Archives for posts with tag: food

I’m sharing this post for the next time I head to London!

roam & home

Where in the world do you begin with a list for London, so many places, so little time. It has been a few years since I last visited and I am eager to return. I am headed there for two reasons: 1] I will be attending the Chowzter 2014 ‘Tastiest Fast Feasts in the World Awards’ & they have a fantastic 3 day line-up of events [see post below]; 2] I have added on a few days to spend with a good friend eating & drinking our way past & sometimes visiting London icons. Here is my list so far, lots of good stuff by Passport Delicious who lived in & truly loves London. Check out all the places that I have mapped on Bon Voyaging.

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  • Gymkhana – spied this in a magazine, sounds amazing, indian food, room looks lovely
  • Benares – I am sensing a theme – Indian – Michelin…

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Kale in Saint Lunaire & Dark Rye

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Photo credit: Kevin German

Back in November, I spent four days with a production team from Austin, LA and Paris to film a mini-documentary about The Kale Project for Dark Rye Online Magazine. Dark Rye, funded by Whole Foods Market, does seasonal stories about food, health, sustainability, design and social enterprise. I was extremely honored to have The Kale Project be chosen for their spring “Revival” issue.

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Photo Credit: Kevin German

Photo credit: Kevin German

Photo credit: Kevin German

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Photo Credit: Kevin German

As a former theatre person, I’ve never been camera shy but comfort in front of the lens only goes so far when you’re asked to dance with kale in the middle of Parisian streets or take action shots with kale at Trocadero. I kept reminding myself that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and to just enjoy it. The production team was incredible and we had a blast over the four days of filming. We hit up the Marché Batignolles, The Superfoods Café to make a few recipes, the streets of Paris and met up with Bruno Verjus at his restaurant Table to talk to him more about how he cooks with chou d’aigrette (another one of the beautiful names for kale in French!)

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For me the most exciting part of the filming was our day excursion to Saint Malo to meet up with Kale Project Ambassador, Virginie and her AMAP (for readers in America, AMAP is the equivalent of Community Support Agriculture (CSA)) farmer, Anthony who farms in Saint Lunaire. Virginie first contacted me over a year ago with interest to work with Anthony to grow kale for her region. After a lot of back and forth, Anthony planted the seeds this past summer and the kale was ready just in time for the film.

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I could not have been more excited to share this story with the team because it is how I always imagined the Project working out. I wanted to work with local, French farmers and then try to do more tastings and explanation at markets or AMAPs and that’s exactly what we did in Saint Lunaire. On a side note, this was also my first trip to Saint Malo and I can’t wait to return. Even with the cold, rainy, grey weather, the views and air were fantastic.

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For those that live in the Saint Malo area and are interested in this AMAP, it was created in February 2009 and is 100% bio. Anthony is the sole farmer and provides almost 90 baskets of vegetables and fruit each week to members who come from Saint-Lunaire, Dinard, Saint-Briac and more towns in the surrounding area. Anthony’s farm, called “Saveurs des Champs”, spans about four hectares. He has one employee but also relies on help from the members of the AMAP who come pick potatoes, peas, plant zucchini or more. In fact his chou fields were behind Virginie’s house (talk about easy access to kale!) Each member of the AMAP also helps at distribution evenings, which take place under the covered market place of Saint-Lunaire across from the old 11th century church. And, in addition, Anthony has orchards and produces organic delicious apple juice. He hoped to have bees, but this has proven very difficult but he wants to keep trying.

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Anthony does not stop with fruits and vegetables. He also has two traditional Brittany farming horses (Cheval de Trait Breton) which he is training to use in the fields, as well a vanishing breed of Brittany sheep (Moutons des Landes de Bretagne) which he is helping to bring back and sells for wool and meat. He sells his sheeps’ wool to a Brittany company that uses only wool from Brittany sheep. They make the clothes by hand and sell them in markets around the area. He also has a few Brittany goats (Chèvre des Fossés) to clear the brush from his fields.

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To help with the sheep, Anthony uses a large guard dog from the Pyrenees (who lives with the sheep) and then a small sheep-herding dog also from the Pyrenees named Ilka. Ilka turned out to the star of the day, jumping around and devouring kale for the camera.

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photo (21)

Everyone at the AMAP distribution was so friendly and excited to be a part of the film. And those coming to pick up their baskets were genuinely interested in learning about the lost cabbage and most of the responses to the kale chips were very positive. Honestly, my evening with everyone was by far one of my most memorable so far in France. I am so thankful to have worked with Virginie and Anthony and hope for more kale crops in the future.

To see the video click here.

 Hot off the press from Dirk Standen at Style.com:

Why the New Dover Street Market Is a Wake-up Call for the Retail Industry

January 6, 2014 11:09am

Dover Street Market NYIs this the end of shopping as we know it? That thought kept insinuating itself in my head in December as I navigated the busiest spending time of the year. The revolution has been brewing for a while, of course, but this was the holiday season when I reached a personal tipping point in terms of favoring e-commerce over bricks-and-mortar. The physical act of visiting a store has finally become too depressing: You have to deal with the crowds, there’s rarely a sense of intimacy or discovery, there’s never anything in the size you want, the shop assistants in even supposedly upscale stores manage to be pushy and ill-informed at the same time (why is the line “Can I help you?” always delivered with a vague sense of threat?), and just try finding a taxi afterward. Better to stay home and log on. Ironically, one of the reasons the best online retailers win out is that they deliver a level of good old-fashioned service that their real-world counterparts have lost: Delivery to your front door (just hours after you’ve ordered if you live in New York), the ability to try things on in the comfort and privacy of home, and the option to return what you don’t like, no questions asked. Hell, if I’m logged in, one of my favorite e-tailers will even change the logo at the top of their site to Mr. Standen. It’s the little things in life.

No, I decided I was done with shopping the traditional way. And then along came Dover Street Market. I went to the press opening of the new multi-retailer space owned and curated by Rei Kawakubo and her Comme des Garçons team on the Friday before Christmas. Then I went back again a week later just to make sure my original opinion hadn’t been skewed by the energy of opening night. On both occasions, I came away with the same impression: Dover Street Market has made shopping enjoyable, even enlightening again. How? I think there are a few key lessons that other retailers could study.

1. Shopping should be a social experience first, a transactional one second.
The decision to put Rose Bakery on the ground floor immediately to the right as you enter was probably dictated by the contingencies of the physical space, but it’s a fortuitous placement. There’s nothing new about having a café in a store, of course, but what’s key here is that it doesn’t feel like a separate entity but a seamless part of the experience. The array of baked goods and the communal dining tables spilling into the shopping area immediately create a sense of well-being and bonhomie. That continues throughout the market with its seven floors and Aladdin’s Cave-like warren of individual boutiques. You feel like you are having a good day out even before you think about buying anything. That sentiment is probably helped by the slightly out-of-the-way Murray Hill location.

2. Shop assistants are the new rock stars.
First of all, they look the part here. But even if they’re dressed cooler than you, they don’t have that cooler-than-thou attitude. They won’t force themselves on a customer, but if you ask for assistance, you’ll find they are not only helpful but passionate and knowledgeable about the stock. None of this happened by accident. The assistants at Dover Street Market were cherry-picked from other independent shops around New York, then put through a rigorous set of interviews. I used to give other retailers the benefit of the doubt and assume that it was simply impossible to find great store assistants. DSM has proved it can be done.

3. It’s all in the mix.
Dover Street Market has the best variety of merchandise that I’ve seen in a long time. It adheres to the same formula that Kawakubo and Co. use in their other outlets in London and Tokyo, but perhaps because of the conservatism of most New York stores, it stands out in greater contrast here. DSM stocks a rigorously edited selection from—to name just a few—high-end designers like Prada and Saint Laurent, street/sportswear labels like Supreme and Nike, and up-and-comers like Shaun Samson and Gosha Rubchinskiy, not to mention a handful of items from an old-school French naval outfitter. Instead of feeling like you’re seeing the same things you’ve been looking at for months online or in glossy ads, there’s a sense of surprise here. Other retailers might argue that this approach wouldn’t be commercial enough for them. All I can reply is that nearly the entire stock of Supreme had turned over in the few days between my first and second visits. And it raises a larger point. Perhaps as traditional retailers do more and more of their business via their digital platforms, physical stores should become showcases for their more experimental ranges and most exciting goods, places where you enchant and engage your potential customers while the hard selling gets done online.

4. And finally…
Judging by DSM’s concrete facade, the shopwindow as we know it is dead.

 

From PureWow….

 

PUMP-UP GUIDE

 

30 Reasons to get excited for 2014

 

  • January
  • 1/1 | The Affordable Care Act goes into effect. Guaranteed maternity coverage for all!
  • 1/5 | Downton Abbey Season 4 premieres on PBS. Lady Edith, we really think 1922 is going to be your year.
  • 1/13 | The buzz of the 2014 North American International Auto Show will be driverless vehicles, or cars that take over steering in tricky, congested situations.

  • February
  • 2/7 | The Winter Olympics kicks off in Sochi, Russia. Did you know that a 150-pound male figure skater can land a jump with the force of a 1,000-pound baby elephant?
  • 2/14 | The return of House of Cards on Netflix. Women everywhere wonder if they can pull off the Robin Wright pixie cut.
  • Nicolas Ghesquière for Louis Vuitton. Marc Jacobs is out, and the former Balenciaga designer is in. We’ve got our eye on him for Paris Fashion Week.
  • March
  • 3/2 | Ellen DeGeneres hosts the Oscars. Seth MacFarlane watches
    at home…alone.
  • The sleek, low ponytail: Your 2014
    go-to hairstyle.
  • April
  • Kate Moss’s Topshop collaboration hits stores. Fingers crossed it channels the ’90s blasé-grunge aesthetic (not the ’90s butterfly-clip aesthetic).
  • 4/22 | Neil Patrick Harris returns to Broadway to star in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. We always knew he was born to wear glitter eyeliner and a wig.
  • May
  • 5/6 | Food writer Ruth Reichl’s first novel, Delicious!, hits shelves. We’re hungry just thinking about it.
  • Four words: herb-infused ice cubes. (Think strawberry-basil and hibiscus-mint.)
  • All hail the boxy shift blouse. From Cynthia Rowley to Calvin Klein, this style was all over the spring ’14 runway. Pair with high-waisted pants to avoid showing the world your belly button.
  • June
  • 6/6 | Best-selling YA book The Fault in Our Stars gets the cinematic treatment. See it with your teenaged niece and sob the entire time.
  • 6/12 | Brazil hosts the World Cup. Americans claim to like soccer for 3.6 days.
  • July
  • The dessert of summer is the high-end ice cream sandwich. Coconut macaron with mango sorbet filling? Yes, please.
  • Our sources tell us that Adele’s new album–a.k.a. the sound track to everybody’s next breakup–is coming in July.
  • Get ready for Coin, a razor-thin, swipe-able piece of plastic that stores all of your credit cards in one place.
  • August
  • Gochujang (Korean fermented dipping sauce) is the new summer grill marinade.
  • High-Intensity Interval Training is the new CrossFit (which was the new Zumba).
  • Everyone who’s anyone will be vacationing in Macedonia.
  • SEPTEMBER
  • The USDA’s “Smart Snacks in School” law goes into effect, banning energy drinks and candy from public-school vending machines.
  • 9/25 | Girls fans line up to snag Lena Dunham’s essay collection, Not That Kind of Girl. Will it be worth the $3.7 million advance?
  • Hooray for bucket bags!

    More swingy in nature, this trendy purse is smaller than your average tote and offers the strap of a cross-body.

  • OCTOBER
  • 10/3 | OMG, Gone Girl is a movie. And OMG, it stars Ben Affleck.
  • Tina Fey returns to television–well, writing for television at least–with a new comedy about a woman who escapes from a doomsday cult. We’re already working on our night cheese.
  • NOVEMBER
  • We’re betting that Apple’s mysterious iWatch will be released before the holidays. Think Google Glass meets Fitbit meets your old-school Casio.
  • 11/4 | The midterm elections are here! Is a House/Senate changeover indicative of 2016? And which Fox News anchor will have an on-camera meltdown?

  • DECEMBER
  • Fewer men will suffer from cold heads this winter. Why? The FDA’s pending approval of a new cure for baldness.

  • 12/25 | It’s a hard-knock life once again, thanks to the long-awaited Annie remake starring Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz and the unpronounceably named child actress, Quvenzhané Wallis.

 

From the wonderful Hip Paris blog…

The Other Side of Montmartre: Coffee, Food and Shopping Off the Beaten Path

HiP Paris Blog, Café Lomi, Montmartre Round Up

Café Lomi

Paris’ 18th arrondissement, to the north of the city, is a vast and varied area, encompassing some of the most affluent enclaves (right up at the top of the hill) and some of the shadiest (La Goutte d’Or), as well as one of the city’s most frequented tourist spots — Le Sacre Coeur and the surrounding streets and squares in Montmartre.

HiP Paris Blog, www.larallonge.fr, La Rallonge, Montmartre Round Up

La Rallonge

But slightly off the beaten track is the more unassuming part of this neighborhood: the residential area in the foothills of Montmartre, extending from the arrondissement’s town hall – where I happen to have lived for the best part of a decade – which is well worth the detour to discover the lesser known shops, restaurants and more that the guide-book clutching hoards are yet to discover.

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HiP Paris Blog, Manufacture Parisienne, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round UpManufacture Parisienne (Kim Laidlaw)

Here is a selection of my favorite new and newish places that look set to make this part of the 18th a destination on any discerning visitor or local’s itinerary. Food in the area ranges from a quick bite and coffee right up to fine French dining.

HiP Paris Blog, Café Lomi, photo by Keith Isaacs of Forms+Colors, Montmartre Round Up

Café Lomi (Keith Isaacs)

The recent arrival of Café Lomi (3 ter Rue Marcadet, 75018 Paris), a serious coffee joint that roasts its own beans and hosts tasting sessions, brought much joy to local laptop-wielding freelancers who now regularly set up shop at one of the wooden tables in the cosy yet spacious café to enjoy superlative coffee, delicious scones and a selection of light lunch and brunch options (such as quiche and salad) whilst taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi access and laidback welcome.

HiP Paris Blog, Café Lomi, Montmartre Round Up

HiP Paris Blog, Bululu, Montmartre Round Up

Café Lomi (above)/ Bululu

Another relaxed – and cheap – place to grab a bite in the area is Bululu (20 Rue de la Fontaine du But, 75018), serving freshly made arepas, a Venezuelan sandwich made from gluten-free flatbread and filled with yummy delights such as avocado, beans and cheese, served with ice cold beer and banana chips.

HiP Paris Blog, Table d Eugene, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round Up

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Table d Eugene (Kim Laidlaw)

On the other end of the scale is Table d’Eugène (18 Rue Eugène Sue, 75018), the freshly revamped gastronomic restaurant where you can eat a three-course fixed-price menu of French haute cuisine for the incredibly reasonable price of just €52.

HiP Paris Blog, Manufacture Parisienne, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round Up

Manufacture Parisienne (Kim Laidlaw)

Chef Geoffroy Maillard, formerly of Le Bristol, creates inspired seasonal dishes such as lobster with vanilla, chestnuts and mushrooms, matched with carefully sourced, independently-produced wines, all savored in this intimate restaurant tastefully decorated in soothing tones of chocolate and white.

HiP Paris Blog, La Rallonge, Montmartre Round Up

La Rallonge

From the same team comes the recently opened wine and tapas bar La Rallonge (16 Rue Eugène Sue, 75018), just a few doors up from Table d’Eugène, serving the same excellent wines as well as a selection of small plates to share, all anchored around the high quality of individual ingredients, including Serrano ham croquettes with onions and béchamel, or truffle risotto, as well as cheese and charcuterie platters showcasing delicacies such as bellota, coppa and manchego.

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HiP Paris Blog, La Rallonge, Montmartre Round Up

La Rallonge

This part of town is also a real gold mine for independent boutiques, including the charming Manufacture Parisienne (93 rue Marcadet, 75018) that seems to have jumped out of the pages of a fairy tale.

HiP Paris Blog, Manufacture Parisienne, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round Up

Manufacture Parisienne (Kim Laidlaw)

The almost entirely white space sells an array of artisan-made wares and gifts for children, adults and the home, sourced from family-run businesses and companies clinging to their savoir-faire, and often produced in limited editions especially for the shop. Every six weeks there is a new theme (Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Halloween…) and the stock and the décor change, and a new little box of goodies (including, for example, stationary, a book, sweets) in keeping with the theme goes on sale.

HiP Paris Blog, Manufacture Parisienne, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round Up

HiP Paris Blog, Manufacture Parisienne, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round Up

Manufacture Parisienne (Kim Laidlaw)

Another new boutique is Maison Nordik (159 Rue Marcadet, 75018), set up by a young French-Danish couple, selling vintage mid-century modern Scandinavian furniture in excellent condition sourced directly from Denmark in a spacious 100m2 two-level shop. Just up the hill, eccentric French brand Atypyk (17 rue Lambert, 75018) sells quirky and humorous knick knacks ranging from a cheese-shaped dish sponge to an “R.Mutt” sticker to turn your loo into a Duchamp-inspired work of art.

HiP Paris Blog, Maison Nordik, Manufacture Parisienne, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round Up

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Maison Nordik & Manufacture Parisienne (above) / Maison Nordik (Kim Laidlaw)

Les Mauvaises Graines (25 Rue Custine, 75018) is an incredibly stylish plant shop – or indeed “urban gardening concept store”, as it calls itself – selling framed butterflies, vases and candles alongside ready made potted gardens to take away, and beautiful plants grown in the Paris region without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers.

HiP Paris Blog, Les Mauvaises Graines, Montmartre Round Up

HiP Paris Blog, Les Mauvaises Graines, Montmartre Round Up

Les Mauvaises Graines

 

Another recent addition to this side of Montmartre is the completely renovated 1920s building that is the Louxor cinema (170 Boulevard de Magenta, 75010), complete with its impressive mosaicked neo-Egyptian architecture, which reopened in April 2013 after 20 years of closure. The vast movie theatre houses three screens, one of which has a ceiling painted with a night-sky mural in the style of an Egyptian tomb, and specializes in art house films.

HiP Paris Blog, La Rallonge, Montmartre Round Up

La Rallonge

These new and/or revamped delights, together with an authentic, neighborhood charm and so many other wonderful fixtures that I don’t have the space to mention, make this part of the 18th arrondissement a worthwhile, up-and-coming (and yet to be overrun) destination in Paris for shoppers, foodies, coffee addicts and culture lovers alike. I look forward to bumping in to you there, sometime.

HiP Paris Blog, Maison Nordik, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round Up

Maison Nordik (Kim Laidlaw)

Related links:

  • Ylenia takes us on a stroll around Montmartre, which just happens to be one of her favorite neighborhoods
  • Want to see more of the cozy Café Lomi? Paris Select has also payed a visit to the coffee gem
  • Don’t miss Thomas article for the HiP Paris blog about Centre Commercial, another great shopping spot in Paris

I am reblogging this post since I’m off to the National Pop Culture conference in April 2014…can’t wait to visit Chicago again! If anyone has other suggestions, send them my way…

roam & home

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Here is our take on our favorite haunts in the Lincoln Park & Lakeview neighborhoods. It is just our 2 cents on what we think you should put on the EAT | SEE | STAY list. Have fun exploring our handsome city.
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We love these hilarious banners. Check them all out over here.

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  • Alinea – It will send you home broke – but the guy is a genius. Fine-dining, so wear something fancy and be prepared to be blown away. It’s art on a plate. [R&H review]
  • Balena – Great italian food from wood fire oven thin crust pizza to pasta to , a great bar, and the interior is spot on [R&H review].
  • Bar Pastorl  – When a cheese shop that sold wine turns into a bar – perfection.
  • Browntrout – BYOB sustainable dining. The cheese plate rocks it for me : )
  • Chez Moi

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eclairsparis

I found these lovely articles about eclairs in Paris from the blogs “Lost in Cheeseland”  and “the hip Paris blog”, which I will share momentarily, but what got to me was the fact that even the Parisians, who are known for doing things a particular way, have taken off down the American path of derivatives…you can’t just have a donut, it has to be a cronut, or a Monut, or some fancy jacked up flavor, like chocolate chai.  Now the Parisians are doing the same thing with eclairs, and I’m really not sure I’m ready for such a seismic shift in culture, nor a yuzu flavored sweet…

We Americans have been practicing the craft of derivatives for a very long time (Baskin Robbins 31 flavors anyone?) but the French…mais non!! How do you feel about this overabundance of choice?

The New Wave of Eclairs in Paris

 

eclair de genie

 

French pastry remains a fierce object of fascination but these days, more for the ways in which it breaks with convention than its storied past.  The most iconic in this vast spectrum is unequivocally the éclair, firmly anchored in the national consciousness and a consummate favorite among children and adults alike.

Despite its status as the most preferred pastry among French gourmands, the éclair has rarely inspired the imaginations of pastry chefs who have long perceived its simple form too limiting. But that’s beginning to change with the arrival of two shops entirely devoted to the cream-puff pastry, prepared to usher it into the canons of contemporary French pâtisserie.

L’Eclair de Génie plays up the éclair as an epoch-defining work of art in a concept-store environment (and has since its founder Christophe Adam was revolutionizing the pastry for Fauchon) while L’Atelier de l’Eclair introduces a savory form of the classic treat in addition to their many sweet iterations.

wrote about both for En Route Magazine (Air Canada) but what I didn’t mention was my personal favorite. By dint of crafting each éclair by hand, irregularities in the shells are noticeable at L’Atelier de l’Eclair and they’re fiercely proud of their artisanal approach, which I love. But Christophe Adam’s prowess in aesthetic, flavor and form trumps all of pastry chef Loïc Bret‘s creations. Flavors change with the seasons, like a fashion collection, but a two regulars get my vote: Madagascar Vanilla topped with toasted pecans and Yuzu Lemon.

Read more about the two and decide for yourself on your next visit to Paris! Click HERE to read my article on En Route.

And from the Hip Paris blog, read about a smackdown between the two revered eclair shops mentioned above…

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What do you think on the topic? Like it, hate it, can’t decide?