Fishing For Favors

One of the fundamental differences between here (France) and there (the US) is that here, they don’t have to help you.

It’s not that there’s no customer service, but unlike the US where they’re supposed to (and expected to) be nice and helpful to customers, the onus here is on the salesperson, or the person behind the desk: They alone can decide if they want to help you. Or not.

And you’re job is to convince them to help you, any way you can. So the decision is yours.

How are you going to get them to help you?

This is baffling to many American visitors, who stare at me with wide-eyed disbelief, that there are really people out beyond their borders that don’t care if they make money or not, which is what ‘helping the customer’ is presumably all about. That the almighty dollar is worth a lot less than they think (and going down every time I look.)

I explain that this is not a capitalist country or culture, which perhaps explains why the economy here is a tad lackluster right now. But for many of us Americans, we have a really hard time understanding that other cultures are different than ours.

So here’s what you need to get with the program:

Continue Reading Fishing For Favors…

Lentilles du Puy: French Green Lentil Salad Recipe

What f I told you that there was a caviar you can buy for around 3 bucks per pound?

You might say, “David, you’re crazy!”

Well call me fou…(which wouldn’t be the first time) but lentilles du Puy, the French green lentils from the Auvergne, are not called ‘the caviar of lentils’ for nothing.


I’m sure many of your out there might lie awake at night, staring at the ceiling, thinking, “Gee, I wonder if David’s right and there really is a different between ordinary green French lentils and lentilles du Puy?”

Continue Reading Lentilles du Puy: French Green Lentil Salad Recipe…


First I read this…

“These broads are millionaires…reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by griefparrazies. I have never seen people enjoying their husbands death so much.”

-Ann Coulter talking about the women who lost their husbands on 9/11.
Her books are national best-sellers.

Then I heard this…

“He’s moving all around and shaking and it’s purely an act…This is really shameless of Michael J. Fox.”

-Rush Limbaugh accusing Michael J. Fox of making up the severe effects of Parkinson’s Disease.
10 million people listen to his program daily.

Now I see this…

OJ Simpson has a new book, ‘If I Did It’.

He allegedly received a $3.5 million dollar advance, and a two-part ‘interview’ with his editor will be broadcast on Fox.

And people still keep asking me why I moved…

Continue Reading Incroyable…

Le Beaujolais Nouveau Is Here!

A lot of people will be celebrating tonight the release of Beaujolais Nouveau


…and coincidentally, a lot of people will be waking up with headaches tomorrow.

Myself included.


Complimentary dégustations through Saturday at:

Aux Caves d’Aligre
3, place d’Aligre
Tél: 01 43 43 34 26

Related Posts and Places in the Vicinity

Blé Sucré: The Best Madeleines in Paris

Two Delicious Dining Guides to Paris

le Verre Volé


Le Rubis Wine Bar



Sunday Dining in Paris

French Menu Translation

Cooking On Rue Tatin: Part 2

Since man, and woman, cannot live by chocolate alone (although wouldn’t it be nice if we could?), our group spent the rest of our time slaving away putting together sumptuous meals, and learning about wine the hard way: by tasting it.


One of my favorite snacks of the class On Rue Tatin turned out to be these golden-brown, eggy gougères enriched with gruyère cheese and a dusting of freshly-toasted, fragrant cumin powder.

While it was a bit chilly to sit out in the garden overlooking the cathedral, enjoying our apéritifs and goûtes, we had plenty things to cook up indoors…


Continue Reading Cooking On Rue Tatin: Part 2…

Baking Class On Rue Tatin: Butterscotch Pecan Cookie Cups

What do you get when you take eight dedicated bakers, put them in a country kitchen (one that’s professionally equipped), and put them to work for three days of cooking and baking with chocolate?

You get a whole lotta chocolate!


If you didn’t come along on my three-day cooking class with Susan Loomis at her home On Rue Tatin, here’s a run-down of our week…

Continue Reading Baking Class On Rue Tatin: Butterscotch Pecan Cookie Cups…

Now You’re Really Going To Get It

Since I posted about putting your name on my mailing list, I was miffed that so many of you weren’t receiving it (and it really is worth receiving) after all the hard work that goes into it. So I’ve scrapped the previous mailing list provider and switched to a super-duper, ultra-responsive, hi-tech, rock ‘n roll version that has amazing capabilities to do whatever I want, whenever I want it, with the touch of a button.

(Now if I could only find a partner with those qualities as well.)

If you didn’t get the previous fun-filled, slightly scandalous newsletter I sent out, you can re-enter your email address in the Subcriber Form to the right. If you’re not sure if you’re on the list, simply enter your email address and if you’re already in the database, you’ll get a message of confirmation. Please note that I send out between 4-6 newsletters annually, so you won’t be innundated by emails from me.

And your email address is not shared or used for any other purpose.

(Unless you’re that person that possesses the qualities I’ve listed above—then we can talk.)

So why not sign up now?
That way you’ll be sure to be the first to learn about my upcoming Paris chocolate tours, special culinary events, my upcoming book release party, and a whole lot more.

Money In Paris

When I started my career as a global warrior, way-back-when, arriving everywhere lugging an overstuffed backpack with a ridiculously-cheap bottle of red wine and a stinky, smashed wedge of brie inside, the only thing one needed to make sure one had were traveler’s checks, which were easy-to-buy and widely accepted no matter where one went. You’d simply waltz up to any change booth (well, maybe not waltz, since you’d get a funny look doing that on a sidewalk in Paris), cash ‘em (after paying a commission), then walk away with a wallet-full of the local currency. But times have changed and the advent of ATM machines, where you can access money directly from your bank account back home, have changed everything. And credit cards, which most of us migrated to, which offered the best exchange rate, are now socking people with large fees, so they do have their drawbacks too.


So here’s my tips for getting money when visiting in Paris.

Continue Reading Money In Paris…