Monday 29 September 2014

The Paris Gourmet

I knew that I would buy this book as soon as I saw it on Carol Gillot's amazing Parisbreakfasts blog last year. If Trish Deseine could teach Carol a thing or two about Paris- then I knew she could teach me too. So I bought it quickly and took my time to read it.

I can't get enough of this sort of book. Sweet Paris. The Sweet Life in Paris. A Family in ParisParis, My Sweet. They make terrific guidebooks. I even did my own Paris, My Sweet Challenge last year. But Paris is vast and always changing, there's always something new, or old, to find.

Trish Deseine is Irish, but has lived in Paris for nearly thirty years. She is a cookbook author, publishing in French and English, and restaurant reviewer. She has invaluable tips for any first time visitor or old hand alike.

Paris has always offered itself up as the perfect playground for exploring all these avenues: you can eat in opulent temples of haute cuisine; cafés littéraires, resonating with history; hearty bistros; modern, world trend-leading restaurants; or romantic bars and cafes. Indoor and outdoor markets and the best food and artisan shops in the world are endless sources of knowledge, inspiration- and ingredients, for cooking at home. 

Ten chapters offer up Trish's recommendations for her favourite restaurants, shops, markets, palace hotels, food blogs and tours. You could dine out and shop on Trish's suggestions for months without needing to double up. The restaurants that Trish recommends range from simple neighbourhood bistros to the most elegant (and expensive) of Parisian three star extravagances. There is a two page spread about how to book and make the most of your Parisian restaurant experience.

I'm yet to eat my way through
La Patisserie des Reves
One Paris-Brest coming up!

Patisseries, bakeries and chocolate shops are some of my very favourite places in Paris. A whole chapter lists many emporiums of delight, most are already my favourites too- La Patisseries des Reves, Pierre Hermé, Patrick Roger. There are many more that I haven't tried yet- Jacques Genin, really I still can't believe it- three trips to Paris and I haven't managed to visit him yet, and Du Pain et des Idées where "everything is unbelievably good" . These droughts will break on my next visit.

Even though I read Paris blogs and sites almost constantly Trish also included some bakery suggestions that were new to me- Boulangerie Secco in the 15th for their tarte au citron lined with white chocolate, and Gontran Cherrier in the 17th and 18th for squid ink baguettes and "genius rye flour flaky pastry on his galette des rois". Trish is not afraid to speak her mind - she says of one famous patissier- "his chocolates look more exquisite than they taste"- and I do agree. And I almost squealed with delight when she said that Christmas buche display starts around the end of October. Carol has been tasting these on my behalf at Parisbreakfasts for far too long.

We went to Carl Marletti last trip
sadly it was Monday,
and the shop was ferme/shut

Another item on my hit list for my next foray to Paris will be the "gooey loveliness" of the "incomparable salted caramel" crepe at Breizh Cafe in the 3rd. We'll be staying in the Marais for part of this trip and I will be very interested to see another side of Paris- I'll try to take her tips on Marché des Enfants Rouges, Popelini at 29 rue Debelleyme, or stop off for Tartines at Cuisine de Bar de Poilane, 38 rue Debelleyme.

Books on France, a great 2014 challenge
 from Emma at 
Words and Peace

Dreaming of France is a wonderful Monday meme
from Paulita aAn Accidental Blog


Jeanie said...

Louise, thanks for sharing all this. I, too, read Carol's PB blog and I'm familiar with the title but your post really takes me deep within. Indeed, I've just written down the title in my "Paris notebook" -- it's on the list.

And thanks for your recent visit to Marmelade Gypsy! I love it when you come by.

Esme said...

This is a fun book . You will love Brezhnev cafe their crepes are authentic Brittany crepes. I left my copy behind in an apt in Paris but now you have me wishing I had it

vvb32 reads said...

I will have to keep this in mind for my next visit. Always fun to have specific places to explore.

Sally Tharpe Rowles said...

What fun to have all of these places to look forward to trying on a next trip to Paris!

Paulita said...

Louise, I'm looking forward to following your culinary adventures in Paris. This book looks terrific.

Brona said...

Ahhhh now I see where you'll be in Nov!!
So very envious right now, although I'll get my own little bit of French on this week with an extra long w/e in Noumea for Mr Books & I. 💜
What will you be reading while you're away?

Louise said...

Oooh Noumea! I'm pea green now too. I long to go to the South Pacific. It's close- I just need to go... I usually plan my holiday reading before I plan my wardrobe. I always take too many books... and especially in Paris I barely read even a few pages. I'm taking Brooke Davis's Lost and Found for the plane. Not sure that I'll take anything specifically to read in Paris. I do keeping taking Notre Dame de Paris but never get it read. I just managed to put my kindle on my laptop, so I will have that. I'm not very good at reading books on that, because up til now I could never get the iPad away from the boys playing games.