I heart the French edition of ELLE. It is my weekly Monday morning joy, my favorite reading material for solo lunches and bubbly baths, and I hate it when Mondays are a holiday, because it means no mail and hence no ELLE. I even found a way to subscribe when I lived in the US: each issue cost me the price of a small piece of jewelry and the delivery was more than sketchy — I would go without for weeks at a time and then four issues would arrive simultaneously — but it was a delicious breath of Parisian air in my California mailbox.
The French edition is quite different from the foreign ones I’ve seen: it is slimmer but less futile, if you can say that about a woman’s magazine, with a richer content that’s not just about runway shows and the perfect way to pluck your eyebrows. It has all that stuff, yes, but with a nice dose of cultural, political, and current affair topics thrown into the mix.
In light of this, you can imagine how happy I was when their food editor offered that I contribute to their special edition on cooking. Um, let me think… okay! I was asked to come up with a menu that would be chic, facile et mode (chic, easy, and trendy) — a bit of pressure can’t do you no harm — and I chose to go with a flower theme:
Once I had created, tested, and written the recipes, they were styled by the in-house food stylist Valérie Lhomme, and shot by Edouard Sicot. As a bonus, I got to attend the photo shoot — always a fascinating experience — which took place in a studio just a few blocks from my apartment, an extremely convenient location when you happen to be wrapping up some manuscript or other.
So if you find yourself within walking distance of a French press kiosk between today and Sunday with 2.30€ in your pocket, might I suggest you spend them on this issue? In addition to my own recipes (page 126), you will find an all-strawberry menu by my friend Pascale, ten more pages on the new trends of food and cooking, a mini-guide to the Parisian food scene, and of course, all the regular sections of the magazine.
And if you can’t find the French ELLE where you live, let me grieve with you for a minute, before asking you to stay tuned: the English translation of my recipes will be published on C&Z this Wednesday.