May 26, 2018

Tasting Paris with 100 recipes

Tucked away on rue du Général Camou near the Eiffel Tower, lies the American library unknown to most tourists, but deeply embedded in the hearts of expats from dozens of countries, not just the United States, who sometimes need to read and think in English. A quarter of its 2,500 members are French, in fact, drawn to the library’s Anglophone-friendly 120,000-book collection.

Compared with other Parisian' libraries, it is a quiet, uncrowded oasis offering two to three special events every week, including children’s programs, book groups and author lectures. Rarely do I venture down to this historical site but last week their guest lecturer was bound to provide a refreshing view on demystifying the art of French cooking. How could I resist a free evening of discussion around Paris and food!?


Not only is the author of "Tasting Paris" a French food writer she is the mind behind the award-winning Chocolate & Zucchini blog. In 2010 this was the first French foodie blog I subscribed to when news hit that we were about to move to Paris! I love Clotilde Dusoulier's approach to food as it is all about fresh, simple, seasonal foods from her picturesque Paris kitchen.

With a visiting girlfriend from Switzerland in tow we sat down in the newly renovated lecture hall of the American library and let ourselves be mesmerised by one of Paris' most famous foodie bloggers presenting her latest cookbook "Tasting Paris: 100 Recipes to Eat Like a Local", and sharing her perspective on Parisian cuisine, food writing, and French food culture.

Featuring classic recipes like Roast Chicken with Herbed Butter and Croutons, and Profiteroles, as well as newer dishes that reflect the way Parisians eat today, such as Ratatouille Pita Sandwich with Chopped Eggs and Tahini Sauce and Spiralized Zucchini Salad with Peach and Green Almonds the author made it sound like child's play to bring the flavours and allure of this favorite culinary destination to everyone's very own kitchen.

Now, all I need to do is start cooking... my family will be delighted!

May 24, 2018

A Taste of Paris

My first encounter with Taste of Paris was not a happy one last year but rather than dwelling on it, I whole-heartedly gave the organization a piece of my mind. Turns out, they listened!

So a year later, I am holding two VIP tickets allowing my friend and I not only fast-track, free access to sample the finest in French cuisine in the magical setting of the Grand Palais but complimentary champagne on top of it with a bird's eye view from the mezzanine! Ca c'est la vie d'une Parisienne!

Taste of Paris is a place of encounters and live demonstrations encapsulated in a friendly atmosphere conducive to mingling, exploring, and exchanging ideas of artisans and producers. The event samples some of the most delicious food in taste-size signature dishes served by a stellar line up of Paris’s latest, greatest and most exciting world-class chefs at their pop-up stands.

We were lucky since Friday seemed to be a rather quiet day compared to the usual frenzied and overcrowded Paris' happenings. The event attracted 28'000 visitors over 4 days last year! Without too much queuing we got a chance to experience today’s most sought-after chefs offering us a gourmet experience to remember. Whether Michelin-starred, trend setting or future young talents did not much matter to me, I was guided by the dishes that were on offer and boy I was not disappointed.


Welcome to Taste of Paris


Heading towards the mezzanine but not without stopping chez Alain Ducasse first.


 Now, this monument can compete with the Eiffel Tower!


Pierre Sang Boyer, a rather gothic chef?!?


Who can name these Japanese ingredients?


Chef Kei Kobayashi serving...


... Mini burger de boeuf Wagyu, sauce teriyaki, condiments épicés.


Alain Solivérès proposing Epeautre du Pays de Sault cuisiné comme un risotto, homard et curry


Too temping not to move on to dessert.


Who can resist the taste of Ritz Paris?


All the apprentices are working hard to produce...


... La Barquette caramel, biscuit croustillant, caramel crémeux et mouse légère au caramel.


Ferrandi, Ecole Francaise de Gastronomie, is concocting...


... Pavlova fraise framboise with a gold dust finish!


Frederic Anton's team came up with Le Citron comme une tarte, meringue croustillante, sorbet basilic.


Bruno Doucet seduced us with Riz cuit au lait et à la vanille comme le faisait ma grand-mère, caramel laitier.


One last flûte de champagne for the way....

May 20, 2018

A romantic Royal Wedding

Last time I watched a Royal Wedding I was a teenager sitting on a camping chair staring into a tiny little TV hanging over the camping supermarket's cash register surrounded by Italians who were cheering Diana on while she walked down the isle. It was 1981.

Fast forward and today her little boy Harry is tying the knot. I am sitting in my Parisian flat surrounded by my family (Italian) who cannot keep quiet even though I am pleading with them to let me listen to the commentators.

Switching between BBC and CNN it turns out the latter just can't get their facts straight, how could they... Royal etiquette and British tradition is a complex labyrinth... but at least they should know that there is a bride and groom's side of the congregation!

So back to BBC and I am glued to the TV for the rest of the day along with two billion other viewers across the globe.

The church flower decoration was spectacular, the gospel choir amazing and... the eclectic American bishop saw his door to fame open and catapulted himself through it. I just wish BBC would have shown more of the Royal's reaction... for a Brit with a good sense of humour those 15 minutes were priceless and cringing at the same time.

Every wedding dress should have a story and Megan's touch was my favourite detail of their romantic wedding. Her stunning Royal Wedding dress was complimented by a veil steeped in British history and symbolism. The five meter long veil made from silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers in silk threads and organza made tribute to her mother-in-law the Queen, by symbolising all 53 nations included within the Commonwealth.

Lesotho was represented by a spiral aloe, Bangladesh was symbolised by a white-water lily and Grenada had a bougainvillea. Australia was represented by golden wattles, and Nigeria had a yellow trumpet. England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland were respectively represented by a rose, a daffodil, a flax flower and a thistle.

In addition to the flora of the Commonwealth, Megan also selected two personal favorites. Symmetrically placed at the very front of the veil, crops of wheat are delicately embroidered and blend into the flora, to symbolise love and charity...

...and yes she DID curtsy to the Queen as she left the chapel only you can barely see because some genius decided on a wide shot!

(Source:Supplied)

May 19, 2018

Las Dalias Hippie market

Back in the Sixties, the paradisiacal beauty of Ibiza attracted a large community of hippies and artists from all over the world, searching for the perfect place to create and express their art. Slowly but surely, these artists started meeting up to exchange and sell their creations, and thus were born the hippy markets in Ibiza.

Las Dalias must be the most famous one. A colourful, eclectic and vibrant market full of local fashion, handcrafted leather, funky art, unique decor, amazing jewellery and plenty of quirky "solo en Ibiza" finds... all bathed in a distinct aroma of sandalwood incense!

The story goes that Las Dalias started back in 1954, when a local man opened a dancehall and held the opening party on November 4th. It’s was the day of the patron saint of Sant Carles, the town in which Las Dalias is held and it wasn’t until the 80’s that it became an official Hippy Market.

Joan Mari continued to throw parties at what soon became a restaurant and local facility for weddings, baptisms, and all kinds of local events. They became so legendary that even Bob Marley is said to have eaten at Mari’s table – followed of course by a spontaneous jam session.

31 years after Joan Mari began bringing the local community together under his dancehall roof, a small market was opened. It was Valentine’s Day, 1985 and there were just five stalls. Today, the markets hosts over 200 stalls and on some days receives over 20,000 visitors…

Authenticity, especially in an island such as Ibiza, is difficult to account for. And nowhere is the question of authenticity more apparent than in the hippy markets that dot the island.

Some might think Las Dalias is an assault on the eyes but I love it! Bright colours aren’t just woven into the folk dresses but into the canopies of each stall. The Ibizan sun, when it can find a gap in the canopies, is refracted in the mirrors set up for shoppers to try on jewellery and headbands. Turqoises, pinks, oranges, teals and sandy yellow tones crowd the edges of each walkway.

So next time I come to Ibiza, I’m coming with an empty bag and spending my first day at Las Dalias buying clothes for the rest of the trip”


Authentic since 1954


Dream catchers in Ibiza's fetish colour


Flower power all the way


If I were 20 years younger!!!


What time does Happy Hour start I wonder?!?


I am taking this chair home for my kitchen!


Cuteness in every nook and cranny.


Ibiza vibes 


Which part of the body are you suppose to put these?!? 


As hippie as it gets...


Flashback to the 1970s


Local hang out


Stalls cramped under and around the trees.


This cookbook has my name written all over it!


Seriously wondering about the ingredients?!?


The most traditional stall of all.


Happiness comes in many colours!


Just look at his hair!!!


A lady who has probably been around since the beginning!


How can you resist?


We are alone happy family in Ibiza.


Las Dalias own groovy music playing in the background.

May 16, 2018

Colours of Ibiza

The best thing about the month of May are all the long weekends. May 1st is Labour Day, May 8th is Victory Day, May 10th marks Ascension and May 21st is Whitsun. Well, if ever I needed an excuse to escape in search of some sunshine... follow me and discover the colours of Ibiza!


We call this bay "the Pool"


Mojitos to celebrate the weekend ahead!


Hiking across the plains admiring the hues of blue and green.


Too early for the locals.


No coffee...


... before church service.


Learning the lingo.


Minimalistic architecture


Hippie spirit in Ibiza


Sunset vibes
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...