Results tagged France from David Lebovitz

How I Eat

poulet roti

For some reason, people are obsessed with what I eat and weigh and I get a lot of messages that say things like “How do you stay so thin?” or “How can you eat all that amazing food and stay in shape?” It’s not really something that I’m all that concerned about and not something I pay all that much attention to. And as much as I’d like to, I don’t start the day gorging on platters of croissants, then spend the rest of day wolfing down cakes, pastries, and chocolates. People come in different shapes and sizes. I know people who eat well and exercise, that are not necessarily svelte, and I know people who eat whatever they want and are rail-thin. (And according to CDC calculations, I’m overweight.) And I try to make it a point not to preach about how to eat, but just present recipes that I like, which are how I eat and feed guests.

Because I live in France, there’s a fascination with the French “diet” as well, and I frequently get asked about how they miraculously manage to keep the weight off while seemingly enjoying all the rich food in France. A few hints: They don’t snack between meals, portions are smaller, they smoke, diet sodas are popular, and they don’t delight in “extreme eating.” However that’s changing as well in France and they’re catching up to their friends across the Atlantic in terms of putting on the pounds – or kilos.

Continue Reading How I Eat…

Lamb Melons

melon d'agneau

I was walking down the Avenue Trudaine the other morning, on the way to Kooka Boora for yet another coffee, and they were setting up for the small afternoon market there. Most of the markets in Paris take place in the mornings, which means that people who work don’t get to go to the market except on weekends, when the outdoor markets can resemble the trading floor of a stock exchange. So it’s nice that a few of the markets in the city are open in the afternoons and early evenings, to accommodate those people.

The Marché d’Anvers is a rather compact market, with a few fish stalls, a bread stand, and some vegetables. There is also a butcher that has a very, very long refrigerated counter, which I scanned. I don’t know all that much about meat but I like to look at it. (And, yes, the swarthy butchers are often worth scanning as well and unlike other vendors at the market, women seem to be particularly attracted to them. And even the most reserved Frenchwoman seems to get reduced to a smitten schoolgirl when it’s their turn with the butcher.) When I reached the end of the showcase, I noticed a pile of something called Melons d’agneau.

Continue Reading Lamb Melons…

Kooka Boora Café

coffee at Kooka boora in Paris

I don’t usually venture out Sunday mornings because after years in the food business, I’ve learned that the one day I was sure not to be working would be Sunday. (I’d eventually made it my sole criteria when choosing where I’d work that I’d only work in places that were not open on Sunday, or for breakfast). I also didn’t think that it was fair that I should inflict myself on others before mid-day. And when I first moved to France, I was happy that only markets were open on Sunday, although I was a little vexed to find out that every store and shop was closed – until I got hip to what a good idea it was since it forced everyone in town to relax and loosen up for a day.

I’ve been dying to try some of the new “good” coffee places that have opened up in Paris but since I don’t drink coffee later in the afternoon (the disadvantage of a lifetime of working nights are persistent sleep issues) the idea of crossing town for an afternoon cup wasn’t in the cards. However since it was Sunday morning and the rest of the city was barely waking up, and I saw the sun finally shining outside, I took a leisurely hike up the barren streets and boulevards near Montmartre to Kooka Boora, for a cup of Australian coffee.

Kooka Boora coffee in Paris

Continue Reading Kooka Boora Café…

A Visit to A l’Etoile d’Or (Video)

A place like A l’Etoile d’Or could not exist anywhere else in the world but Paris. In this charming shop up by Montmarte you find a carefully selected assortment of candies and chocolates from the best artisans across France. Darting from shelf to shelf, owner Denise Acabo charms patrons with animated descriptions of every sweet bonbon in her collection. It’s always a pleasure to chat with her in her shop, which I visited on a rather chilly day in Paris. (Hence the trouble I had wrapping my frozen lips around the word “Lorraine”.)

Every time I go into her shop, I am helpless against Madame Acabo’s charms and I always leave with something special tucked in my bag, whether it’s a Kalouga chocolate bar filled with gooey salted butter caramel from Bernachon, almond-rich calissons d’Aix from Provence, or bright jellies flavored with the tangy juice of the elusive bergamots made in Alsace.

Even if you can’t make it to Paris, I hope you enjoy this visit to her shop as much as I did.

-David

(You can watch the video here by clicking on the arrow. To view it in a larger version, click on the title, which will take you to Vimeo.)

Continue Reading A Visit to A l’Etoile d’Or (Video)…

Happy Holidays, from Paris

Sprinting Toward the Finish…

mache

Everything is a mess, including my computer. I started writing this story, and lost it. (The story, I mean. I don’t mean that “I lost it” – although I fear that’s coming.) I have piles of paperwork stacked up all around my apartment, including on every chairs and the couch. Next to my kitchen counter is a stack of unfinished recipes I’m testing, with notes and corrections for the next trial batches. It’s just heaped up all around my place, with no escape or end in site. In spite of my panic, when I took a deep breath the other day, I realized the year was coming to a close and I should finish up all this unfinished business.

squash lettuce greens
belgian endive plantcognac barrels

The only problem was that this month got away from me, which I think is pretty common in December, and, well…here I go blaming others, or as we like to say—“C’est pas ma faute.”

(At a cocktail party last night, a French acquaintance that I hadn’t seen in a while remarked how fast I was to reply with a “Non”, saying, “You’ve become really very French, Daveed.”)

Continue Reading Sprinting Toward the Finish……

Visit to a Paris Market (Video)

Everyday in Paris (except Monday), there are outdoor markets taking place in the various neighborhoods spread out across the city. Each market has its own distinct personality – and personalities – and like many residents of Paris, I like to do my shopping at an outdoor market.

As a dedicated market shopper, I find myself gravitating toward my favorite stands and sellers, such as the friendly gent who sells potatoes (and who wears just a t-shirt all year long, no matter how freezing cold it gets) and the people who come bearing gooey wedges of locally made Brie as well as unbelievably delicious crème fraîche, the kind you just can’t get anywhere else but in France. There are sturdy metal tables heaped with plenty of ice to keep all the pristine seafood and shellfish fresh, and come fall, when I don’t pick them myself, I rifle through bins of irregular apples to find just the right ones to bring home and caramelize in a warm tarte Tatin.

Continue Reading Visit to a Paris Market (Video)…

Paris Cooking Classes, Schools, and Wine Tastings

milk chocolate spatula

Many folks coming to Paris have asked about cooking classes on the non-professional level. Here’s a list of cooking programs offered around town. Some offer professional-level classes lasting a week or several months, while others are for dedicated home cooks where you can prepare a meal with a local cook in their Parisian kitchen and perhaps visit a market. Click on the links to find their scheduled classes and what language they’re taught in.

Because I haven’t gone to most of them, I can’t offer personal recommendations. But a visit to their website should give you an idea of the nature of their classes. For professional-level classes outside of Paris, there’s a list below of some that specialize in pastry.

jam in tart

Cooking Classes in Paris

Atelier des Chefs

Atelier des Sens

Atelier Gastronomique de Alain Ducasse: The cooking school of super-chef Alain Ducasse

Cook ‘n With Class

Cordon Bleu

Cuisine Attitude by Cyril Lignac

Ecole Ferrandi: Paris’ school for professionals who want to cook, classes in English and French

Ecole Bellouet Conseil

Ecole Lenôtre: One-day classes for home cooks, and professional programs

Elegant Home Cooking

Les Coulisses du Chef

Le Foodist

Chef Martial

Chez Bogato (Offers kids classes as well)

Cucina di Terresa: Organic & vegetarian cooking

La Belle Ecole

La Cuisine: English & French classes

L’Atelier de Fred

Ooh-La-La Foods

Gourmet Promenades: With Paule Caillat (in English)

La Cuisine de Marie Blanche

Ecole Escoffier: at the Ritz Carlton

On Rue Tatin with Susan Loomis: Classes in Paris & Normandy

Patricia Wells: Weeklong cooking programs

spatulas chocolate

Specialized Chocolate Classes For Professionals Outside of Paris

Ecole Chocolat

Pam Williams offers an online course in chocolate-making, with the option of coming to France (and Italy) and learning with selected professionals.

Chocolate Academy of Barry-Callebaut

Ecole du Grand Chocolat at Valrhona

Read about my visit to Valrhona’s Chocolate School

Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Pâtisserie

Never An Empty Glass

Wine Tastings and Classes in Paris

Musée du Vin

Ecole du vin

David in Paris

Jacques Vivet’s Centre de Désgustation

Lavina

O-Château: Wine tasting in English with sommelier Oliver Magny and his excellent team of sommeliers.



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