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Dinner at Hidden Kitchen

On May 13, I’ll be hosting a dinner at the always-booked Hidden Kitchen in association with the folks at Context Travel. Local food gem Meg Zimbeck will join me, and aside from a super dinner, guests will also get a copy of my upcoming book, Ready For Dessert.

There’s just a few spaces left, It’s now sold out, so if you’ve been dying to try Hidden Kitchen, or would like to get a closer look at that worrisome bald spot that appears to be growing on the backside of my head, you can e-mail your name to be on the waiting list.

creme anglaise

I Rest My Case

With all due respect to the frequently engaging, yet decidedly opinionated Michael Ruhlman, I have definitive proof that crème anglaise doesn’t contain cream, only milk (lait entier).

(Well, and a few other things, in this particular case.)

So please, no cream in those custard sauces, folks: It’s milk, egg yolks, and sugar—C’est tout.


Rome Gelato Walk

For those of you in Rome, or planning on heading there, on June 7th I’ll be doing a gelato walk, where we’ll visit the most amazing gelato parlors and shops in Rome, and get a rare, behind-the-scenes look at how real Italian ice cream is made. Along with generous samples, of course!

Sign-up details will be announced shortly on my Schedule page.


Au Revoir to That

First they were going to close. Then they were going to stay open. Now a little bird tweeted me to say that they’re closing for good this week. Yes, it’s time to say au revoir to my crack baguette once and for all.

Even though this week, I caved and could no longer boycott Monoprix, in the great history of French revolutions, I’m not buying any baguettes this week, in protest. I hope the space doesn’t become a Subway sandwich shop. Because they’re taking over Paris. And because I didn’t realize it was possible to screw up a sandwich until I was stuck near Chicago airport last year and had one.

Haiti Fundraiser Logo

Hope for Haiti

The news from Haiti doesn’t seem to get any better. And as the weeks go by, it’s easy to forget the devastation that happened. The media moves on to other things, and we go on with our lives.The country has essentially been wiped out as well as Haiti’s infrastructure, and I can’t even being to imagine how much work those people face in rebuilding their country and their lives. (And here I am, worrying about whether cream belongs in crème anglaise and not being able to get sesame baguettes.)

Jeanne over at Cook Sister! has organized an auction, which will take place February 21-28, to raise much-needed funds for an organization which distributes water and food, two things I myself, definitely take for granted. Included in the items she’s auctioning off is a signed copy of The Sweet Life in Paris, which I’ll personally autograph and send to the winner anywhere in the world.

It’s prize code HFH21, so head over there now and show your support!

working on ms

Ready for Dessert is Almost Ready

Speaking of which, you’ve likely noticed in the sidebar that my new book is just about ready for release. It’s not all croissants, crêpes, and Côte-du-Rhone around here. I’ve been working like a maniac for the past year on this huge book, which is a compilation of my all-time favorite recipes.

chocolate chip cookies

Just about every recipe been completely updated, re-photographed, and because I’m such an international man of measurements, metrics have been added, too.


Many have asked about reprints of my first two books, which some of you missed the first time around and now are out of print—so here they are in an all-new format. I’ve added all-new recipes, too. Ready For Dessert is now available for pre-order.



    • jonquil

    I am *so* hungry now! & this from merely seeing the cover of your latest!

    • Mark

    Hello David,
    Tried to sign up for the Hidden Kitchen dinner but wasn’t able to add it to my cart – sold out? Hope not – sent Context an email.
    Always hopeful,

    • Stephanie Manley

    I am looking forward to your book coming out. A friend of mine is the baking queen, and I will have to get her to make something out of your book!

    • Will

    David, I can’t begin to tell you how much I’m enjoying “The Sweet Life in Paris”. My wife & I have a cheese and wine shop near Austin, TX and several of our customers have read or are currently reading your book.

    • Anna @ unsweetenedcocoa

    Oh, I’m so excited for your cookbook coming out! As another poster stated, the cover is fabulous. It makes me feel all swoony. Maybe that’s just because all of the recipes of yours I’ve ever tried (awkward grammar, much?) are pretty much my favourites, too.

    • Camille

    I’ve never tried your crack baguette, but inspired by your post, I tried (and have become a huge fan of) the sesame baguette at the Boulangerie au 140. Have you had that one? Does it compare?

    • Dan

    I hope you’re including San Crispino on your gelato tour!

    • Katya

    Oh David. I can’t wait. (For the book, that is, not the bakery closings). Does the book also include weight measures–I just bought a new scale and have lost my heart to it.

    • Liz C.

    That baguette is like “crack” b/c of the sesame seeds! Which is why those dang Montreal sesame bagels are like crack to me.

    Excited for the book to come out!

    • David

    Liz and Camille: The only sesame baguette I’ve found that’s close is the one at Kayser, although it’s definitely different. I love Boulangerie 140, but don’t think I’ve tried theirs. Sounds like I’m overdue for a visit!

    Dan: San Crispino is great, but they won’t let visitors in the kitchen. We may stop by there anyways, since I like their gelato quite a bit.

    Katya: The book is in metrics, as well as cups and tablespoon measurements. So the metric weights are in there.

    Will: Glad you like the book so much–thanks!

    Mark: I passed your note on to the folks at Context about the link, so hopefully they’ll get back to you shortly. They’re pretty prompt..even on Sundays : )

    • Nathalie (spacedlaw-spacedlawyer)

    I am thrilled to see you come to Rome, David. I hope I shall be able to push away work to come and meet you (even do the gelati walk).

    • Elizabeth Minchilli

    Hey David. Very excited for your rome gelato experience. Did Petulia tell you, I think we can host your book signing in the courtyard outside of my husband’s office? Complete with grotto fountain bubbling away. Should be fun. Looking forward to meeting, Elizabeth

    • Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy

    Yay! I’m excited about your new book :) I’ll be sure to be in Rome that weekend you’re down, or maybe we can rendeveux somewhere else ;)

    • Andrew Shebanow

    David, I loved your previous two books (and even bought a second copy of The Perfect Scoop so I could get it autographed at Bi-Rite), but from the description of the book here and on Amazon, I can’t tell: will Ready for Dessert have new recipes in it or is it more of a greatest hits? Can you please explain? Thanks.

    • Hannah

    Oh, how frustrating! I’ve been hoping to try the crack baguette, but I’m going to be arriving in Paris about a month too late. Fiddlesticks!

    • Sasa

    Yay, metric! You’re awesome.

    • Jennifer

    David-I always enjoy your blog updates and I can’t wait to get my hands on your latest book on April 6th!!!!!!!

    • ursula

    Oh no! Not your crack baguette!

    Any chance you’ll share the locations from your gelato walk after the fact? Matt and I aren’t planning to go to Italy until September/October, but maybe we should move up our trip to June.

    • Madeleine

    David, congrats on your new book! I love the cover and am sure I’ll equally love all the new recipes there are to try out! I always say there’s a fat nonna hiding under this skinny girl’s clothing and this book just might tease her out! :o)

    • tomatoejane

    Loved the bit on the bread, went back and checked out your original post about it and laugh out loud. There is a similar bread baked in my city and I am also addicted to it with a smear of lovely butter. A good cup of coffee also goes well.

    The bakery was fire bombed once and my fear was they would not open again, but the gods were kind.

    What city and where is the bakery? I’ll never tell!!

    • sarah

    How in the world can Subway be so popular in France, or anywhere for that matter? It is truly hideous in every way but it’s concept. A sandwich chain w/ healthy options could be fantastic. Yet this chain produces truly disgusting food like offerings. What a shame. What on earth do Parisians want with this muck? They can’t possibly enjoy eating this right? Me sad.

    Looking forward to the new book very much :-)

    The Roman Gelato Walk, fantastic idea. Please do a huge blog of it so I can recreate the journey when I next get to Rome.

    • David

    Hi Sarah: Parisians are also fond of novelty, especially in food (witness all the square plates and verrines) and I think that Subway is a novelty as well. They love sandwiches for lunch, since no one has time to eat anymore and they’re relatively inexpensive. And some are warm. But I still don’t get it. There’s nothing better to me than a sandwich jambon beurre, but I suppose if I grew up with them, I might want something different.

    tomatoejane: See Fermeture définitive

    Sara: Yay! Or however you say it in Italian.

    Elizabeth: I don’t know the venue yet, but it sounds lovely. I’m letting them handle it. As long as there’s vino rosso, I’ll be happy : )

    • Karen

    “Yea David!” for using both English and metric measurements. Every expat will love you for this. Did you know it’s estimated American kids waste 10 days of their grade school education having to learn two systems? We should switch to metric already. I’m excited to dream over and cook out of your new book.

    • Mark

    Thank you David,
    Context got back to me right away. Cynthia and I look forward to seeing on May 13.

    • Marlene

    I was reminded of the first time I made Creme Anglaise for a dessert. It was 1987! A newly published book titled: “The Natural Cuisine of George Blanc was just released in the states (which I think started the trend to ever more fantastically photographed cookbooks). Immediately, upon reading your post I ran downstairs to get the book off the shelf and review the recipe. It’s been awhile since I had looked through this book and I was struck by how well it holds up and how simple-to-make many of the recipes are. Pictures are fabulous! Takes me back…

    No cream, I agree! (I also read Ruhlman’s post on the topic!)
    Blanc’s Creme Anglaise is so easy, and it has always, always turned out perfectly — with milk, not cream! His double apple dessert (page 239) is simple and elegant.

    Now I must go and add your new book to my Wish List at B&N.

    P.S. Your Chocolate Chip Cookies are totally scrumptious looking !

    • Martin

    Argh, too late for the Context event :-(

    Anyway, I’ve been wondering whether your job(s) leave you any time to travel and eat through Europe. Since you are so close to Spain, Portugal, Germany, Switzerland etc., maybe there are some culinary adventures you’d like to share with us?

    • Wendy Lin

    thank you for the useful information!

    • Giovani

    Hooray for metrics! I just finished pre-ordering the new book, can’t wait.

    • kerstin

    Wow David it seems I succeeded in signing up for your Hidden Kitchen dinner in Paris on May 13 and look forward immensely to this fantastic evening.
    As it is however I am allergic to almonds pistachio and nuts let alone kiwi fruits.
    Will I still be welcome?

    • The Teacher Cooks

    The cover of your new book is sinfully delicious. That is all I have to say and that is enough said!

    • Lentil Breakdown

    If it makes you feel any better, years ago I broke a self-serve coffee machine at a Monoprix in the Loire Valley by accidentally putting a U.S. coin in it. : )

    • Thea

    Such work you put in – finding/remembering recipes, searching for ingredients, measuring, mixing, cooking/baking, writing, rewriting, photographing – and all for our delight. Thank you. A special thank you for the occasion-of-sin cover shot. Straight to the endorphin center.

    • Kathleen is Cooking in Mexico

    No less an authority than Julia Child does not use cream in her creme anglaise sauce; she uses milk. I guess someone could put pea soup in their creme anglaise if they wished, but why change a standard?

    • Deliciously Organic

    I’m so excited for your new cookbook! The cover is beautiful.

    A Gelato Walk? Sounds heavenly…

    • Foodista

    Hi David !
    A gelato walk ! What a good idea ! I’m just back from Rome, where I’ve had a kind of gelato walk : all my tastings can be read here :
    My favourites : San crispino, Venchi, Origini, Ciampini, Hotel de Russie, and others !
    If you organize a gelato tour in Paris, I come !

    • Jennifer

    Dear David,

    Your Hidden Kitchen offer is tempting. My boyfriend (we are an older couple and it does seem silly to use the word, but, alas, that’s who he is), also named David, asked if the 115 euros for the evening includes airfare. Regretfully, we won’t be able to make it, but thank you for the invite and have a wonderful time. Oh, and please keep the posts coming. Your emails always delight, which is more than I can say about most of the emails I receive!


    • annie

    What a thrill, your new book is being released on my birthday! :) Looks like I’m buying myself a present. Can’t wait! Have fun at Hidden Kitchen… xxoo

    • David

    Kathleen & Marlene: Michael tried to send me some sources that use cream in their crème anglaise, but I’ve never heard or seen anyone, personally, use a drop of anything but milk in theirs. And when I saw that container at the supermarket in France, well, that was all the proof I needed. (Now if I could just figure out what that other stuff was…)

    Lentil Breakdown: Hmm, I should’ve just said, “You know what? If you’re not going to give me change to use your machine in your store, I have some change I’ll use instead…” and popped a few US quarters in there, to teach them a lesson.

    Honestly, I can’t imagine a store making someone go to 3 different cashiers, begging to break a €10 note…even after they bought a few bags of groceries. May have to go back with some nickles and dimes anyways, and take a few more snaps in their photo machine. Or at least try to!

    • Constance

    Hi David,
    we would love to join the “Hidden Kitchen” event with you – but the link doesn’t allow to book in. Is there no more space available?? Please let us know. Merci.

    • Julia

    David, did you see that your blog was one of the 5 best blogs according to the Sunday Times In Gear section yesterday? It is the only food-related one. I can’t find a link to it on the Sunday Times website, but have a copy I can post to you if you like. Please will you organise a truffle trip? Julia

    • David

    Constance: I believe the dinner is now sold-out and will update the post once I get confirmation from Context Travel. At the booking page, you need to enter the date of the event, I believe. You can contact them directly through their website, by phone or e-mail, as well, to see if there is space left. If not, they may do a waiting list or their might be another dinner in the future of some sort. Thanks!

    Julia: Thanks for passing that along…I’d love to do a truffle trip, but I think considering the price of truffles, the cost would be about €38,000 per person. Ah, those lucky pigs…

    • Jill

    I am SO ready for dessert!!

    • Aliza

    Hi David,

    I’ve recently discovered your site and have become a frequent visitor (you’re so witty). I loved “The Sweet Life in Paris” and am eagerly anticipating your new book. I plan to cook my way through it and completely ignore the five pounds I’ve gained since reading TSLIP :-). Seriously, the Dulce de Leche brownies are the best I’ve ever had – and I don’t usually like brownies (heresy, I know). I hope to visit Paris within the next year and perhaps I’ll be lucky enough to get to do a tour with you!

    • Ida

    I’m looking for fresh yeast here in Paris, but can’t find it. Do you know where I can buy it? Thanks.
    PS: i love you blog

    • christina

    OK..I am sitting on a boat off the coast of Zanzibar talking with a couple that has been on this fabulous trip with me and others to Tanzania “on safari” and we are discussing food. The next thing you know is..we are discussing how much we LOVE YOUR BLOG..It really is a very small world. He loves your ice cream. For all of you out there, Tanzania is a fantastic, beautiful country with the most incredible people, vistas, and thousands and thousands of magnificent animals. Go if you can..
    It is well worth it..

    • Patricia

    I just recently read your book and absolutely loved it. Even better was the carnitas recipe you shared. My husband and I lived in San Francisco for years and used to go to a store, La Tapatia, in South San Francisco on Grand Avenue to get our carnitas fix. I could never find anyone who made them as good. Since we moved hours away to Sacramento, I have been searching for the perfect carnitas but could never find it. La Tapatia’s was just too good to compare. I have tried many recipes only to have disaster. Then last week I tried yours. Oh my god! It was exactly like Tapatia. My husband said he’ll never leave me if I continue cooking it. So your recipe is both a blessing and a curse! Oh and the Dulce de Leche brownies??!!!! I made those the same day. Absolutely my two new favorite recipes.

    • David

    Patricia: So glad you like that recipe (and better yet, your husband, too!) Glad to hear I’m party of the reason he’s sticking by you : )

    Ida: Most bread bakeries will sell you yeast. The large hypermarkets, like Auchan and Carrefour, sometimes sell it. For other tips, check out; American Baking Ingredients in Paris.

    christina: It’s a small world, isn’t it? Sounds like a great place. Would love to get down there, but the 20+ hour flight is a bit of a deterrent.

    • Sunny in L.A.

    Oh, how I wish I could be there in Rome to do the Gelato crawl. That is my kind of Foodie event.

    • Clive

    Can’t wait to get my hands on the book. Hopefully one day I’ll get to try the hidden kitchen.

    • deeba

    Maybe this time I shall win your book … *SIGH* … love the sound of the new one too. Beautiful!

    • Kate

    Your blog is wonderful. Thank you for all the time you spend on it. I buy The Perfect Scoop as a gift all the time.

    Do you think that your crack baguette has semolina? I made the “no-knead” bread recently with half semolina, and coated it with sesame seeds. It looked a lot like that. If I lived in France I’m sure I would never bake another loaf of bread, though.

    • David

    Hi Kate: Glad you like the book! Hope your friends do, too : )

    I’m not sure what give this baguette (or I should say “gave”, in the past tense…unfortunately) its special flavor. It could be a bit of semolina, since it was a bit naturally sweet. A few readers were going to go in and try to find out how they did it before they closed, but I don’t know what became of that. If I hear anything back, I’ll report it here on the site.


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