Archive for the ‘Food – A manger’ Category

A Swedish Christmas in Paris?

Tis the season for all things Christmassy (and so much more). A lot of people are out there shopping for all the niceties needed to celebrate. If you’re looking for some Swedish specialities, be they food or decorations, don’t miss the Swedish Christmas market this week-end at the Swedish church! Walk about with a mug of glögg and stock up on your marinated salmon…

Eglise Suédoise
9, rue Médéric
75017 Paris

Opening hours:
Vendredi 27 novembre 11 h – 20h
Samedi 28 novembre 11 h – 19 h
Dimanche 29 novembre 12 – 18 h

Also, soon it will time for the Swedish to celebrate Saint Lucy (December 12th). Have you ever tried Saffransbullar? It’s a kind of brioche made with saffron and while the result is a striking yellow colour, it’s really good!

Oh my, Tokyo is the new gastronomy capital!

The launch of Michelin Tokyo Guide 2009 (Photo by Junko Kimura/Getty Images)

The launch of Michelin Tokyo Guide 2009 (Photo by Junko Kimura/Getty Images)

A new Michelin Tokyo Guide will be on sale this weekend and at the launch/photocall it is revealed that Tokyo is now the new world capital of gastronomy. Oh la la. C’est catastrophe pour Paris?

According to the new guide, Tokyo now has 11 3-stars restaurants compared with 10 for Paris. Not only that, Tokyo has also garnered a whooping total of 261 stars, shared by 197 restaurants. In comparison, Paris is looking at 70 restaurants which share 106 stars between them.

This is really quite a change of gastronomic fortune for the Japanese capital. The first Michelin guide to Tokyo was published a mere two years ago, in 2007. After some controversy over the use of non-Japanese inspectors (“how can they adequately judge Japanese cuisine when they’re not Japanese?”) Michelin said that for this latest edition, only Japanese inspectors were used.

Now, before detractors of French cuisine try to score some points based on this guide, remember that Tokyo is much bigger than Paris and it also has four times more restaurants (some 160,000 in Tokyo versus about 40,000 in Paris). Furthermore, France overall still have more 3-stars restaurants than any other country, with 25 compared with Japan’s 18.

Come on Paris – let’s up our game before the next French Michelin guide in March 2010! ;)

Round up : Salon du Chocolat 2009

My friends (two whom are also fellow Metbloggers here) and I were at the Salon du Chocolat last week for a few hours of choco-loving. This was something that we did for the last couple of years together, and this year was no exception. Meanwhile, I resolved to not overspend this time round that I even limit the amount of cash I brought with me. What can I say? I lack self-discipline in face of delicious stuff…

Chocolate places that are normally easily found in Paris were a bit less on the priority as we paid more attention to exhibitors from outside of Paris and from abroad. Of course, it’s not all about chocolate. Other delights include macarons, praline, cupcakes, nougat, ice cream, fudge etc.

Chocolates of Malarchocolaterie and macarons from Christophe Roussel

Mälarchocolaterie and macarons of Christophe Roussel

Eiffel Tower chocolates and fudge selections

Eiffel Tower chocolates and fudge selections

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Pierre Hermé and Xocoatl, the Drink of Gods

Musée du quai Branly is currently celebrating the Teotihuacan culture. Dubbed the City of Gods, it was a large city of Ancient Mexico steeped in cultural richness and absolutely fascinating in their way of life, politics, society, rituals, crafts, and certainly in their influences in other ancient societies.

It is well known that the Mesoamerican civilisations were the first to put xocolātl into conscious knowledge and subsequent reverence, and to this day, I can’t thank them enough for this wonderful discovery and cultivation of theirs. And in Teotihuacan, it was the Drink of Gods.

Chocolate sculpture by Pierre Hermé

Chocolate sculpture by Pierre Hermé

This weekend, in conjunction with the exhibition and cultural trail, Pierre Hermé is going to put his brand of magic through chocolate drinks. Four chocolate drinks, created based on inspirations drew from Mexican chocolates, promise to “retrace the history of chocolate through the ages, from the ritual drink of Teotihuacan to the present day”. It sounds so delicious already, isn’t it?

Therefore, either today (24th Oct) or tomorrow (25th Oct), between 2.30pm and 6.30pm, make your way to the foyer of the Claude Lévi-Strauss theatre at the musuem, enjoy the occasion and be inspired by the wonder of trickling hot chocolate conjured by the master himself. The event is free and open to all.

Better still, why not be there earlier and take some time to see the exhibition and learn the story of the Teotihuacan? There are also tons of other special programmes for this week, in the lead up to the All Saints Day on 1st November.

Ps: morbid as it sounds, the rituals of the deads really have me quite fascinated and a “Ball of the Deads” will be taking place on 1st November (that’s next Sunday) from 4.30pm to 6.30pm, with performances by Isaura Corlay and the ballet dancers of la Maison du Mexique. They will be accompanied by El mariachi Mezcal!

Chocolicious!

Today, the fun begins! 5 days of chocolate wonders, and the opportunity to stock up on the most varied selection of chocolates. Don’t miss it and we may see you there! (Yes, we will be there at some point – you don’t think we’re going to miss it, do you?) ;)

Salon du Chocolat (pictures from 2007 & 2008 editions)

Salon du Chocolat (pictures from 2007 & 2008 editions)

You can buy your ticket ahead at Fnac Spectacles, where dated tickets (seem to be available only for weekdays) are €12 each and open tickets (for Saturday and Sunday) are €14 each. You may also buy tickets at the door although queues may be long. Since the website of the Salon du Chocolat indicates the ticket price to be €12 each, I’m assuming that’s the price you’ll be paying regardless of the day, so long as you buy it at the door.

The event runs from 14th October (today) until 18th October (Sunday) and opens daily from 10pm to 7pm, with extended opening on 16th October (Friday) until 9pm, at Porte de Versailles.

Foodies alert – La Semaine du Goût

Last month, we briefly mentioned a mark-your-calendar for Salon du Chocolat and the days are drawing closer – it’s starting on Wednesday 14th October and will run until Sunday 18th October. This 15th Edition is bigger than ever, and running longer than before too. There are more demos and shows for your watching pleasure, and the ticket price hasn’t change from the last couple of years either, at €12 each.

But of course, as big as chocolate can be, this week in Paris is not all about the dark stuff. This week also marks the 20th anniversary of La Semaine du Goût!

La Semaine du Goût

La Semaine du Goût

The week kicked off on Saturday 10th October and will run until Sunday 18th October, and for a solid 8-days period, plenty of foodie events to keep everyone happy. Perhaps with exception the folks who have just wrapped up the Paris Fashion Week and still lingering in town, but too self-conscious to eat more than they normally dare to? (Just kidding. No one can be in France and not take advantage of the culinary smorgasbord on offered!)

Some restaurants are running special menus in conjuction with the week, there are chefs that are opening the doors to their kitchens/workshops for demos, classes or tours, and to encourage children to appreciate the joy of food, there are specially designed workshops for children as well. Check out the full programme of the restaurants and the workshops.

Of course, this week-long celebration is not confined to just Paris and Ile-de-France region. It’s nationwide, rightly so because everyone can do with a nice foodie treat now and then.

And oh, before we sign off, tomorrow (Monday 12th October) morning at around 9am, about 500 chefs will assemble at Trocadéro for a photocall to celebrate the 20 years of la Semaine du Goût. If you are in the area, why not join the festivities and play “spot-the-celebrity-chef” or something similar? ;)

Bon appétit!

Ps: for something a little different, check out la Balade du Goût in Ile-de-France on Saturday 17th October and Sunday 18th October. Nothing like the present to understand better the origin of the delicious morsels of food that we’re savouring everyday, right?

Mona Lisa, Michelangelo, Michallon, err McDo?

Louvre Visitor Guide by Cathy Wilcox

Louvre Visitor Guide by Cathy Wilcox

Somehow this escaped my attention until today – a new McDonald’s restaurant and McCafé due to open in the Louvre next month! It will be housed at the rather dashing Galerie du Carrousel (du Louvre), which I must admit to find hard to imagine how the McDo fits in, as claimed by museum spokeperson.

According to London Telegraph :

… the museum told the Daily Telegraph it had agreed to a “quality” McCafé and a McDonald’s in place by the end of the year, which it said was “is in line with the museum’s image”.

“The Louvre welcomes the fact that the entirety of visitors and customers, French or foreign, can enjoy such a rich and varied restaurant offer, whether in the museum area or gallery,” the museum said in a statement.

The McDonald’s would represent the “American segment” of a new “food court”, and would be situated “among (other) world cuisines and coffee shops,” it wrote.

It added that the franchise owner “has taken the utmost care in ensuring the quality of the project, both in culinary and aesthetic terms”.

Riiiiiiiight.

How?

Seriously, how does a fast-food restaurant fit in the image of a world class museum AND a former palace? This is not just about McDo. Had this been Quick or any other fast-food chain, I’m still going to think along the line “goodness, this is blasphemous!”.

For so long, the boutiques at the Carrousel du Louvre have been mainly home and beauty products, newsagents, watch shop and the likes. The divergence into fast-food is pretty stretched, in order to have common ground. (I have never been all that pleased with Autogrill that’s currently there either but that’s another story.)

Moreover, why would fast-food be promoted in this day and age within a cultural centre when obesity is a global problem? The bottom-line is profit margin I guess. Feed the masses, herd them in and out quickly, make it self-service so less employees are needed (I believe premium space like Louvre should be awarded only if there are job created and maintained) etc.

I can’t help but feel, this is a dark day for arts and culture, and well-being.

Les glaciers sont de retour !

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Les petits glaciers ambulants à l’entrée du Luxembourg (côté station RER) sont de retour pour cet été ! Avec leurs parfums qui mettent l’eau à la bouche et nous font le choix difficile !

Mon parfum préféré je crois bien c’est “fraise feuille de menthe” Mmmmmmmmm. Et vous ?

Lunch at Parnasse 138

As Seurann mentioned a couple of weeks back, us three regular Paris Metbloggers went to the Picasso exhibition at the Grand Palais (together with another friend).

I personally enjoyed the exhibition very much. I mean, pretty much everyone knows what an artist Picasso was in his life time. In some periods of time, he produced something pretty much on a daily basis, making him one of the most proliferative artists of the 20th century. What I like most about this exhibition was the “side by side” concept. Picasso had painted plenty of famous artworks by other artists, but with his own twists. To see both the original concept and the cubist interpretation of them, that was something very powerful.

After our visit to the exhibition (plus all the queueing time) we were inevitably struck by hunger – time to grab some lunch! As we needed to part in different directions after lunch, we choose the area around Montparnasse to search for a place to eat, which suited all of us very well. Seurann had previously been recommended to check out Parnasse 138, so off we went there together.

Lunch at Parnasse 138

Lunch at Parnasse 138

All four of us went for the option of 3-courses menu at €14.20 each. Between us, we had three different starters, four different main courses, and three different desserts. If I recall correctly, Seurann and Bij both selected the same starters and desserts.

Our meals, as evident from the photo mosaic above, consisted of : starters – salad of lardon and goat’s cheese, duck terrine with green peppercorn, salad of tomatoes and shrimps; main courses – chicken in red wine and mushroom sauce served with tagliatelle, pork in prune sauce served with chips, steak tartare (raw minced beef with raw egg, capers, onions and herbs), boudin noir (blood sausage) with chips and mashed potatoes; desserts – crème caramel, chocolate mousse and poire belle Hélène.

The meal was hearty, simply prepared but delicious. I certainly enjoyed myself very much, and in general everyone was pleased with their dishes. I even managed to sneak a couple of bites off the girls’ plates, which is perhaps not something many would do, but I love food and didn’t want to miss the chance to just have a taste. ;-)

We were stuffed after the meal, which I promptly decided I needed to walk the meal off, since we’ve arranged to have an early evening cook-in with a few other friends. Had I not done that, I may not had been able to eat more during the second session, lol. Just as well the place that I was heading would take a good 20 minutes or so to walk to, and another 25-30 minutes to get to the wonderful apartment where the cook-in would take place. In any case, it was a beautiful Saturday afternoon so the walk was as leisurely as it could get.

Ah the bliss that Paris was… even an ongoing demonstration nearby didn’t do anything to put a dent to my day. Really, Paris is magical.

French cuisine = unesco heritage?

I guess you all know that french people are really proud of their “Cuisine”.

Recently, some french chef and senators proposed that it should be preserved thanks to UNESCO.I had a quick look at the UNESCO world heritage list but I didn’t found anything like that (I might I missed something tho)

So do we need to protect french cuisine? and if so how? and who would choose the meals that are “typically french” and that deserve to be “saved”.

For those interesting in such topic, the American library is hosting a discussion “Is french cuisine worthy of UNESCO heritage status”, tomorrow at 7:30pm. This event is free and open to public (doors opening around 7pm, arrive early to be sure to get a seat!)

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