The other day, I watched nuclear warheads being rolled into place. I was in New York and saw the news on a television at the gym, as people did their reps and stomped away on the treadmills around me. I looked around and realized that I was the only one watching, standing transfixed in front of the television, with my mouth slightly agape, because it’s something…

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During a recent trip to Iceland, I visited a number of bakeries which make what are considered to be in the Danish tradition. They’re yeasted, but get their flaky layers by either being rolled and folded several times, or made with a brioche-like dough, often with a moist, sweet marzipan filling. I met Uri Scheft, an Israeli baker whose parents emigrated from Denmark, at his bakery…

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Although I began my talk at the Iceland Writers Retreat telling the group that I disliked the word “humbled,” (and invited the group to call me out on it in the future, if I ever used that word again), I felt humbled being in the presence of such highly esteemed writers, who came from around the world. Being the only person who writes about food,…

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Over the past few years, there’s been a growing interest in intéressants roots and greens in Paris. It’s not that they don’t, or didn’t, exist in France. It’s just that many either fell out of favor or were oubliés (forgotten). And now, many are returning. At the market, we now get kale, kale sprouts, rainbow chard, and every so often ail des ours (bear’s garlic) will…

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I’ll never pass up a chance to go to a factory, whether it be to see how American stand mixers are made, or French enameled cookware. I’d never seen copper cookware being made, though, and jumped at the opportunity to hop on an early morning train to Villedieu-les poêles to visit the Mauviel copper cookware factory. (The only thing I didn’t jump at was the bleary 7:30am departure…

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Paris is known for its classical ice cream shops, as well as a few Italian-style gelaterias, but until a few years ago, there weren’t any young people forging out on their own, churning up more contemporary flavors of ice cream and sorbet for modern palates. Don’t get me wrong, I love glace au chocolat and glace au caramel beurre salé, but I’m no fuddy-duddy, and…

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The French are big on braising. It’s a technique used to soften tough cuts of meat, which are often the most flavorful ones (and least-expensive), and traditionally, the ones French people liked to eat. But also during tough times, cooks would bring pots of food to their local bakers, who keep their ovens going while they were baking bread, and for a few coins they’d have…

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Mont Saint-Michel is one of the great wonders of the world, along with the Parthenon, the pyramids in Egypt, and the Taj Mahal. It’s a majestic, spectacular sight when you’re walking down the path toward the island (cars aren’t allowed past a certain point), and you look up and see the island with the church crowning the top, rising above you, framed by the steel-blue sky…

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I’m always on the lookout for new bakeries and pastry shops that have opened in Paris. Although to be honest, it’s hard to keep up these days! The number of new boulangeries and pâtisseries that are focusing on everything from artisanal grains to organic flours, are spreading like wild yeast across the city. I’d met Alice Quillet a few years back, when she, and her partners…

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