Hidden behind a big blue door, away from the brouhaha of the rue de Rivoli, is a gold mine for those of you interested in old press. Make sure you have a couple of hours to spare because once you enter the arched glass doors, time will run away as you lose yourself amongst its treasures. And if you like your piles super organised, i.e. arranged alphabetically, then just leave that to one side for your visit.Read More
I know that I usually reserve this space for Paris-based expats - but today I'm trying something a little different. Zoe, a French/American food stylist, reached out to me via Instagram to tell me about her new recipe book "Healthy and Beautiful". I'd been a @joybyzoe follower since her San Francisco days and therefore accepted her lunch invitation without a second thought!
The book not only looks great - thanks to Zoe's appreciable food styling and Blaise's photographic skills - it also provides helpful info and inspiring recipes for those looking to inject some nutrients and vitamins into their diet! Within this pastel delight, you will find nourishing main dishes, nutritious drinks and natural beauty remedies (my personal favourite).
Get to know a little more about Zoe below : )Read More
Six years ago I moved to Paris with neither career ambitions nor savings. Now I have both, as well as several other life projects that I want to achieve: find a new job, start a family, get married, buy an apartment and continue to meet nice, inspiring people. In many ways Paris signifies home much more to me than the UK. A huge part of this feeling is because I started my adult life here, but I also feel that I have grown into aspects of the French culture which suit my personality very well indeed.
This six year anniversary was an opportunity to have a think about what I've learnt since living in Paris. *blows out candles on cake and makes a wish*Read More
Last week, Emily and I were invited to spend an afternoon cooking with the lovely Bénédicte in her beautiful apartment. This elegant Parisienne has started The Parisian Kitchen, group cooking classes for visitors in the City of Light who are looking for a glimpse into the life (and kitchen) of a local. Bénédicte takes you on a tour of her local market where you buy your ingredients fresh. You then cook your selected menu in her spacious kitchen before sitting down to sample the fruits of your hard work. All washed down with a selection of champagne and wines, chosen by the host herself.
Emily and I were greeted with a pot of fresh tea and a bowl of chouquettes (choux pastry sprinkled with pearl sugar and sometimes filled with custard or mousse). Bénédicte proved herself to be a complete natural in the kitchen, chatting away to us in her perfect English about her past career in marketing whilst keeping an eye on the meringues in the oven and showing us the quickest (and most painless) way to cut an onion.
We opted for the poultry menu, based on the dessert, but there are in fact four menus to choose from in total: fish, vegetarian, poultry and red meat. The menus are French cuisine with a slight twist, so we sat down to a delicious four course meal consisting of salmon tartare, chicken rolls with bacon and mushroom, a cheese plate featuring French's finest fromage and meringue served with whipped cream and seasonal fruits.
I had a wonderful time getting to know Bénédicte, who is clearly very passionate about cooking, and would highly recommend her cooking class to friends or family visiting Paris. I also think it would be an original idea for a birthday present or a fun mother/daughter activity. You're not expected to be an amazing cook and you're also not racing against the clock à la Masterchef. The Parisian Kitchen simply offers an intimate opportunity to visit a beautiful area of Paris, experience the hustle and bustle of a French farmers market and cook in a traditional Haussmann style apartment, whilst sampling French champagne and wine. A lovely memory to take back home with you, wouldn't you say?
For more information on prices and how to book a class you can visit The Parisian Kitchen website.
This post appears in the second issue of the Seventy Fifth magazine, published in April 2015.
Growing up in Bradford our comfort food was corned beef hash. I can't claim that it's a Yorkshire tradition but in the Binns household we ate this stew on a regular basis during the cold and dark winter months. Boarding school dinners didn't make the grade in comparison and there was no Jamie Oliver campaigning for us back then, we just had to battle with all the starchy food and overcooked vegetables.
At university I managed to do the opposite of most students: I slimmed down and ate pretty healthily (the drinking is another matter but hey, youth). I was also incredibly active, walking from student halls to lectures and fitting in a gym session most days. Then I moved to France where I promptly embarked upon a love affair with cheese and we have been on-off for the past five years.
Hard cheese, soft cheese, creamy cheese, blue cheese, raclette, tartiflette and fondue: a whole universe of fromage opened up to me and I have now swapped the corned beef hash for tartiflette. It's very easy to make - I can say that with confidence because it's often JB making it - and is great during the winter if you have last-minute guests or just fancy cheese and potatoes in the same meal.
- 6 medium potatoes (sliced fairly thinly - peeling and potato type at your discretion)
- 2 onions
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 2 handfuls pancetta
- 1 reblochon cheese
- olive oil
- oz freshly ground pepper
- 1 splash of white wine (optional but really it's mandatory)
- In a pan, fry the chopped onions in a small amount of olive oil until soft then add the thinly-sliced potatoes. Constantly mix everything around on a low heat.
- Add the smoked pancetta to the pan. Continue to stir until the pancetta is cooked.
- Add the wine and stir everything together so it can soak up the wine. Add salt and pepper.
- When the potatoes turn golden, take your baking tin and smear garlic all over the base.
- Add a layer of the potato/onion/pancetta mixture then take half the reblochon cheese (cut through the middle) and place it on top.
- Add another layer of the potato/onion/pancetta mixture and top it off with the other half of the reblochon.
- Cook in the oven for 25 minutes at gas mark 5.
- Serve and imagine that you’ve spent a day on the slopes getting a full body workout.
My good friend Maryana painted the image - isn't she talented? It was so kind of her to oblige me, thank you Maryana! xx