Archive for the ‘chefs’ Category

Journée de la Gastronomie Créole at the Foire de Paris

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017
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Last Thursday, I saw a fascinating demonstration of Creole cuisine at the annual Paris Fair. Sponsored by the Académie de l’Art Culinaire du Monde Créole, various local chefs participated in the all-day event.

Laura, Master of Ceremonies
Photograph by Tom Reeves

Laura, master of ceremonies of the event, provided lively commentary as the chefs demonstrated their cooking skills on stage.

Chefs Tristan Tharsis and Yanis Artigny
Photograph by Tom Reeves

Chef Tristan Tharsis Prepares Hot Chocolate
Photograph by Tom Reeves

Chef Yannis Artigny Prepares the Dough for His Pain au Beurre
Photograph by Tom Reeves

Samples of Bread
Photograph by Tom Reeves

To prepare Pain au beurre et Chocolat martiniquais, two chefs divided up the work. Chef Tristan Tharsis prepared the hot chocolate and Chef Yannis Artigny prepared the bread. I got a chance to taste both. The hot chocolate was thick and rich and the bread was soft and buttery. What a great combination for breakfast or for a mid-afternoon snack! In Martinique, they are served together for special occasions, such as weddings.

Chef Elis Bond Prepared Afro-Caribbean Cuisine
Photograph by Tom Reeves

Afro-Caribbean Fusion Cuisine by Chef Elis Bond
Photograph by Tom Reeves

Chef Elis Bond prepared fairly elaborate dishes of Afro-Caribbean fusion cuisine. In the photograph above, he is preparing to arrange the ingredients in small bowls, which volunteers will distribute to members of the audience.

Dr Marie-Antoinette Séjean Shows Her Book
Photograph by Tom Reeves

Nutritionist Dr. Marie-Antoinette Séjean demonstrated tips for light and healthy Creole cooking. In the photograph above, she holds the book that she wrote on the subject.

Chef Xavier Guillaume Sivager
Photograph by Tom Reeves

Chef Xavier Guillaume Sivager prepared a flaming banana dish called Croustillant de Banane au lard.

Chef Ayaba
Photograph by Tom Reeves

Gourmet Energy Ball by Ayaba
Photograph by Tom Reeves

Chef Ayaba prepared Boules d’énergie gourmandes Kâ, consisting of ground nuts, dates, and other ingredients rolled into balls and coated with shredded coconut. I got to taste several different kinds. Yum!

Chef Stéphane Sorbon Demonstrates the Art of Mixology
Photograph by Tom Reeves

And finally, Chef Stéphone Sorbon showed how to make exotic cocktails.

A good time was had by all!

Other chefs who participated in the culinary event (but whose photographs are not shown here) are Béatrice Fabignon, who prepared seafood dishes, and Vanessa Kichenin, who prepared lentil fritters.

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Dining Out in Paris – What You Need to Know about the New French Law

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014
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Fait_maison_logo

Effective January 1st, a new French law takes effect that will change the way you select your food in French restaurants. On that date, all restaurants in France (whether they claim to prepare homemade dishes or not) will be required to indicate somewhere in the restaurant the definition of what a homemade dish is:

Les plats « faits maison » sont élaborés sur place à partir de produits bruts.

This sentence states that homemade dishes are those that have been prepared in-house from raw products.

Bringing consistency to the restaurant industry, the law goes on to state what comprises a homemade dish:

• “Prepared in-house” means that the raw products arrive from a supplier for elaboration in the kitchen of the restaurant.

• “Raw products” means that each element of the dish arrives at the restaurant in a raw state. It cannot have undergone cooking or transformation by other processes or have been mixed with other products that might have transformed it from its natural state.

However, the term “raw products” does not mean that the produce must arrive fresh from the farm. Between the farm and the restaurant, food items can undergo certain processes that do not affect their basic nature. Examples include cleaning, peeling (except for potatoes), slicing, cutting, deboning, shelling, grinding, milling, smoking, and salting, or processes that preserve them from spoilage, such as refrigeration, freezing, or sealing them in vacuum packs.

Recognizing that it would be impractical to impose the requirement that chefs make all of their ingredients in-house, the law goes on to list products that may be used even though they have undergone transformation from their natural state:

• Cured fish and sausage, but not terrines or pâtés
• Cheese, milk, sour cream, animal fat
• Bread, flour, and cookies
• Dried or candied vegetables and fruit
• Pasta and cereal
• Raw sauerkraut
• Rising agents, sugar, and gelatin
• Condiments, spices, herbs, concentrates, chocolate, coffee, tea
• Syrup, wine, alcohol, and liqueurs
• Blanched offal
• Raw puff pastry
• Fowl, fish, and meat stocks, subject to informing the consumer of their use.

Restaurants that claim to make homemade dishes must identify these dishes on their menus either with the notation “Fait maison” or with the “Fait maison” image (a roof of a house over a frying pan). Restaurants that claim that all of their dishes are homemade may indicate that fact before each dish or indicate it in a unique spot on the menu.

This new law has already provoked controversy in the restaurant industry, with some chefs wondering whether important ingredients that they have been using fall under the list of exceptions. Some wonder how homemade dishes they normally prepare that are accompanied with a transformed element that is not an exception might qualify under the law. An example of such a case would be a homemade crêpe served with an industrially-produced jam.

As for consumers, the new law should go a long way to remove the doubt about whether a dish that they order in a restaurant in France is homemade or not.

On your next trip to Paris, be sure to look for the “fait maison” logo when you dine out.

Bon appétit!

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Meet Alessandra and Olivier Montagne

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
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Alessandra and Olivier Montaigne

Alessandra and Olivier Montaigne
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

We’ve discovered Tempero, another fine restaurant that seems to have been overlooked by Anglophone restaurant reviewers. Operated by husband and wife team Alessandra and Olivier Montagne, Tempero is located near the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in the 13th arrondissement. Read our review in this month’s Le Bon Goût.

Le Bon Goût is a monthly feature of our newsletter, Paris Insights. To view a preview of the newsletter, click here.

Paris Insights is published monthly as a downloadable PDF file. It is available only to paid subscribers for an annual subscription fee of $30.

If you are not a paid subscriber and would like to download the newsletter, please click here. Enter promotional code 11473309154 to receive a $5 discount off the price of an annual subscription.

Bonne lecture!

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Meet Chef Nacer Melliti

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013
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Nacer Melliti

Nacer Melliti, Proprietor and Chef of Madame est Servie
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

We’ve discovered a fine restaurant that seems to have been overlooked by both Anglophone and Francophone restaurant reviewers. Read this month’s Le Bon Goût to learn about Madame est Servie and why we think that its chef, Nacer Melliti, is a rising star on the Paris culinary scene.

Le Bon Goût is a monthly feature of our newsletter, Paris Insights. To view a preview of the newsletter, click here.

Paris Insights is published monthly as a downloadable PDF file. It is available only to paid subscribers for an annual subscription fee of $30.

If you are not a paid subscriber and would like to download the newsletter, please click here. Enter promotional code 11473309154 to receive a $5 discount off the price of an annual subscription.

Bonne lecture!

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Meet Chef Edith Gnapié

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013
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Edith Gnapié

Edith Gnapié, Chef and Co-prorietor of Ohinéné Restaurant
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Last month we dined at Ohinéné, an Ivorian restaurant located in the 20th arrondissement. After a splendid meal there, we returned to interview the chef, Edith Gnapié, and her partner, Jean-Benoit Chauveau. Read our review of this establishment in this month’s Le Bon Goût, a monthly feature of our newsletter Paris Insights.

To view a preview of the newsletter, click here.

Paris Insights is published monthly as a downloadable PDF file. It is available only to paid subscribers for an annual subscription fee of $30.

If you are not a paid subscriber and would like to download the newsletter, please click here. Enter promotional code 11473309154 to receive a $5 discount off the price of an annual subscription.

Bonne lecture!

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We participate in Wanderfood Wednesdays. Head over there to explore food from around the world!

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Meet Michael D. Poole – Chocolate and Pastry Maker

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013
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Chef Michael D. Poole

Chef Michael D. Poole
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Michael D. Poole, firehouse chef from Seattle. He’s in Paris honing his skills on macarons, one of the products that he sells alongside his French chocolates back on the West coast.

Michael has been coming to Paris for a few weeks every year since 2000. He first came to study basic cooking at the Cordon Bleu and continued at that school year after year until he received the Grand Diplôme in 2003. He returns every summer to work with chocolate and pastry makers, learning new techniques and reviewing old ones. He has applied his skills to chocolate making and now sells French chocolates at six different retail outlets in Seattle, as well as on his Web site.

He recently began offering macarons at a couple of the retail outlets, hence his current interest in perfecting his macaron-making skills. This summer he is working at Pâtisserie Chocolaterie Pascal Pinaud on rue Monge, where he has learned to get the consistency he was seeking in his macaron batter (which consists of egg white, almond powder, and powdered sugar). He wanted his macaron shell to be a little bit firmer than what he’s been producing until now. Michael is a perfectionist in his craft and doesn’t stop until he gets it just right. Not that any of his customers back in Seattle were complaining, mind you!

Macarons

Michael’s Macarons
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Back in Seattle, Michael offers four different flavors of macaron to his customers: lemon, pistachio, coffee, and chocolate. He will soon add a fifth, orange. Hence, I purchased these five flavors, all of which he had made at Pâtisserie Chocolaterie Pascal Pinaud using Mr. Pinaud’s recipe. I took them home to try. Here are our tasting notes:

  • Lemon – mild, sweet lemon flavor
  • Pistachio – the almond in the macaron is more pronounced than the mild flavor of the pistachio.
  • Coffee – thick, creamy filling; relatively thin lower macaron shell.
  • Chocolate – this macaron felt heavy in the hand due to the density of the flavorful chocolate cream.
  • Orange – this was our favorite. A strong orange taste that reminded me of the Dreamsicle of my youth. My partner declared that it tasted like candied orange.

    All of the macarons had light but firm shells, which allowed us to pick them up without crushing the delicate crust. When bitten into, they were chewy. They all had a creamy filling.

    We think that Michael’s customers in Seattle will be pleased with the new orange flavor that he plans to introduce!

    Check out Michael’s Web site!

    And if you are in Paris, stop by Pâtisserie Chocolaterie Pascal Pinaud to try any of their nineteen different macaron flavors:
    70, rue Monge
    Tel.: 01.43.31.40.66

    Metro: Place Monge (Line 7)

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  • Meet Isabelle Bejidian, Owner and Chef of Le Resto

    Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013
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    Isabelle Bedjidian, Owner and Chef of Le Resto

    Isabelle Bedjidian, Owner and Chef of Le Resto
    Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

    Isabelle Bejidian, owner and chef of Le Resto, opened her restaurant on rue Tournefort four years ago. We dined there when it opened and have dined there several times since. Read our review of this little bistrot in this month’s Le Bon Goût, a monthly feature of our newsletter Paris Insights.

    To view a preview of the newsletter, click here.

    Paris Insights is published monthly as a downloadable PDF file. It is available only to paid subscribers for an annual subscription fee of $30.

    If you are not a paid subscriber and would like to download the newsletter, please click here. Enter promotional code 11473309154 to receive a $5 discount off the price of an annual subscription.

    Bonne lecture!

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    Meet Cyril Laï and Pascal Potin of Le Bistrot du Temple

    Wednesday, February 6th, 2013
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    Cyril Laï (Chef) and Pascal Potin (Owner)

    Cyril Laï, Chef, and Pascal Potin, Owner
    Le Bistrot du Temple

    Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

    Following a delicious dinner at the recently-opened Le Bistrot du Temple, we returned to meet the owner, Pascal Potin and the chef, Cyril Laï. Learn why we rave about this restaurant in this month’s Paris Insights.

    Paris Insights newsletter is published monthly as a downloadable PDF file. It is available only to paid subscribers for an annual subscription fee of $30.

    If you are not a paid subscriber and would like to download the newsletter, please click here. Enter promotional code 11473309154 to receive a $5 discount off the price of an annual subscription.

    Bonne Lecture…et Bon Appétit!

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    We participate in Wanderfood Wednesdays. Head over there to explore food from around the world!

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    Meet Alexis Chavance, Chef and Co-owner of La Table d’Orphée

    Wednesday, January 9th, 2013
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    Alexix Chavance, Chef of La Table d'Orphée

    Alexis Chavance, Chef of La Table d’Orphée
    Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

    We recently dined at La Table d’Orphée, a neighborhood restaurant whose lunchtime menu represents an exceptional value. Read our review of the establishment, meet the chef, Alexis Chavance, and learn about his talent for creative cooking in this month’s Paris Insights.

    Paris Insights newsletter is published monthly as a downloadable PDF file. It is available only to paid subscribers for an annual subscription fee of $30.

    If you are not a paid subscriber and would like to download the newsletter, please click here. Enter promotional code 11473309154 to receive a $5 discount off the price of an annual subscription.

    Bonne Lecture…et Bon Appétit!

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    We participate in Wanderfood Wednesdays. Head over there to explore food from around the world!

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