There’s no shortage of chocolate shops in Paris. Many of them are concentrated in areas like the Marais or Left Bank, which are swankier places set up shop, but offer easy access. So in what are called the “double-digit” arrondissements, you’ll find more quirky places, and you’ll never know what you might come across if you wander around them. Having dinner one night at Churrasqueira…

Continue reading...

Who knew that Mexico was famous for ice cream? I didn’t, until my first trip many years ago, and saw all the heladerias stirring up ice cream and pushcarts, parked on sidewalks, handing out popsicles. It was my first visit and I had no idea what a remarkable range of flavors Mexicans incorporated into their scoops and paletas. There was chocolate, corn, coffee, cheese, peanut, and rice…

Continue reading...

Flo Braker was a good friend to me and many others, in addition to being one of the best bakers that I knew. She unexpectedly passed away last week and will be deeply missed by everyone in the baking community who knew and loved her as much as I did. She was known for her generosity, which came through in her recipes. I wrote a…

Continue reading...

Rillettes is a funny word. It always sounds like a card game – “Care to play a few rounds of rillettes?” I never figured out how this spreadable cornerstone of the charcuterie world got its name, but I’m sure some etymologists out there might have some insight to share? In the meantime, I’ve been enjoying being back in the kitchen. After sweating over my next book,…

Continue reading...

I know this doesn’t sound like a problem to you, but I’ve got too much gin on my hands. I love gin but suddenly I found myself with five or six bottles of the stuff. I do plan on more Gin and Tonics, Martinis, Negronis, Jasmines, Rosemary Gimlets, and other gin-forward cocktails in my future. But I also had too many pink grapefruits on hand, the…

Continue reading...

When I was in Rhode Island recently, blueberries were just on the cusp of spilling forth, and I was lucky to be able to find some of the early, inky-colored orbs. Because I grew up in New England, I have a special fondness for blueberries, which are rather scarce in Paris* (when available, they’re sold in small barquettes with a few dozen berries in them),…

Continue reading...

I wasn’t always friends with no-knead bread, partially because I like kneading, and find those five minutes out of my day become the least-stressful activity that I know of. Although I worked at a bread bakery one night because I thought it might be interesting to become a bread baker. By the time we finished up, very early the next morning, my aching legs, back,…

Continue reading...

The first avocado I ever had was at Scandia restaurant in Los Angeles and I hated it. The slippery little green cubes avoided my fork, until finally, I managed to spear one. Once I did, I swallowed it – reluctantly, then avoided the rest of them on my plate. I’m not sure how I came to eventually love avocados, but the city of Los Angeles is…

Continue reading...

Decades ago, there was a fresh crumpet shop in San Francisco. I don’t remember the name of the shop* (in searching for it, I came across Crown & Crumpet, which opened a few years back), but it was out in the avenues and each half-dozen package of crumpets had a paper label tucked inside with the name of the shop on it. Once you collected enough labels…

Continue reading...