Tawlet Souk el tayeb Lebanese food paris

One of the great regrets I had in life was when I went to Beirut and didn’t go to the Tawlet Souk el Tayeb, a culinary project supporting local farmers, cooks, and producers. There’s also a weekly farmers’ market, classes and meals.

Lebanese salads

Because my schedule was so packed on my trip, as much as I tried, I didn’t make it. A few years later – as in, this week, Kamal Mouzawak, the founder of the Souk el Tayeb, brought the cooks from Beirut to Paris. So I was anxious to go and cleared a patch in my schedule. (Although I wouldn’t mind going back to Beirut!)

Pickled turnips

I arrived early to check out what was happening in the kitchen, where the women were bustling around, preparing food for dinner. I noticed a big platter of pickled turnips, ready to go between pita breads for the homemade falafels they were frying up, which was a good sign. They weren’t the store-bought ones, but homemade.

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I was once on a panel about blogging and everyone was surprised when I said that at any given time, I have about seventeen posts started, either sitting on my kitchen counter or partially written on my computer. With the focus on blogs being a little more spiffy than they used to be, back when you could – for example – write a haiku to a…

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As much as we like to rib each other about our differences, France is no different from America when it comes to a few things. You can discuss amongst yourselves some of the other things, but the one I want to talk about today is green onions, or scallions, as they’re called in certain parts of the United States. No one can quite agree on what…

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Some people don’t have a big kitchen, or a lot of kitchen equipment. I think I have everything that’s available, and at some point, may start an equipment rental business to drum up some extra cash. I’ve had friends (French and American) desperate for things like angel food cake pans, muffin tins, rimmed baking sheets, and even an ice cream scoop in every possible size…

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I’m often dismayed when I take a trip back to the U.S. and people tell me they wonder why they can’t get good food where they live, like they have in France. While it’s certainly true there aren’t bakeries on every street corner in America (I think people would miss all those 24/7 drugstores and coffee shops), there are places that offer fresh-baked goods, nice cheeses, wines,…

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No matter how many wonderful the foods, and other things, are in France, when I go back to the States, there are some things that I bring back to France with me. When I go to the other way, to the U.S., I pack things that I have a hard time living without or to give as gifts. Friends or hosts might get a loaf of Poilâne bread,…

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Whew! Last week was a busy one. I was on a deadline for a book, and as always, the last few weeks were a sprint to the finish. My neck still smarts from being glued to my computer, but it was nothing a few post-writing cocktails couldn’t fix. However I barely had time to shop or do much cooking while I had hammering out words. I’m not really a…

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I snuck my way into the workshop of master Paris chocolatier Jean-Charles Rochoux. When asked which is the best chocolate shop in Paris, it’s hard to pick just one, but his boutique is at the top of my short list. Each chocolate is hand-crafted in the kitchen just below the shop, where a small team of chocolatiers and Monsieur Rochoux dip, sculpt, mold, and enrobe…

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Shortly after I had moved to France, I made dinner for friends in my apartment, which we finished up with a chocolate tart, which I flecked with a few grains of flaky sea salt. Everyone ate their desserts but one guest, politely, finally spoke up to let me know that somehow, I’d gotten some salt on the dessert. Since then, salt has become a popular ingredient…

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