Working at a restaurant is fun. It’s back breaking and can get exhausting, but fun. I love handling meat and seafood, and enjoy the service hour rush. But then, I also love the time when we’ve cleaned up after lunch service and make salted Bordier butter kouign amann. It’s a bit of a see-saw when I’m put in a spot to pick one over the other, but I’m not ready to pick a side, not just yet.
I cleaned two buckets of squid at the restaurant, got squirted in the eye with its black ink, and to remember it all, drew a little step-by-step to show the process. I hope you find it useful!
Paris has a funny knack of exceeding your expectations over and over again. Each time I think I’m content with my local outdoor food market (last week’s highlight was discovering a farm stand that sells pear juice), the city surprises with something even better. And so, I fall head over heels in love with Paris once again, and I wonder if I could live anywhere else in the world.
This time, the market I discovered was the Marché des Producteurs de Pays, an intermittent producers’ market that was held this past weekend on Boulevard de Reuilly where farmers and producers from different parts of the country congregated to showcase their produce and products.
I like the idea of a carrot cake more than carrot cake itself. With the warmth of cinnamon, the healthfulness of walnuts and carrots, and the hue of rust-coloured leaves, it quite easily fits the bill for a comforting autumnal treat. It’s perfectly good baked in a loaf pan and sliced as needed, and becomes a bit more indulgent with cream cheese frosting dolloped on.
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There are so many markets in Paris, all of which are all very, very good and leave you in awe and filled with inspiration. And then there is Joël Thiébault.
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One of the best things about the city of Paris is the outdoor markets in every quartier. With over seventy such markets dotted across Paris, every Parisian has a market they can call their own. At these markets, vendors set up shop along the streets a few times a week, from morning to early afternoon to sell fresh produce, seafood, meat and charcuterie, cheese and dairy, and maybe even some regional products of France.
The abundance of ingredients to cook with, the changing colours every season, the smell of the earth still clinging to the root vegetable and the casual banter and familiar smile after being a loyal shopper, all come together to create the typical Paris market experience.
When you visit a market, you must forget about the time. Nobody every seems to be in a hurry, and everybody always seems to buy way too much produce to stuff into their caddies. Why aren’t they in a hurry? Because the vendor needs all the information he can get to fully understand how you intend to use your potatoes (purée or poêlée?) or [read more…]
The moment of truth - chef tasting the final result. Mine's the one in his left.
I wrote a diligent report of my weeks at Le Cordon Bleu until Week 6, and then I stopped. I really wanted to continue, but committing to something or getting into a rhythm doesn’t come very easily to me – and so I trailed off. I began the weekly chronicling as a way to capture memories to look back at a few months or years down the line, and to reminisce about the glorious time I had at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris. I scribbled notes on the métro, I clicked photos whenever an opportunity presented itself and even thought of a book title based on something the chefs say all the time. I have it all on chits of paper and in my head, and now on my blog, lest I forget it all.
When in Lisbon, you can’t help but marvel at the gorgeous tiles on the buildings wherever you go. I would stop every time I saw a pattern I liked, and snap a picture of it.
I made jam. A gorgeous, deep ruby red raspberry jam. The kind of ruby red you get only when you make it at home.
I am not a big jam eater, so I never really venture into this territory. I do have a few books on canning and jam making, in the hope that one day I might just start enjoying them, or maybe be the kind of person who gifts jam in pretty Weck jars. As for when I do buy some jam, it’s usually because I give in to the gorgeous package design and type – after which it sits in the refrigerator for weeks.