March 10, 2012

Divina Cucina-- in Paris

One of the wonderful things about living in Italy is how easy it is to travel around Europe-- time and money permitting. Until recently, I had not had the opportunity to return to Paris.

My grandfather was born outside of Paris in a small village called Soisson. I studied French and always felt France was calling my name. I tried on five trips to see if i could feel like I could call it home with my first trip being in 1972. It just never felt like home.

But I adore it. Sometimes it is the simplest things that make me love it-French breakfast!

croissants, baquettes and french butter

I adore croissant, baquettes and french butter for breakfast! Actually bread and butter could sustain me here. Tuscan unsalted bread and unsalted butter just lie flat on my palate.

The one thing my husband Andrea asked me to bring back from my trip was a baquette-- I MUST also bring back butter.

The reason I came to Paris,was that several events fell into place that sent me a sign from above.
First I heard about the Paris Cookbook Fair and knew several friends would be attending and that would be a great excuse to come. The it coinsided with the celebration of the Charcutapalooza party for Peter, the winner, offered by Truffle Pig, Mrs Wheelbarrow, D'Artagnan and Kate Hill.
Some of my favorite bloggers and writers would be there too.

The stars lined up!

got my tattoo

Before I came to Paris I was contacted on FB by a new "Friend" who was having an exhibit at the fair on SWEDISH products-- yet another fabulous reason to go!

My new Swedish friends---- a fabulous company searching for the finest artisan products.

Sometimes the stars line up even better than we expected! Since I am on my search for the perfect swedish dishes and ingredients- this was a gift to meet!

No trip to Paris would be perfect without Pastry- I am not a huge fan of macarons, but do love a fabulous pastry. My friend Rosa Jackson was in town updating her paris dining  guide and took me to Jacque Genin. WOW- Perfect!

This was his version of the St. Honore cake- each little bigne was a different flavor, salt caramel, chocolate and vanilla-- even the whipped cream and the custard both had pure vanilla!

We had a lovely pot of tea and split the dessert, I bought caramels, gelatins and small box of chocolates for Andrea.

It was also a lovely time to see friends-

Kate Hill from Gascony, David Lebovitz- Paris and moi!!! 

It was a pleasure to spend some time with David and Kate , just doing nothing. A fun walk, a nice Vietnamese lunch and incredible Algherian Pastries for dessert with mint tea, another thing I really don't get in Tuscany. France is so much more multi- cultural!

Now back to reality-- and Tuscany!

Next up-- IACP in New York at the end of the month-- then returning back to Tuscany Easter Sunday and the season begins!

What are you having for Easter dinner? Me? airplane food!!!! not looking forward to that.

And to close-- this is the PERFECT Parisian foto!

while waiting in line at Pierre Herme chocolate shop

Au Revoir


  1. Enjoyed your post. I will be going to Paris for the first time in October. I am gathering a list of places with great things to eat...and of course great things to see!

    1. Me too !!!!! But I'll be going in August. Enjoy !

  2. For Easter it's always leg of lamb: roasted with garlic and fresh rosemary and glazed with either honey or apricot jam (depends on the day and the mood!)For Easter I always splurge on Welsh lamb, which is in my opinion the best. Vegetables have not been decided, but dessert will be a choice between something chocolate or lemon meringue pie.

  3. What a great post! I am now so that pastry with the vanilla bean specks in the whip cream, so darn yummy!! enjoy your trip to NYC !!

  4. Another wonderful post! Thank you (and welcome back home!). Btw, there is a great place for mint tea here in our 'hood ... Derb (Moroccan). See you soon, I hope.

  5. @ Kate- david has a fabulous pastry shop APP on paris- my friend Rosa writes for time out and was just adding new places!

    @sugarmania- not sure if it is still the same- but august in paris is lovely as the parisians flee on vacation! like in Florence--- they are all at the sea!

    @laura it wasn't the mint tea that was so lovely-- it was the incredible pastry shop!!!!!! hundreds of incredibly delicate pastries. Florence has several lovely tea houses, but nothing beats paris for the pastry shops

  6. Great fun to see you. Come visit more often!

  7. Looks like you had a blast!