Fulgurances

Eggplant and eel at Fulgurances

It’s been a hectic year and I haven’t gotten out as much as I’d like to, in spite of a long list of places I’m trying to visit in Paris, and a more I plan to check out this fall. Early in the summer, I reserved a table at Fulgurances, intrigued by the food of Israeli chef Tamir Nahmias, former executive chef at Frenchie. His cuisine is infused with the flavors of the Middle East; tahini, pickles, lot of tomatoes and eggplant, long-cooked meats, and a generous hand with fresh herbs. All of which appeal to me.

Paris has taken a turn in the last few years with younger chefs and talent emphasizing freshness, sourcing ingredients from small-scale farmers and local producers, and a liberal use of vegetables on their menus.

Tarama at Fulgurances

Fulgurances has been open for about a year and doesn’t have a fixed chef. Instead, chefs are welcome to come and cook for a period of time, whatever fits their schedule. A fulgurance is something that comes at great speed, and has a dazzling quality. In this case, it’s a chef arriving and exciting us with outstanding food.

Chef at Fulgurances

I had to change the reservation I’d made in the early summer a number of times, then ultimately cancel it, which was unfortunate, but too much was happening at the time. Thankfully I finally made it to Fulgurances with my friends Ann and Elizabeth for dinner, and liked it so much, I went back for lunch a few days later, when the light was better to take some photos: The daylight was coming into the restaurant, which provided a better backdrop for the food. A few dishes were some of the best I’ve had in Paris.

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Every summer, we head to Burgundy to visit French friends who live abroad, but who return for the summer. They quickly get reacquainted with the more leisurely lifestyle in the French countryside, which include enjoying Chablis and visiting the small town markets. Because we’re such top-notch guests, pitching on with the cooking and making sure their pool gets used, we always get an invite and jump at…

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Tinos, Greece

Tinos isn’t one of those Greek islands that you hear a lot about. It doesn’t have exciting nightlife, like neighboring Mykonos, and while the weather is warm, the winds can be a bit fierce. But the upside is that it’s ruggedly beautiful and if you go during off-season, you’ll have a lot of the island to yourself and you can drive several kilometers and not come…

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Caponata

I used to have a hard time with certain cooked vegetable salads, such as ratatouille, even though people have insisted that I would like their version. Which I’ve always found odd, because if someone told me they didn’t like chocolate (I know – horrors!), I would not try to sell them on a brownie or chocolate cake. Ratatouille always tastes like a lot of stewed vegetable all mixed up,…

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One of the great French dishes that I make every summer, when I gather fresh vegetables and basil at my market, is Soupe au pistou. Originally from Provence, the soup is meant to use the lovely vegetables of the season, and is crowned with a spoonful of pistou in the middle of each bowl, which guests are encouraged to swirl in themselves.

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When I was finalizing the recipes in The Perfect Scoop, I wrote too many recipes and needed to make room for all the other stuff that goes into a cookbook. Although I did include a favorite recipe for Pear Caramel Ice Cream, which gets its smooth richness from caramelized pears, I decided since my first book had a great recipe for Caramel Ice Cream (that book was re-released as…

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It’s not a drag to be in Paris in August. In fact, those who stay in town always say the same thing – “This is the best time of year to be in Paris.” (Or, “Wouldn’t it be incroyable if it was like this all year?”) Even though Paris is a lot smaller, imagine if 85% of the people left New York City or San Francisco in…

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My sauce for the summer is this one: Basil Vinaigrette. Don’t get me wrong, I love pesto. But this basil-forward sauce has the punchy flavor of fresh herbs but takes less than a minute to blend together. And unlike its thicker cousin, this vinaigrette can be drizzled over everything, from fresh tomatoes and shelling beans, to risotto or roasted potatoes, and even fresh cheese, like burrata. As soon as…

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Blog Notes

Receive Blog Posts by Email and Newsletter Subscriptions A little bit back, I changed the service that sends out my monthly newsletter and blog posts to those of you who subscribe to receive them by email. If you want to get blog posts sent to you via email, to your Inbox, you can enter your email address here: Email Sign Up. To get my newsletter, which…

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