Plant-Based Cooking Class in the Loire Valley

A_turnip_pinzimonio Photo: Baby turnips with colza-oil pinzimonio, La Cucina di Terresa

"Cooking food, sharing it with others is a marvellous celebration of life: the subtle seasonal harmony of color, texture savor echoing a harmony of existence," writes Terresa Murphy, a founder of plant-based cooking school La Cucina di Terresa.  VINGT Paris readers are invited for a 4-day class that will take place in Saint Georges sur Cher in the Loire Valley from Thursday April 8 until Sunday April 11, 2010. The series includes a 5-night stay at the charming Le Moulin du Port Bed and Breakfast on beautifully wooded grounds set along the Cher River, a stone's throw from the famous chateau de Chenonceau. Le Moulin du Port hosts an impressive tuff-stone water wheel, the remaining vestige of an industrious mill built on the spot back in 1883.

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Restaurant Review: Les Enfants Perdus

Nick Forrester writing for VINGT Paris

Lese1With a number of new and well established restaurants along the canal, there is plenty of competition for the recently re-opened Les Enfants Perdus. The quality of all these restaurants gives a very good indication of what most of us have known for a while – that the canal-side area north of République is moving up in the world, but this restaurant seems to offer something a little bit different from the norm. 

Les Enfants Perdus is located just north of the canal on Rue de Recollets. It has three stylistically different areas – the bar/cafe, the restaurant and the conservatory – which provide a nice atmosphere that welcomes all, from students to professionals. With their lunchtime formule (15 euros) and plats (between 14-19 Euros), they are in competition with many of Paris’s mid-range brasseries, though in reality they are a fairly upmarket bistro/restaurant. 

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SLICK Conference: When Art Gets Its Appetite

Sarah Moroz writing for VINGT ParisImg_thiebaud_frostedfractions_lg

Art is a feast for the eyes, as they say. A SLICK conference this Saturday (October 24) at 14h is suggesting that feasting your the eyes is but step one of art's sensual experience. And thus there is Le Goût de l’Art: Slick Dessert, a conference that merges the two wonders of the world, namely food and art. A bevy of panelists will weigh in on the nuances and delights of taste, both in terms of "aesthetic taste" and "taste-bud taste". Those panelists include: Philippe Mayaux, a plasticien who's received the prix Marcel Duchamp and created dîners-événements with chef Pierre Gagnaire; Jean-Marie Hiblot, of the Plaza Athénée, who works amongst 25 pâtissiers under Christophe Michalak; Marc Brétillot, a culinary designer who teaches at l’Ecole Supérieure d’Art et de Design de Reims, where he’s created his very own culinary design research atelier; Hélène Samuel, of the Delicabar and the Café Salle Pleyel; as well as restaurateur Fabrice Lextrait. Art and food consultant (...how do you get that job??) Frédéric Adida will moderate the event. You might want to get there early; if anyone else in this city is half as gourmand as we are, it could be quite a crowd.

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Le Fooding Meets New York

Adina Fleming writing for VINGT Paris

Le foodingTwo weeks ago, Le Fooding held it’s first event in the United States with a benefit at P.S. 1 Contemporary Arts Center in Queens.  For New Yorkers, who love their burgers and noodle bars as much as any four-star restaurant, Le Fooding’s urban picnics might not be such a revolutionary idea. But as French chef Yves Camdeborde (of Le Comptoir du Relais) told me at September 25th's event: “New York has trends, but Paris has the quality.”  

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20 Puddings

ChezjanouPicture 1 1. Mousse au chocolat - Chez Janou, 4e
2. Tartelette citron - Carl Marletti, 5e
3. Crème brûlée - l'Impasse, 4e
4. Montblanc - Angélina, 1er
5. Crema Catalana - Cave Saint Gilles, 3e
6. Tiramisu - Chez Vincent, 19e
7. Gâteau au café - Café des Philosophes, 4e
8. Ile flottante - La Coupole, 14e
9. Lemon cheesecake - Da Rosa, 6e
10. Chocolat menthe marriage - Le Train Bleu, 12e
11. Mi-cuit au chocolat - Marty, 5e
12. Panacotta - Les Vitelonni, 3e
13. Eclair au chocolat - Carette, 16e
14. Macaron - Ladurée, 1e, 6e, 8e
15. Crêpe - Breizh Café, 3e
16. Flan nature - L'Autre Boulange, 11e
17. Baba au rhum - La Luna, 8e
18. Profiteroles - Julien, 1er
19. Fondant au chocolat - L'Emile, Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1er
20. Opéra - Picard (!)

Photo above features the mousse au chocolat Chez Janou, taken by silentwrath. Below, tartelette citron at Carl Marletti.

AMAP For Your Organic Veggie Baskets

Paniers AMAP, Associations pour le Maintien d’une Agriculture Paysanne, is a system of community-supported agriculture, which maintains a direct relationship between farmers in the Ile de France region and consumers in Paris.

Consumers sign a contract, committing to the purchase of a certain number and choice of fresh products (milk, eggs, poultry, bread, jams, apples, cheeses, etc.) to be collected on a weekly basis.

For this fall season, the AMAP in the 20th arrondissement has 50 new baskets (openings are hard to come by as the current AMAP groups are oversubscribed).

Prices range from 15 € for a 5 to 8Kg basket, and 10 € for a small one, to be distributed at the following locations: 3, place des Grès dans le 20ème, (65 rue des Haies in 20th starting Octobre 2009), and 179 rue de Charonne in the 11th. From 19h to 20h30.

To take part, you must submit a letter describing your intentions and desire to join, along with your name, phone number, address, arrondissement, and basket size. More information here.

NYC Part 2 - The Hunger and Other Stories

Susie Hollands writing for I V Y paris

New York city's shark-infested restaurant waters have dining establishments slashing prices (prix-fixe lunch at the Four Seasons Grill Room for $59, hello?) but it's keeping things interesting. Inventive use of local produce and innovative technique or just plain fads - pork belly - are imperative at the moment.  Has The Stanton Social's Chris Santos gone too far with the foie gras and PB&J (Peanut Butter and jelly) sandwich-tapas? I thought so until I bit into it...converted.  I doubt that will turn up chez Hélène Darroze on rue d'Assas anytime soon.

John_delucie_waverly_inn The Waverly Inn's Partner Chef, John DeLucie's memoir The Hunger pulls no punches and he recounts the ups and downs of the world's toughest restaurant amphitheatre. Currently many are closing but applications for new licenses have shot up 25% - go figure as they say here. The $55 Truffled Mac and Cheese at his (and Vanity Fair's Graydon Carter's) Waverly Inn is still going strong but they have tweaked their pricey wine list. Good job. For those of us used to France, it's eye watering to pay upwards of $12 a glass for (elsewhere) mediocre wine in the city. 

Apart from the Carte de Vins, decibels are quite frankly a major shock for those used to more tranquil, Parisian dining.  After a time, the famous French discretion is what I long for; popular restaurants are as loud as techno nightclubs in the 90's and on several occasions my voice gave out over the main course (hard to member that's an "entrée" here). It seems as though there is some pride to having overly loud conversations about everything from one's relationship to the state of one's bank account.

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NYC Part 1 - The Perfect Foil for Paris

Susie Hollands writing for I V Y paris

Picture 1

With a recent stay drawing to an end there is a bitter sweet quality about returning to France and not just because I'll have to swap Wholefoods mind-boggling aisles for dusty Franprix and Leader Price. 

I'll miss pleasantly passing the time of day with those in the service professions (about a weeks assimilation before I remembered this was common in other parts of the world than Paris).  Let's take the New Yorker's bistro du coin, Pastis. It looks exactly like every french bistro you may have ever have known or imagined, the McNally patina and creation of ambience is legendary.  From it's faux ciggie-yellowed ceiling to the scratched and battered toilet stall doors, (salvaged perhaps from a Montpellier chiotte ?) it would be better named Pastiche. 

In an eerie post-modern way it's better than any bistro I've been to in Paris for a good long while.  The serveurs are pleasing to the eye, rapid with one's order, funny and good humored.  A French Onion soup is hearty and reasonably priced. The bread baked at their Balthazar boulangerie is equally as fine as the ubiquitous Poilane. Lunch at $10 (or 7.50 euros) is excellent value. This includes a ring-side seat at the bar and chat with one's neighbouring diners, banter with the staff and a first-class view of the bustling theatre of the room and those working it - because it is a scene. I leave feeling full, satisfied and feeling I got great value for money. It doesn't happen to me often in Paris these days.

If you are hankering for the old-school Parisian service, toddle down to Nolita and Café Gitane. The sullen staff will happily ignore you and chat with their preferred local customers.

Le Grand Fooding d'Été

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

Fooding1 Every year, the Bureau of Fooding have been organizing the Grand Fooding d’Eté where all profits go to Action contre la Faim (Action against Hunger). If you're in Paris and have 10 euros to spare, head out to Domaine National de St Cloud for a great cause and a gastronomic delight.

For those outside of Paris, the event will also be taking place in Nice, Lyon, Strasbourg, Marseille and Toulouse. And for those in the US, the Fooding d'Amour will be coming to New York in September. More information here.

The Paris fooding goes from 12h to 16h. To avoid the await by your ticket in advance and get a coupe-file at your local Monoprix.

Grand Fooding d'été 2009 menu at the break.

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Pramil

Christiana Konstantinou writing for I V Y paris

Pramil-300-2 Rue du Vertbois is one of those little-known parisian streets that hide their gastronomic secrets so well. Meat lovers have certainly visited at least once L' Ami Louis, cherished hideout of many American Presidents and home of the largest and possibly best "cote de boeuf" in town -consequently sized and priced.

Amateurs of the Southern Hemisphere's equivalent have pushed more than once Anahi's door -yes, the building is still standing, the rib eye equally good and the time it takes to travel from the kitchen to your table still reminds you that it came all the way from Argentina after all.

Fewer are those, though, who have noticed a discreet and elegant facade on the opposite side, half a block down the road.

Whitewashed beams, soft lights and blooming orchids introduce you to the universe of Alain Pramil, master of the establishment that simply carries his last name. A handful of tables up front, a second one -almost unnoticed- in the back, nothing really prepares you for the gastronomic experience that's about to follow.

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