Not long after I’d arrived in Paris, I met Jacques Genin. At the time, he was working out of a small workshop deep in the 15th arrondissement. Inside, he and his team of five or so worked in a very tight space: A large table where they worked sat in the center of the room, taking up probably 90% of the space, enrobing machines…

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Pretzel Bites

Bakers and pastry chefs crave two things: Salt and vinegar. When I worked in the restaurant business and got home way after midnight, too-often I’d park myself in front of the television, put my dogs up, and dig into a bag of tortilla chips along with a big jar of spicy salsa. Of course, I was half the age I am now and a bag of…

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When I moved to France, Romain dubbed me “chicken man,” because I was always ordering, or buying, chicken. It’s not that the French don’t eat or like chicken, it’s just that it’s considering rather common fare, and not really something that is given a lot of attention. Americans love chicken, not just in our beloved fried chicken, but in lots of other preparations. I’m not…

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One thing that surprises people is how much French people, even with a tempting barrage of éclairs, macarons, and pain au chocolat on every street, love gâteau au fromage, or as it’s commonly called: le cheesecake. (Not to be confused with le cheese, which is a cheeseburger.) But it’s a no brainer since French people like cheese and they like cake. So why not combine the…

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I started this list, initially called Things I’m Liking, which I’d intended to post…oh, six months ago. Then I didn’t make it back to finish it, and it ended up being one of those files on my desktop that I’d check into once in a while, but never get around to finishing – until now. Using my expertise as a multi-tasker, I decided roll it over…

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Coming up, I’ll be doing two events in New York City. At both I’ll be signing books, and you can take care of some of that holiday shopping. Come say hi! On Saturday, December 5th, the fine folks at The Brooklyn Kitchen (100 Frost Street, Brooklyn) will be hosting a get-together and booksigning at their store. Copies of The Sweet Life in Paris, Ready for Dessert,…

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Some say, “You eat with your eyes.” I don’t know about you, but until my eyes start sporting incisors, I’ll continue to use my mouth. Especially when drinking cocktails. I was recently at a bar that specialized in herbal concoctions and ordered a Rosemary Gimlet. I’ve been focusing a little more on gin these days, favoring an ice-cold martini over my usual whiskey or rye-based drinks….

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When I was growing up, I would not eat pumpkin pie. My mother never made it but they served it at our school cafeteria in New England and the orange filling looked a little jelled. It certainly wasn’t as appealing at the Boston Cream Pie on plates just next to the slices of the pie, with the glossy chocolate icing and the cool vanilla pastry…

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I wasn’t planning on beginning this post for a pie recipe with anything other than a story about how much I liked it, encouraging you to make it. (Which I’ll get to later.) But after I had started writing it, several neighborhoods in Paris came under attack, including mine, and I put everything on hold. Cafés and restaurants that I knew, and areas that I frequent, were…

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