Where does the time go? When people used to say that, I thought they were being overly dramatic. Or worse, meant that I was getting older at a faster clip than I thought. But what I think it means, for all of us, is that life used to roll along at a more leisurely clip, but nowadays, I wake up and find another year has passed….

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I was invited to a lovely lunch at the 3-star restaurant Alléno Paris (Pavillion Ledoyen), hosted by Mauviel, a French company that makes copper cookware in Normandy, that one day, I’m hoping to visit. Although mispronouncing the name when I was introduced to the owner probably didn’t help my chances! Nevertheless, I did my best in the charm department. (Foreigners are often given a pass…

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This season saw a particularly excellent crop of cookbooks come to the forefront. But one that stood out for me was The London Cookbook by Aleksandra Crapanzano. When my copy came in the mail, I opened up the stately, deep blue cover, which revealed enticing pages of spectacularly simple, fresh food, the kinds I like, that are being cooked in London today. Spiced Carrots with Freekeh and Labneh,…

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Pierre Jancou is one of my favorite cooks in Paris. He does the seemingly simple task of taking raw elements – such as a pan of root vegetables – and making them taste better than you thought that vegetables could taste. I first came across his cooking when he was the chef/owner of Racines. I’d ordered a simple pasta Bolognese, which isn’t something I would usually order unless I was…

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A few months ago, I was gifted a very large bag of farro, over five pounds of it. I never thought I could have enough farro, and sure enough, I’m almost at the end of it. Farro is popular in Italy, and nowadays, it’s available in the United States and elsewhere. It’s a particular strain of wheat, similar to wheat berries, or épautre, in France, known elsewhere as…

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In the winter, we often turn to the tropics to get our fruit fixes. Bananas are the most popular fruit in America, and they’re quite popular elsewhere, too. I’m happy with oranges, grapefruits, and chocolate (yup, cocoa beans are fruit – great news for fruit-lovers!) but sometimes it’s nice to throw something else in the mix, and I’ll grab a pineapple, some kiwifruits, a few…

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Call me old-fashioned, but sometimes I like old-fashioned places. One place that does old-fashioned especially well is France. But I’m not the only one who feels that way; people come from around the world to visit the city, and bask in the à l’ancienne charm, which is sometimes derisively described as carte postale Paris. Like other cities, Paris is changing and isn’t a museum, per se, but…

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One thing that seems to cross international lines with success is baking. I never visit a country without sampling their baking. I visit bakeries, and enjoy everything from French croissants and hearty German breads, to Indian naan breads and bagels in Brooklyn, Montreal, and Jerusalem. Here in France, just after the new year, the windows of pastry shops are lined with all sizes of Galettes des Rois,…

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I recently came across this spot-on video by chef Jacques Pépin, which hit the nail squarely on the head regarding cooking and following recipes. I was particularly impressed by how he was able to explain what can go wrong when you do so. Most people who write recipes for a living spend a lot of time writing them as clearly and accurately as possible. Still, even the best recipe isn’t…

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