Reminder! WBW13: Like Wine For Chocolate

Like Wine For Chocolate

As previously announced, I will be hosting the 13th edition of Wine Blogging Wednesday on September 7th, with the theme Like Wine For Chocolate.

So! You have just five days to bake a luscious smooth chocolate cake, pick a delicious wine to complement magnify enhance it, and write all about it!

More details can be found here, and don’t forget to send me an email with a link to your entry once you’ve posted it.

A Sandwich for Dessert

Le Club-sandwich Framboise et Crème de Gianduja

[A Sandwich for Dessert]

“Un Sandwich pour le Dessert” is a project I worked on for Fraîch’Attitude, a Parisian gallery that specializes in Eat Art. Eat Art is an offshoot of ephemeral art that uses food as its primary material: some of the exhibitions are actually edible and are meant to disappear into the visitors’ stomachs, to be recreated the next day.

The gallery just opened a new exhibition yesterday around the theme Picnic, and a couple of months ago I was asked to submit something (“anything! you decide!”) for the exhibition’s catalog, which also serves as a cahier de style — a reflection of current trends and inspirations.

I decided to create visual recipes for four simple dessert sandwiches, easy to make and easy to pack, for a colorful picnic on a nearby patch of grass or on the floorboards of your living-room. (Click on the names to view the recipe.)

Le Club-sandwich Framboise et Crème de Gianduja: sandwich bread + gianduioso (or nutella) + raspberries = raspberry and gianduioso club-sandwich.

Le Sandwich Petit Beurre à la Fraise: strawberries + petit suisse + butter cookies = strawberry cookie sandwich.

Le Petit Pain Amandes et Mirabelles: plums cooked with a little sugar + toasted almonds + a mini loaf of bread = plum and almond mini-bread.

La Brioche Figue et Citron: lemon curd + a pretty brioche + figs = fig and lemon brioche.

Salon Saveurs, Spring 2005


Last Saturday I attended the Salon Saveurs, a food show focusing on (mostly French) artisanal products, where producers come to talk about and sell their products, most of them offering samples.

Long-time readers may remember about my visit to last year’s Spring edition, during which I first met a few C&Z readers who have now become good friends of mine, and with whom we organize potluck dinners every now and then. This time it was a smaller group of us — Alisa, Meg, her baby-boy Kieran and myself. Learning from experience I knew to bring a tote bag to carry my purchases, and this is what I filled it up with.

– A 1.5 kg crate of Bonnottes potatoes from Noirmoutier, previously featured here as The Rolls Royce of Potatoes. I didn’t really need 1.5 kg (they only keep for ten days in the refrigerator) but my heart yearned for the cute crate (no idea what I’ll do with it, but that’s not the point is it?), and I thought we would share the potato goodness with our neighbors — which we did that very night, steaming about a kilo of them and eating them in their naked perfection, with just a touch of fleur de sel.

– A bottle of Balsamix, a reduction of balsamic vinegar from the Mille et Une Huiles stand. This is a super thick and aromatic syrup to use as a decoration (it comes in a convenient squirt bottle), to top desserts (ice-cream, pancakes, strawberries..) or to pair with something savory — I’m thinking goat cheese or sheep’s milk cheese.

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2005 Independant Food Festival: “Baking Sugar with the Most Personality”

Baking Sugar with the Most Personality

Today is the 1st annual edition of the Independant Food Festival and Awards and I am honored to be a member of the jury. The truly original and exciting idea of these awards, brought to us by, is that each of the 30 jury members created one award (as focused and specific as s/he wished) and determined who should receive it. This results in a delightfully eclectic collection of awards, each of them a reflection of one food enthusiast’s individual taste, passion and/or obsession. As a whole, they draw a fascinating and mouth-watering landscape of today’s world of excellent food and drink.

Taste EverythingArmed with my own personal award, I chose to recognize the Baking Sugar with the Most Personality, and I am happy to announce that the winner of this award is Destination Sucre – Brut de Canne Roux Clair, as selected and sold by the Centre de Caféologie, a company based in Bordeaux, France.

This is a light brown cane sugar (the literal meaning of roux is red-haired and clair means light), organic (grown without chemicals and manually harvested) and unrefined (the juice extracted from the sugar cane is minimally processed so the natural flavor and nutrient components stay right where they are), and purchased from an azucaria in Paraguay, according to the rules of fair trade and under the Max Havelaar certification.

So. A sugar with morals. I like that. But more importantly, this is far and away my favorite sugar for baking: its delicate golden crystals give out not just their elegant sweetness, but also their complex toasted aroma — caramel and resin and exactly what you think gold should taste like — and the perfect dose of tooth-teasing crunch.

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Honored and Blushing in Food Blog Land

Kate has now unveiled the complete results of the 2004 Food Blog Awards and well, I am the lucky recipient of four awards: Best Writing, Best Recipes, Best Site Design and Best Overall Food Blog. Wow. I am thrilled to pieces, incredibly flattered, and just generally extatic. And grateful.

I remember very clearly the night when I decided to create my food blog, during a conversation with Maxence at a Japanese restaurant. I had been thinking about it for a while, wanting to follow in the footsteps of my favorite bloggers (they know who they are), but I was hesitant because I thought it may be too time-consuming and I was afraid I would quickly run out of things to write about. It turns out I got the first part right (oh the endless hours spent grooming and maintaining and caring for this blog!), but thankfully I don’t see the second one happening anytime soon: food seems to be a bottomless source of renewable energy and inspiration, and I generally have way more things to write about that time to do so.

So I came up with a name (during a private brainstorming session on a bus — and how I wish I had kept the paper on which I scribbled down the options!), I set up the blog on our home server, and started posting away. Little by little, to my great surprise and delight, the traffic grew, as the number of kind emails and media mentions.

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