Being stateside in preparation for les vacances (vacation), I thought I’d corral Elizabeth Karmel, who I’d had dinner with last spring when we did a special cooking event together, into grilling dinner for me. I know, it was a little forward, but Elizabeth was the chef/consultation to Hill Country Barbecue in Manhattan, which has the distinct honor of pleasing even true, hard-core bbq aficianados. She’s also…

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Ice & Vice

One of the best parts of summer in the U.S. is heading out for ice cream on a warm evening. Even if you’re someone like me, that always has a freezerful of ice cream, it’s fun to head out somewhere and join others who are cooling down, lapping up cones on the streets and on benches. The most famous ice cream shop in Paris, Berthillon closes at 8pm (and…

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  Last year, for summer vacation, we did a fabulous tour of France. This year, we crossed the pond to do a tour of New England. More specifically, Cape Cod. Since I grew up not too far from the cape, or le cap, as we came to call it during our trip. (Cap Cabillaud doesn’t roll off the tongue quite the same way.) I was particularly…

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Whoops! A big problem with being a seasonally based cook (and in this case, cocktail drinker) is that things go in and out of season. Compound that with the fact that different things are available in different parts of the world at different times – hello my friends in Australia and New Zealand! – and it’s hard to hit it right for everyone. I don’t…

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One of the first books that made me fall in love with France, and French cuisine, was Roger Vergé’s Entertaining in the French Style. Vergé was the chef and owner of Moulin de Mougins, his world-famous restaurant on the Côte d’Azur, near Cannes. I never went, but used to page through the book, admiring the relaxed, friendly lifestyle that always seemed to revolve around a table,…

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Le Trumilou

I was walking down the Quai de l’Hôtel de Ville on a recent warm summer night and passed by the outdoor tables of Le Trumilou. I like eating outside on a terrace in Paris but when they implemented the non fumeur law in France for restaurants cafés, the smokers went outside. It was kind of vexing because it was so nice that everyone could go outside…

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Gin and Tonic

Growing up in New England, gin and tonic is the classic summer drink. It’s bracing, fresh, cool, and not overly potent. The joke was that they tasted like after-shave lotion, but to be honest, most after-shave lotions smell pretty good. Often they’re scented with lime or something mentholated, at least they did when I was a kid and smelled them at the barber shop. That…

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Jennifer McLagan always seems to know what we want to read about, and cook, before even we do. She wrote a slew of popular and award-winning books, which include Fat (which bravely came out during the low-fat craze, and nevertheless was a big hit), Bones, and now, Bitter: A Taste of the World’s Most Dangerous Flavor. The book is a celebration of flavors that are on the cutting edge, taste-wise….

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It always amuses me to see recipe for things like French Chocolate Pancakes, French Crullers or a “French” Watermelon Cooler. I guess adding the word “French” makes things seem more appealing…unless they’re using French chocolate or French watermelon, then they have the right to call it that, and I’ll allow it. But I remember the look on his face when I was trying to explain…

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