Paris Pastry Concept Store: Fou de Pâtisserie

9 May 2016

Short of wine and cheese, little is as tied to France as pastry and in Paris, the options are legion. In between  simple, everyday neighborhood bakeries all across town are the haute outposts for some of the country’s most beloved talents – many with multiple shops to their name. So with such cultural value bestowed on sweets and the savoir faire required to make them, you would think (or at least, I always thought) there would be a one-stop shop in the city to access a variety of them. I adore Jonathan Blot’s cakes at his bakery-tea salon called Acide but it’s in Batignolles (17th arrondissement) and not a quick trip from my home. Pillowy Madeleines by Gilles Marchal are truly divine but I’ll only indulge if I find myself in Montmartre where is sole shop is located. And as much as I love the tartes, chocolates and financiers of Hugues Pouget at his boutique Hugo & Victor, it’s clear across town. Creating a central location for some of the best treats the city has to offer was the abiding mission of Julie Mathieu and Muriel Tallandier, editors of the pastry bi-monthly magazine Fou de Pâtisserie (for which I am a […]…

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Paris Pastry Crawl: Rue du Bac

20 June 2015

With the number of pastry shops, bakeries, chocolatiers and other confectioners that line the rue du Bac in the 7th arrondissement, the street could very well be officially monikered ‘sweet street’. Until that happens, residents and gourmands will simply have to settle for a weeklong event that celebrates the street as a delicious destination. Bac Sucré is the first initiative of its kind to pay homage to the exceptional indulgences produced on and around the rue du Bac and with resounding support from the 7th arrondissement mayor Rachida Dati and her team. 16 pastry shops, chocolate shops and confectioners have all opened their doors, and in some cases their locked boxes of secrets, to share their love of sweets with the public. As an avowed fan of chocolate and pastry, I had to go scope out the scene. My curiosity naturally fed into several purchases which will keep me content at home for weeks days. In case you can’t make it to Paris this weekend before the event ends on June 21, here are some of my favorite pastries and shops from the rue du Bac that you can bookmark for a pastry crawl on your next visit. PIERRE MARCOLINI Who […]…

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Illustrated Pastry

1 June 2015

Instagram has become a tremendous source of inspiration for me. I follow creatives, restaurateurs, chefs, bakers (and, if I’m being entirely honest, a few animal accounts as well) from all corners of the world. It’s like one big artistic collective in my feed and since I spend a lot of time on my own behind a computer, seeing other people’s work or vision of the world has made my own process feel less solitary. One of the artists whose work I’ve completely fallen for is Jade Sheldon, an illustrator based in Portland who uses Instagram to share her creative process, delicious food photography and snapshots of her life with her husband with whom she runs the site Endlessly Enraptured. I reached out to her to see if she might be interested in a collaboration involving – no surprise – illustrated interpretations of some of the pastries I’ve photographed and shared both on this site and on Instagram. A few weeks later and in my inbox arrived a joyous email from Jade with a handful of colorful, delectable illustrations to share. Above, she captured one of my favorite Pierre Hermé temptations. Below, a row of luscious éclairs from L’Eclair de Génie […]…

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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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Eating, Drinking & Seeing in Paris: 5 favorites in October

18 November 2014

I may already be gearing up for another expat Thanksgiving and mapping out my itinerary for a trip stateside in December but October is still on my mind. Though there were moments of frenetic activity, the opportunities for work and play made it a truly unforgettable month. Here are five highlights: Meeting Frank Gehry at the Fondation Louis Vuitton  After working on a story on Bordeaux for Australian Gourmet Traveller Magazine, my editor offered me the opportunity to cover something far more timely. The highly anticipated Fondation Louis Vuitton in the Bois de Boulogne is a veritable work of art inside and out thanks largely to the creative acumen of its architect, Frank Gehry. I’m not an acolyte of contemporary art but I do follow developments in French culture that propel the country forward, this cultural hub included. Gourmet Traveller sent me to the pre-opening where I had the chance to ask one of my many questions to Frank Gehry directly during the interview session. In fact, I was seated only a few feet from him, acutely aware of how much this moment meant to both many of the writers in the room and those who share Gehry’s love for […]…

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