy, layered meringue mound coated with sweet whipped cream and enveloped in a variety of coatings, from chocolate flakes to caramelized hazelnuts, whose origins can be traced to Northern France and Flanders (see my WSJ piece that mentioned them HERE!). This month, the first U.S. outpost of Vaucamp’s multi-location meringue shop Aux Merveilleux de Fred opened its doors to New Yorkers on 8thavenue. Which means, if Paris or Lille aren’t on your travel horizon, there’s an alternative destination to taste Fred’s marvelous meringues. Wide-eyed and seduced by the West Village’s European charms on his 2013 visit to New York to kickstart the project, Vaucamp was determined to find commercial space in the neighborhood that would reflect both the pâtisserie’s image and heritage. What he found was prime real estate in a three-story landmark protected building […]…

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Back to Paris, sort of…

8 January 2013

My heart thumped wildly as I exited the metro and began my languid stroll to the office yesterday. Back to the routine. I love what I do but the attendant stress (of any job, really) of what I took on last year really wore on me. Perpetual tension in my shoulders, neck aches and blurred vision after hours behind the computer were standard yet almost everything I do demands these conditions.  But while on holiday these last two weeks, I was fully relaxed. Oddly restful might even describe the feeling. Quality family time and limited obligations spurred the kind of calm missing from my daily life and for the first time in ages, I was more attentive to the minutiae of my surroundings and the signals of my own body. Exhausted? Sleep twelve hours. Restless? Spend an hour at the gym. Nowhere to be? Plow through that stack of magazines you haven’t had time to read. In many ways, it was better than the most rejuvenating of beach vacations. Back in Paris, where the vaporous sky forebodes a long, grim winter, my newfound clarity is already dimming, slipping from my grasp. So in an attempt to cling to this swiftly […]…

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Love, etc

17 July 2011

(If reading from an email, please click HERE to watch the video) I love films like Love, Etc. that look at how people in relationships negotiate their differences and needs but they almost always follow American couples. What might a French-made documentary addressing the same issues look like? While love is universal, there seem to be certain personal battles specific to each culture. Thoughts? {Browse my photos from Bastille Day!}…

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NYC vs. Paris: Seeing Yellow

30 June 2011

I know I said I’d try to get a post up between Franco File Friday’s and I almost didn’t make it. Surprisingly, I have been doing what I normally don’t do when I’m on vacation – taking a {slight} break from social media use and prioritizing face to face connections… you know, that antiquated form of communication. So far so good though now that the marital celebrations, the free stuff (just check out this view from the apartment suite the Doubletree comped us last weekend!) and the three-day physically draining yet spectacular whirlwind NYC trip have all passed. I’m back to suburban living for five more days where the pull toward technology is once again irresistible. It feels really good to be here and I must say, I can’t help but giggle in sadistic delight that I missed the Paris heat wave. East coast humidity is nothing to joke about but the access to air conditioning is a true luxury (and despite what all French people will tell you, you will not catch a cold by going in and out of air conditioning nor from going scarf-free in 85 degree weather. Complete fallacy). But no visit home would be complete […]…

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Philly, NYC and Mariage #2

21 June 2011

The trouble with marrying a foreigner is that the wedding, no matter how small, is challenging to organize. Inevitably, many guests aren’t able to attend destination weddings and the same was true for my wedding in Paris almost three years ago (three!!!). It was a small wedding with a ceremony at the Mairie du XIème followed by an elegant cocktail/buffet reception. I always thought we’d end up doing a traditional ceremony in the States with an aisle, bridesmaids and best men (with or without the ivory princess dress). But that was when I assumed our Paris wedding wouldn’t feel like the real deal; wouldn’t feel official. What I realized after was that it was exactly what I hoped it would be. It was the right size for us and the ceremony at the city hall was far more poignant than I ever expected. Still, so many of the important people in my life were unable to attend so I knew I would want to throw some kind of party in the States. For a number of situational reasons, it has taken us three years to organize a second celebration but after eight months of planning, the day is finally upon […]…

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