Friday, May 29, 2015

Paris Fete des Meres

I've been looking around town for signs of French Mother's day (les fetes des meres). At BHV I got up so close and personal to this sign I knocked over a stack of Nina Ricci perfume boxes. Ooops.
These are called 'Les Delices de Nina'. Click and watch a fun video.
At the time I didn't notice this box had a PARIS MAP on it. Now that I'm stricken with serious Map-o-mania, I regret not scooping it up for research purposes... Mille Merci dear PBers for signing on for the new map letters!!
It's predictable to give mom chocolates and/or flowers. In Paris you can give your maman edible mini flower pots filled with praline.
Naturally there are plenty of gorgeous roses waiting to greet mom.
A queen maman in black and white stripes.
Angelina has a giant chocolate vase full of chocolate flowers.
Last Monday Solli took me to a 'Dior' tea at the Mandarin Oriental hotel. The tiny exquisite mignardises are based on new Dior perfume scents.
The tea will be on till June 6. Do eat lunch before going (!)
I forgot....fatal error.
The day before we went to the newest, hottest patisserie in town up in Montmartre - Gilles Marchal, formerly much revered top chef at La Maison du Chocolat, has opened his own divine shop. *This is a Must-Visit. And just a short walk from Metro Abbesses. 9 rue Ravignon 75018
His décor theme is the madeleine.
With traditional scallop-shaped madeleines as well as the puffy ones we love so well.
Miam miam
We didn't go hungry here :)
Before stopping in we visited the Spring annual Perigord a Montmartre around Sacre Coeur. No shortage of home-grown strawberries here. Just 2 euros a pop.
We bought a couple big boxes of berries too. You can not eat too many strawberries in France when they are in season.
Love this Mother's day chocolate heart melting in a sunny window.
Today I saw this new mom and dad helping their toddler walk.
HAPPY FRENCH MOTHER'S DAY to all moms out there.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

You've Got Paris Maps!

Do you get lost in Paris?
My first year after moving to Paris I got lost all the time.
As an inveterate map collector (I don't drive, just collect maps) I dreamed of someday creating my own Paris maps.
A Paris dish towel map (from Un Dimanche a Paris - 14 euros) is an essential for the map-obsessed.
I've flirted with this goofy biscuit map box (Paris version in Monoprix) for way too long. Have you?
Another goofy map online shows charcuterie floating round l'ile Saint Louis.
Longed for La Mere de Famille's illustrated map of Paris candy box forever.
Caramel maps of France hold a special place in my heart. Too special. I broke a filling last week eating a caramel. If you need a good Parisian dentist let me know - Dr. Michel Krumholz is your man.
On occasion I've drawn some Paris maps.
Even Paris macaron maps.
After 9 months of trial and error I'm thrilled to share a NEW subscription letter in my Etsy shop - PARIS STREET MAPS! .
Ta Da!
May's map is rue du Cherche-Midi - a street I could never spell until 8-10 visits doing map research.
Did you know major French star Gerard Depardieu owns a fish store on rue du Cherche-Midi? You might catch a glimpse of him if you follow my map.
Where can you get the perfect light Frenchie bistro lunch after browsing/shopping at Le Bon Marche?
On rue du Cherche-Midi merely a block away of course.
Early stages of creating the Paris maps proved a nightmare of sorts...ahem.
Moving right along.
Finding the right typography for a map is no piece of cake.
Falling in love with curly French ecriture was a Big mistake.
The boys at the copy shop (Team PB) said I needed more guys on the map = The perfect Dad's day gift!
Do you love Paris Maps?
Do you have a favorite street I should walk down and discover for you? PLEASE tell all in the comments.
Included in the printed Paris map letter will be a tip sheet with shopping and eating suggestions. Nearby Metro stations indicated.
I hope you'll have as much fun as I am rediscovering Paris!
Cheers Carolg

Friday, May 22, 2015

Taste of Paris - Grand Palais

Last night was the major foodie event opening of TASTE OF PARIS at Grand Palais.
Get ready to graze from France's top chefs and purveyors.
14 stations serving tasting bites from master chefs.
Alain Ducasse, top chef and head honcho of the event confers.
Whilst the line chefs rush to produce.
The last real and true jambon de Paris, Le Prince - a must-taste.
Saffron from the Vallee de la Vienne. No need to go to Persia.
Divine oils from Huilerie Beaujolaise with intense flavors of pistachio and hazelnut, used only to dress food, so delicate.
Did you know ketchup is hot, hot, hot in Paris? You can put it on just about anything and it comes in a variety of flavors here. From Oliviers & CO created by 'Goth' chef Olivier Streiff.
I bought a bag of fleur de sel salt from the Les Sauniers de l'Ile de Re - a place I am dying to visit.
Sausage tastes
An eating game - try eating with your opposite hand or blindfolded from Jeux de Degustation. Very fun to watch.
The perfect companion at a tasting - food designer and cookbook author, Coco Jobard. There is almost no one Coco doesn't know in the food world. Here she inspects the best kitchenware on the planet. Cristal will last as long as you do says Coco.
We try NOGLU cupcakes. Tastes yummy. How do they do it?
Can't remember what these are exactly but they look good from Benoit Castel of Liberte. Coco says I must go taste his cream tarts.
The Laurent-Perrier Champagne was flowing but we needed to keep our wits about us and abstained.
Loved this giant poster of a traditional French bistro.
We did get to taste this foamy concoction from restaurant Kei. Stir it up before eating. Wonderful with hints of sesame oil. Otherwise very mysterious.
The deal is you buy giton coins before entering. Then get on line at 14 tasting stations.
Master chef Joel Robuchon in attendance. Other chefs presenting mini plates of their famous food through Sunday: Francis Fauvel, Kei Kobayashi, Stéphanie Le Quellec, Jean-Louis Nomicos, David Rathgeber, Guy Savoy, Pierre Sang, Frédéric Simonin, Frédéric Vardon.
The piece de resistance to cleanse our palates (several times) was Giolito gelato from pastry chef Gilles Marchal (formerly top chef at La Maison du Chocolat FYI).
He has a new patisserie in Montmartre, 9 rue Ravignan 75018 and I haven't been yet. This is obligatory. The pistache, mangue, caramel flavors were out of this world.
Stepping out of the Grand Palais on to the Champs-Elyseese at night is also out of this world.
TASTE OF PARIS will be on through 24 May.