Chocolate & Zucchini newsletter // June 2017 edition
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• The manuscript for my upcoming cookbook Tasting Paris is fully edited, and the photos have all been shot by the amazing Nicole Franzen. We are now working on the layout of the book, and I will soon get the manuscript back from the copy editor whose job it is to make sure everything is straightened out. I am loving how it is taking shape, and I look forward to giving you a sneak peek soon. The book will be published in the US in the spring of 2018.
• I have been leading quite a few private walking tours this month — May is deservedly a popular month to visit Paris! I've had guests of all ages, children, students, chefs, teens, passionate cooks, cheese fiends, chocoholics, writers, dreamers, all of them Paris lovers. I get such a thrill out of showing them around, being their best Parisian friend, and sharing everything I know about French food culture, and how to make the most of every meal in the city. If you're planning a trip of your own, please get in touch and we'll discuss the possibilities.
• I returned to Champeaux for a wonderful dinner with friends from out of town. I love the space, under the new canopy of Les Halles, and the menu of renovated French classics, such as the steak au poivre above, which figures in my Tasting Paris book! I also have a version of their lemon spatchcocked chicken in there. Both have been hits with my recipe testers and I'm excited to share them with you when the book comes out.
• The Poilâne team has rebranded the Paris lunch counters from Cuisine de Bar to Comptoirs Poilâne and updated the menu to feature innovative recipes around their high-quality flours and grains, such as a delicious corn bread and a barley muesli. Don't worry, the tartines are not going anywhere, and naturally I love their avo toast, dubbed l'Australienne.
• My friend Catherine Taret released her first book called Il n'est jamais trop tard pour éclore (never too late to bloom) about late bloomers. It's a wonderful, inspiring account of her journey, with collages and photos and doodles. It will soon be published in English, but if you read French, I recommend it.
• As part of my monthly museum challenge, I visited not one, but two exhibitions in May: Le Pouvoir des fleurs at the Musée de la vie romantique, and Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting at the Louvre. The former served as a wonderful complement to the Jardins exhibition I told you about last month ; the latter was turned into a fascinating game of riddles by the wonderful Catherine Rosane, whose guided tours I love. Below, Flora caressed by Zephyr by François Gérard, and my humble Milkmaid, sketched at the Louvre.
• My poem of the month was a gift from a reader named Carl, who sent me a link to Rumi's poem The Guesthouse, translated by the American poet Coleman Barks. It is marvellous, I love everything about it, and it echoes much of what I've been sharing on my new podcast (in French), Change ma vie.
• In my recent study and memorization of poems, I've been interested to take note of the lines that jump up at me. In each poem, there's typically one that makes my heart swell as I read it, one that strikes a particular chord. I like to use these in my hand-lettering practice, as I have above. (If you want to get into hand-lettering yourself, I recommend Teela's Bounce Lettering and Fantastic Flourishes courses.)
(May 23, 2017)
I love pound cakes, or quatre-quarts* in French. As a child, I went through a phase of eating Breton pound cake for breakfast day in, day out. I’m talking about supermarket pound cake, baked in long yellow logs and wrapped in soft paper. I liked it on the stale side, […]
(May 16, 2017)
I want to preface this roasted cauliflower wedge recipe with one of the biggest lessons that having children has taught me, and it is: appreciation. Appreciation for them as budding humans and appreciation for their amazing father? Absolutely. Appreciation for my parents’ decades of parenting and for my dear friends’ […]
(May 9, 2017)
The official Meilleure Baguette de Paris competition was held last Thursday, and the 2017 winner of the Best Baguette in Paris award is (drumroll please) Sami Bouattour from Boulangerie Brun, a bakery that’s at 193 rue de Tolbiac in the 13th arrondissement (métro Tolbiac). The competition is held every year, […]
(May 2, 2017)
Mother’s Day is celebrated the second Sunday of May in North America. In France, it is the last Sunday in May. (Unless that falls on Pentecost Sunday, in which case it’s the first Sunday in June. Still with me?) In 2017, Americans will celebrate Mother’s Day on May 14; the […]