Results tagged Patricia Wells from David Lebovitz

Almond Honey Squares

Almond-Honey Squares recipe-15

When I take visitors through those big glass doors of the La Grande Épicerie in Paris, the first stop may very well be the spectacular pastry section, where fanciful cakes wrapped with ribbons of chocolate, or covered with a spun-sugar lattice topping, are proudly displayed in glass showcases like jewels.

Almond Honey Squares

In the corner, less obvious, are the sweets for le grignotages, or snacking. (Which they also call le snacking, in French.) Among the sugar-topped chouquettes and scalloped madeleines, are squares of candied almond-covered shortbread, called miella. Although they don’t grab your eye with the same intensity as the surrounding pastries, they are my favorite thing in the showcase and I am borderline addicted to them. When I point them out to people, they rarely show the same enthusiasm as I do, being more transfixed by the rows and rows of colorful macarons and glossy éclairs. “Tant pis” (tough sh*t, or more politely “too bad”) as they say – more for me!

Almond Honey Squares

Fortunately, I am able to limit my consumption to the occasional trips across Paris, when I feel the need to do some damage at the grandest culinary supermarket in town. Not that I need an excuse to go there, but it’s probably best I don’t have easy access to those caramelized almond-honey squares. (And the three aisles of chocolate bars.) Well, until now.

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Favorite Cookbooks of 2011

cookbook pile up

As 2011 draws to a close, I look at the stack of books that I’ve collected on my bookshelf (and piled up on my floor…and beside my bed, and stacked in my kitchen…) and wonder how I’m going to cook and bake from them all. I just can’t help it, though—I love cookbooks. And these are the books that I couldn’t resist tackling in 2011, although a few are filled with bookmarks intended for future dinners and desserts, and blog posts. Some are traditional books bound with nice paper, filled with recipes, others are food-related books; memoirs and remembrances. And there are a few entries I’ve chosen that push the boundaries of traditional text, electronically and otherwise.

This year, I found myself drawn to cookbooks with a story to tell, not just mere collections of recipes. Books with a distinct point of view by an author, and essays which took me beyond the page and into their lives, which veered in some rather compelling directions. A few of the books were chef’s memoirs, which I did include even though they don’t have recipes. But something about them added to the canon of cookery books I have and referenced cooking in ways I wasn’t expecting.

Because I live abroad and have limited storage space (and deliveries can be a challenge), I wasn’t able to procure all the books that I wanted to. But this year saw a big uptick in publishers – and readers – jumping onto the e-book bandwagon. While not everyone wants to cook from a computer screen, one advantage is that foreign cookbooks, or out-of-print titles, may have new lives and can downloaded anywhere in the world within seconds.

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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

Françoise Meunier

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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  • Gluten-Free Eating in Paris

  • Paris Favorites

  • Paris Cooking Classes & Wine Tasting Programs

  • 10 Things to Do With Kids in Paris

  • 10 Delicious Things Not to Miss in Paris

  • Tipping in Paris

  • Romantic restaurants in Paris

  • Health Care Tips for Travelers to France

  • Where to Find the Best Steak Frites in Paris

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  • Paris Dining Blog Posts

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  • Time Out Paris Eating and Drinking

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  • Clotilde’s Edible Adventures in Paris

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  • Turkey Salad with Lemon, Capers, Mustard and Cornichons

    Patricia Wells has been writing about Paris for decades, and put a lot of bakeries, restaurants, and really…anything food-related—on the map for visitors. And when Patricia recently invited me and some friends over for lunch in her well-equipped Paris cooking school kitchen to celebrate her new book on salads, I jumped at the chance (okay, I didn’t jump because people would have looked at me funny if I was jumping down the street in Paris…I rode a bike), even though I had just returned from a week of indulging the fine cuisine of Switzerland.

    I was relieved when she served a lovely lunch which included – of course – several copious salads because I was stuffed from a week of eating everything from fondue to bacon. This one was particularly light, but really flavorful due to the big dose of cornichons, French mustard, and lemon juice in the dressing, making it perfect for summer. Please welcome this guest post and recipe from Patricia Wells. -David

    turkey salad

    The inspiration for the title of my latest book, Salad As A Meal, comes from the menu at Paris’s Brasserie Lipp, where in big, bold red letters the French menu proclaims in clear English: NO SALAD AS A MEAL.

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    Bistro Bummer

    Au Petit Riche

    Always on the lookout for classic French bistros, a friend and I recently stopped at Au Petit Riche. I’d eaten there before and found the food decent, but I remember the company a little better than the food. I was dazzled by the stunning interior and the conversation, which should have been a tip off since I rarely forget anything I eat that’s good.

    Many Americans have become more astute about dining and want to know where the ingredients are from, how they are handled, what part of the animal they’re getting. It’s part of the farmer’s market movement, as well as a number of folks striving to eat locally or at least show some concern for where and how their foodstuffs are raised.

    And there’s also the do-it-yourself movement, where everything from upstart ice cream shops are opening, and of course the bean-to-bar movement, where every step of the process is carefully tended to. In general, the French don’t ask those questions because France has always been a deeply agricultural country, with close ties to their terroir. When dining with friends from the states in Paris, I know they’d be disappointed to find frozen green beans with their steak, or boiled white rice heaped on a salade Niçoise. So I am always careful to steer them away from some of the classic bistros on their lists, ones they may have eaten at a decade ago, or that a friend recommended.

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    Paris Favorites: Eating, Drinking and Shopping

    A number of folks consult the site for information about Paris, but it’s always best to get some second opinions. So I asked a few friends and in-the-know colleagues about their favorite places around the city, and I’m happy to share them with you.

    paris

    Included are links, when available, for complete addresses and additional contact information. Hours change and places close in Paris without notice so it’s best to call first before visiting. For restaurants and wine bars where food is served, reservations are strongly advised.

    If there any Paris favorites that you’d like to share, please feel free to do so in the comments. I’d love to hear about them.

    lucques olives


    Favorite Outdoor Market

    “Paris markets are one of my favorite subjects. I can go to the same market every day of the year and still always find something new. I regularly visit the boulevard Raspail market, a “regular” market Tuesday and Friday, organic (and expensive!) on Sunday. The fish merchants there are incredible on all days, and I adore the poultry people at the Tuesday and Friday market. I love testing one fish market or cheese stand against the other, grading them on each purchase. For 20 years I lived near the rue Poncelet market and still have a soft spot there, especially for Alléosse cheese and coffee beans from Brûlerie des Ternes.”

    “When I have time, I also love the President Wilson market on Wednesday and Saturday, where of course one finds the famed produce from Joël Thiebault but also wonderful fish, fresh crêpes, and Lebanese specialties. The market is near my dentist’s office so I always schedule a Wednesday morning appointment.”

    Patricia Wells, of Patricia Wells.com
    (Author: Bistro Cooking and The Paris Cookbook)

    Favorite Steak Tartare

    “As an American in France, getting into the French staple of steak tartare means getting past it’s resemblance to an uncooked hamburger patty. At Les Fines Gueules (2, rue la Vrillière, 1st) near place des Victoires they have cap-and-gowned the French standard by hand chopping Limousin beef (the best in France) and tossing the raw meat with white truffle oil, parmesan and sun dried tomatoes. Certainly not a traditional preparation, but an unbelievably delicious part of this American’s weekly diet.”

    Braden, of Hidden Kitchen

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