paris

Pascade, la crêpe soufflée

The pascade looks like an impressionist artwork. It's in fact a big pancake, a peasant household dish prepared on the go in farms as well as in small family restaurants around the Aveyron area, southwest of France. Almost unknown anywhere else, its recipe is simple: very fresh (free-range, bien sur) eggs beaten with cereal flour. It was originally served as a generous starter with sugar, chives, etc. at that time of the day when the pots are cooking and the kids so anxious to be fed. The mixture is then baked as a non-runny omelette: flour must be compulsorily cooked. And there's no joke when it comes to French how-to in the kitchen. It can then be filled to taste, and that's where the real fun starts. But let's go back in time. In 2006, when Michelin starred master of conviviality Alexandre Bourdas opened the now renowned SaQuaNa in Honfleur, he found himself for the first time running a restaurant and when he had to think of an appetizer that better could convey his personal values, the idea of a pascade, this warm dish to be shared, so flexible when it comes to combinations, became an evidence.

"Over time I had fun cooking the lovely pascade with different toppings for family and friends, until the day when the idea came to me to dedicate a place to Pascade the same way that there are places devoted to the art of pizza or pancake".

The restaurant design is a cross between an inn and a canteen, and the raw materials used stand for an architectural metaphor of the pascade itself: hard and rustic tables between the student like benches. The result is a mixture of authenticity and tradition with contemporary clean lines. A really different place, adapted to the Parisian pace, where people can go quickly before dinner or a movie as food is served non-stop from noon to 11 pm, 7 days a week.

The other night, I found myself in the company of the lovely chef Carme Ruscalleda, which exquisite recipes can be enjoyed here. From her restaurants in Sant Pau and Tokyo, she flew to Paris, along with her handmade dried fruits filled sausages. As part of a pop up one-dish-only project, this month she created the pascade Catalana, which will be à la carte for the entire month. After accompanying the creation of the pascade Alexander Bourdas leaves the undivided controls to his cooking guests, which change at the turn of the month. In the springtime, it will be his 10 years old niece opening the doors of inventiveness to a staple of French regional gastronomy.

pascade4

With love and pascade,

Eleonora

On togetherness

It's freezing cold in Paris. As I was cycling through its streets to meet with clients this afternoon, I couldn't accompany the illuminating city sight with the usual humming of "Sous le ciel de Paris", simply because my voice wouldn't come out, my face being literally masked out by the cold. The nice news is, though, that it only takes a few pieces of the loveliest brown bread, a basic flower arrangement (or a bunch of fresh parsley, in my case today) and a warm dish to make it all flawlessly cozy again. Tonight, let's make something that warms our hearts. Suppertime sacred togetherness. I'm all about pumpkin tortelli these days, which I made on one of my pop up events lately.

As to its origins , it is thought that the these particular ravioli pasta have Renaissance origins and have seemingly been designed after the European conquest of America because of the large amount of pumpkin available back then, that is the main ingredient of tortelli. Its heart is filled with this soft vegetable, spiced up with mustard and finely chopped amaretti (artisanal biscuits made with almonds and egg whites).

The, I'll allow myself to say it, utterly liberating ritual tied to the handmaking of pasta is one of a kind: it demands to be nurtured, wrapped, massaged and scented, just like our tired bodies would need at the end of a long, cold day. Italian writer Elsa Morante who, amongst many things, has been recognized for being at the forefront of  magic realism (a wave I very much embrace in my totally dreamy, Mary Poppins like existence) in the Italian literature, once said: "The truest love sentence, and the only one, is: have you been eating?".

With love and tortelli,

Eleonora

A brunch at Semilla

Sunday brunch time is one of those very volatile, very vulnerable moments of the week. Our energy flow is readjusting hence the choice of the meal is crucial to that roaring start of the week. I don't know about you, but when I wake up on the resting day of the week for excellence, the first thing I think of is either a scrumbled, an à la coque, or a benedicte style egg. When in Paris, Semilla is a place for indulging in sweets, freshly squeezed fruit juices, the unmissable sunday roast and, as they call it, all kinds of non egg's options: a lobster club sandwich served with toasted brioche and avocado or a very seasonal beet salad with spelt, fresh cheese and hazelnuts. On the hunt side - it being hunting season, chef Eric Trochon gets an exceptional delivery directly from the hands of his hunters friends - we tried a mouthwatering version of venison burger, moistened with currant juice, served with pak choi (the Chinese version of chard) and the quitessential new potatoes roasted to perfection.

Opened by the will and skills of trio Drew Harré, Jan Sanchez and the chef himself, Eric Trochon, this place, as other excellent ones in town, winks at bistronomie, this phenomenon très à la page that results from the contraction of bistro and gastronomy, applying to those tables combining low prices (with menus worth less than 30€), small team, small places and inventive cuisine made from good and simple products, often orchestrated by chefs trained in academic structures.

Very democratically, and here we go again with patrioctic values such as Liberté & Fraternité, also present à la carte if it wasn't clear enough, the menu comprehends a full list of the producers, often small realities, providing the food and beverages to the house. The wine, in general directly supplied from the grape scented hands of the wine maker himself, can be a Chablis Premier Cru la Forest or a Chateauneuf-du-Pape, both proven to be extraordinarily reassuring tastes.

Last but not least: those of you who know me by now are also well aware of the fact that I love my mascarpone. Either worked in a tiramisu or on a limoncello based cream, you'll know that I'll quickly access to the highest level of #foodhappiness. I reached new heights, though, when tasting the remarkable pears, mascarpone and peacan nuts pie. Powerfully happy before the week's madness.

Restaurant Semilla 54, rue de Seine Paris (75006) TÉL : +33 1 43 54 34 50 MÉTRO : Saint-Germain des Prés, Mabillon, Odéon

With love and peacan nuts,

Eleonora

semilla1

Septime, or the temple of gluttony

The wide royal blue door is distinctive of a certain Parisian trait which can be assimilated with a voracious joie de vivre, containing in itself a profound respect for the tradition as well as a versatile step towards the "now" (why looking towards the future when the present can be so captivating). Set in a neo-urban epicurean valley of the senses, no wonder why Septime - a trendy restaurant in the up and coming 11th arrondissement of Paris -  is right in the spotlight these days. I didn't know what exactly to expect as I inspectioned their website before my visit earlier this week; on the desktop, only a logo and an address provided. Poorly described, I thought. Well, I had to change idea: on the contrary, I was in for a treat, because the food, the drinks and the ambiance truly spoke for themselves.

As I entered, I was warmly welcomed by wine expert and restaurant associé Thèo Pourriat, who presented us with a very small list of truly exquisite wines. He emphasized on the personal relationships developed with the vignerons (wine growers), the identification of which I was already introduced to on the other side of the river, at the Ile Saint Louis celebrated cheesemonger. A real fan on fine wines but totally against getting dizzy in the middle of the working day, I also opted for an infusion fait maison. In Septime there's an actual barman dedicated to the making of these restoring potions made to accompany the daily proposed menus. For me, it was orange, clementine, tarragon, pear and Acacia honey, all raw in a boiling pot.

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 presetThe lunch menu (uncommonly changing on a daily basis), is based on chef Bertrand Grébaut's inventiveness of the moment. I got lucky with a sumptuous Utah Beach (yes, the one of the Normandy D-day) clums soup with gourds and an undescribably refined Xeres vinegar aftertaste. The daikon - oh I dig those radishes -  was deliciously accompanied with mushrooms de la Maure along with exquisite black truffles from the Perigord area (duck and goose products paradise) which I shall absolutely visit soon.

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 presetHaving recently taken part in the Cabinet de Curiosités of Thomas Herber, with showcases of visual artists, designers and chefs indeed, Grébaut now wants to focus entirely on his Parisian food scene, where he gives work and inspiration to an international, young and food-talented crowd. "There's an Argentinian, an American and a British, but we always speak français in the kitchen, that's mandatory" - explains Grébaut, a patriot at heart as all French admirably are, as I ask him about his producers, his rare food findings (like the radicchio from Treviso in the middle of Paris, a true gem) and his sources of creativity: "Sometimes it's the chromatic scale of a dish that grabs my attention first, but then it's the work on the affiliations to make it enjoyable that I have fun with". And that was, and surely will be again, a truly enjoyable experience.

With love and tarragon,

Eleonora

Pop up your life

I love pop-ups. In fact, as some of you know, I provide my food services (amongst other things) with off the beaten track bespoke pop-up events. This term alone clicks with boosting creativity, raising inspiration, twisting on cared improvisation. This ephemeral concept allows brands to be in uncategorized spaces in order to run free into new customers and opportunities. All in a limited timeframe. It's like having those 15-minutes-only in front of the audience and proving them about the feasibility of one's project. And that I find thrilling. On the forefront of this exciting experience called The Space is the very lovely Julia Tinkerbell Van Hagen who has conceived this amazing reunion idea of fashion talents in a dedicated space over 5 years ago. Since then, she's been hosting pop-up stores in any corner of the (utterly civilised and tremendously glamorous, bien sur) world you can think of, you name it.

thespace

With her in Paris these next few days, in association with Parisian PR wonderwoman Sonia Diop, an array of truly talented artisans of the fine fashion making. Their care in the details and the provenience of the textiles makes me think about its correspondance with products sustainability (the Slow Food chain) and the importance of tradition.

There are  Van Palma and We Are Leone with their handmade crêpe de soie kimonos and hats. Luz Collections is a bio and glamorous South American swimsuits line, whereas Pallome design delightful bags in jeans and cotton while Torula goes for the city accessible luxury version. Very Parisian indeed but mischievously Italian are the handmade hats signed by milliner Veronica Marucci.

Among the edible gifts, a few extraordinarily tasty gingerbreads to take home to your loved one. I got back home with a bag filled with goodies and with my purse not too hurt. Thumbs up to accessible luxury!

The Space Pop Up, December 11th-13th 117, rue Saint Honoré Paris (75001) from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. MÉTRO : Palais Royal- Musée du Louvre SITE : thespace.fr

With love and gingerbreads,

Eleonora

Mind Le Zo(o)

In a time, the late '90s, when sushi in Paris could only be found at fakely high end Japanese restaurants that would even charge an addition for the wasabi sauce, entrepreneur Micael Memmi looked further. He decided to offer Japanese food in an otherwise French-food-only restaurant, Le Zo. And he was the first. Today, at the head of the Il Caffè as well, a chain of five restaurants disseminated around Paris serving Italian dishes fatti in casa, he's dazzling the city of lights.

zo1

I sat down in a room where eastern design meets western contemporary art, and had heart of burrata , beet duo and roasted yellow peppers. I couldn't believe that I found the same taste I did when travelling to my beloved Puglia this last summer on a cold December day in the middle of Paris. I literally melted for the crispy maki asparagus, a crunchy delicious starter. And I clapped my hands as I tasted a good affogato al caffè, which recipe I shared earlier this year with Anne Lataillade, author of the awarded blog Papilles & Pupilles. This guy knows his products, and knew what bistronomie (a contraction between "bistrot" and "gastronomy") is all about much before it was even a trend: "Fusion food is so '90s, we give our customers the possibility to choose whether going for a Japanese, a French or an Italian dish. In each serving, though, you'll find the beating heart of a country". And that's, simply, what my #foodhappiness is all about, too.

Restaurant Le Zo 13, rue Montalivet Paris (75008)

TEL: +33 1 42 65 18 18 SUBWAY: Madeleine, Concorde

Restaurant Il Caffè 5, av. Myron-Herrick Paris (75008)

TEL: +33 1 42 25 02 70 SUBWAY: Miromesnil, Saint-Philippe-du-Roule

 

With love and burrata,

Eleonora

Goûters du cœur @ Cafè de la Paix

I tweeted about going there, and Ines de la Fressange, arguably the most elegant woman in town (her Style Guide is a bible for most Parisian girls and beyond) and the ambassador for this charitable event, retweeted me. For the 4th consecutive year, the Café de la Paix shines more than ever the Parisian Place de l'Opera by continuing to actively support the association Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque with the "goûters du cœur" (snack of the heart).Every afternoon for two weeks from Tuesday 2 to Friday, December 12, 2014, from 16:00 to 18:00, the mythical restaurant of the Hotel InterContinental Paris Le Grand will offer a special taste (mulled wine or hot chocolate, gingerbread and cakes) at a price of 5 euros to eat in or take away and which all proceeds will be donated to give a child in need a new heart.

The mulled wine I tasted the other day was so delicious that I couldn't help but asking for its recipe, that I'm sharing with you today!

mulledwine

Christmas mulled wine from Alsace

Ingredients for 12 people:

  • 1.5 liters of red wine (Bordeaux, Burgundy or Pinot Noir)
  • 250 g brown sugar
  • 1 untreated lemon zest
  • 1 untreated orange zest
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 piece of fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 pinch of grated nutmeg

Mix all ingredients and bring to a boil, very gently. Simmer for 5 minutes. Serve hot in glasses by filtering with a colander. Place a slice of orange in each glass.

With love and warm wine,

Eleonora

(h)Eden(e) in Paris

I can't quite come to terms to the voluptuous beauty of Paris, how can it be so firm, just like a mother who wouldn't accept a "no" as an answer, yet so harmlessly heartbreaking from its roofs up until its roots, that is its islands to me. As a matter of fact the Romans, who won over the Gauls well over 2000 years ago, decided to provide them with the islands of Lutetia ('Île de la Cité and Île Saint Louis) in order for them to be near the water, thus control any forms of commerce. The Romans, on their side, would have kept what is today known as the left bank and that's where and how the Paris, as we know it today, was born. I personally have a soft spot for these 2 floating, somptuous islands in the middle of the city of lights. I love to walk around them, the cold yet gently dry breeze of Paris accompanying my errands. And I love to discover that a legacy is kept alive giving place to evolution even. I'm talking about the oldest Fromagerie in the very heart of Rue Saint Louis en l'Ile, precisely located at number 38. In a place that was once the beating heart and soul of artisanal old Paris, suddenly closed down for the passing away of its owner and cheesemonger charmer, two young entrepreneurs have taken over as of 3 years ago. Experts in the art of selecting epicerie fine, as people call it over here, these twenty something young merchants can suggest the finest food products available on the market. And if you fancy a wine or cheese lesson for that matter, then you're in for a ride, and a treat.

hedene

That's how I came to know the most refinely delicious honey I ever came across. The name of the product alone, Hedene, rings a bell as to a few ethereal concepts: one linked with the first, most perfect garden as told by the Christian tradition and the other connected with hedonism, the argued capacity to live in strict connection to pleasure, as a good friend of Dorian Grey would suggest him at the beginning of the celebrated novel by Oscar Wilde. It appears, there's a honey to accompany any given moment of the day. The texture and smell would change and increase according to the time, season and occasion. Therefore, the acacia would be an interesting alternative to sugar in morning coffees or teas, while a taste of the pine tree would take you straight to a fable involving fairies and magic; to be honest though, the cream of the crop was the Miel Bourdaine, splendid for the festive season. I tasted it with a Comté cheese, which I've been told was produced in the Jura valley, east of France. This scrumptious cheese has been refined in the Charles Arnaud fruitière (a place where milk is processed into cheese).

If you thought that beautiful patterns were limited to textile only, think twice. This teeny tiny deli shop celebrates chocolate by providing the very well wrapped tastes of cocoa beans collected and produced in Saigon (Vietnam). I almost fainted when I had a first bite, luckily it was just before my movie night on my couch, hence I had an excuse I couldn't possibly drop to finish it. No wonder why Marou chocolate has gained many awards for its integrity, in workplace and taste buds alike.

With love, honey, chocolate and cheese,

Eleonora

Haute Couture in the kitchen, Alain Ducasse Style

When I received a proposition to be part of a team of 6 and be enlightened with the secrets behind the signature dishes of the great French gourmet legendary chef Alain Ducasse, I couldn't possibly turn down the opportunity. It's been a three days, Parisian full-on experience on the most incontournable elements typical of the work of this French genius of the kitchen, who made his refined tastes available to a wide crowd, thanks to the opening of restaurants, cooking schools and the publishing of books alike declining the best addresses in cities such as Paris, Monaco and New York. On the menu for what has been a truly unforgettable experience, there was côte de veau de lait fermier avec gratin des legumes, homemade (but bien sur!)foie gras mi-cuit, stir fried Saint-Jacques with truffle flavoured bard juice. And then I found myself faced with the challenge of the most fighting, aggressive crustacean of all: the lobster. It was cooked in a delightful cocotte (an instrument which is normally used to ovencook eggs or vegetables) with penne pasta (yes, you hear me well, to be cooked as if with risotto, that is floating in stock - lobster one) and finely sliced black truffles. The most enchanting food creation, which will stay carved in my heart and imagination for ever, I guess. Because that's what the true pleasure of the kitchen is about: being in the moment and cherishing it. #foodhappiness, in other words. ducasse6I've been very lucky getting my hands on Alain Ducasse's yet-to-be-published book, containing the ultimate carnet for the authentic Parisian flâneur.

As Henri IV rightly put it well before me, Paris is worth a mass, but not only:

Merci, Monsieur Ducasse!

Enjoy your weekend,

Eleonora

Roasted quails with grapes

I often find myself wondering why is it that French people are so charmingly skinny, their kids don't scream and they enjoy rivers of vin rouge without batting an eyelid, nor gaining any weight for that matter. If I can't quite come around a rational explanation of their paedology inner talents, it seems to me that one of the reasons behind their being so unfussy about their body is that they eat varied, and squeeze in loads of proteins. Basically, you would enter any bistrot at lunch time, and you would be faced with a series of formules, that is a fixed menu where, according to your appetite, you can choose if having a starter and a main or a main and a dessert. You can get all three courses but then you would get weird looks. Why? Well, because less is more. This representative dish from the Gascony region of France awaken atmopheres linked with harvest time, a period when root vegetables begin to appear at the neighbourhood markets in Paris (there's more than one, where farmers from all regions of France go everyday in different Parisian quartiers to provide nothing but the excellence from the land), the grapes in the countryside are picked at their sweet apix and hunting season is in full swing.

Quail is a petite, full on flesh, utterly delicious bird, which you can nowadays easily find at good supermarkets (but I do recommend you to go to the farmer's market as often as you can, because it's the only way to actually see the food you get  on your table in its raw state).

Roasted quails with grapes

Serves 4 people as a main course:

  • 4 clean quails without giblets
  • 250 gr. green seedless grapes
  • 250 gr. red seedless grapes
  • 4 slices of smoked bacon
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 40 grams of dairy unsalted butter
  • 4 whole cloves
  • a pinch of sea salt

Pre-heat the oven at 180°. Season each quail internally with a pinch of salt and a whole clove. Make sure you harness each one with a slice of bacon, then tie them with kitchen twine.

Transfer the quails in a pan with flakes of butter and white wine, and transfer them in the oven at 180° for 20 minutes, brushing them from time to time while cooking. Then combine the washed and dried grapes, lightly season with salt and cook for further 15 minutes.

Serve warm with beautiful red wine to accompany. I like it with a glass of Valpolicella.

With love and grapes,

Eleonora

Spice up your autumn

It's one of those days when you're not quite sure whether wearing a coat or a rain-jacket. I get out of my apartment early in the morning and it's gloriously sunny outside but then, as I'm in the middle of the morning, with my food shopping bag in one hand and flowers, my inseparable Mac and my phone in the other, it starts raining. In the meanwhile I need to help a lady crossing the street, I meet an acquaintance who obviously doesn't notice my distress and starts complaining about her, oh so unbearable, lack of imagination for her new year's migration, and I obviously step on a horse p**p before heading to a meeting with a fashion designer, mais bien sur. Needless to say, it's getting spicy in here. I guess I'll just sit with some tea for the next 10 minutes and think of nothing else but to enjoy my #foodhappiness. Wouldn't you? Spicy cake with crumbs

Serves 6 people:

  • For the cake:
  • 130 gr. self raising flour
  • 100 gr. brown sugar
  • 2 fresh free-range eggs
  • 80 gr. of dairy butter
  • 4 tablespoons of whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons instant or ground coffee
  • salt
  • For the crumbs:
  • 60 gr. of all purpose flour
  • 60 gr. brown sugar
  • 30 gr. dairly butter
  • 2 teaspoons instant or ground coffee
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon powder
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg powder
  • 1 pinch of clove powder

First, pre-heat the oven at 180°, then prepare the cake. Whip the butter with the sugar until frothy, add an egg, a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of flour and stir. Add the remaining egg with coffee, milk and the remaining sifted flour and mix again. Line a mold for plum cake with baking paper and pour in the mixture.

Get on with the crumbs now. Rub the butter with the flour, the spices, the sugar and the coffee between your fingertips until the mixture is coarse crumbs. Pour into the prepared tin, press it slightly and cook the cake in a preheated oven at 180° for 35 minutes. Let cool, put it out of the mold and serve cold.

With love and spices,

Eleonora

Tales beyond the Alps

Drum roll please!!! I would like to dedicate a special foodie tribute today to a country where I will be exporting  part of my Italian food affair starting from very soon. For those of you who will be visiting Paris, or indeed are based there, I will be coming and going there very often in the upcoming future as part of a clandestine kitchen and pop-up project. Curious? I will be telling you more about it over the next few weeks. If you're interested in joining and get your hands buttered and splattered, don't hesitate to drop me a line here or head over my workshop page. A little comforting food always helps establishing the cross-cultural patterns right. One of the first times I've ever been invited to a parisian diner, I stumbled upon the gorgeous simplicity of the pâté des pommes de terre... A speciality of the Limousin region in central France, it is prepared according to family traditions, thus can be decorated  with parsley, onion, garlic and meat even. Before potatoes started to be greatly used in France at the turn of the 19th century, this dish was made with leftover bread dough, then baked with a simple decoration of roughly chopped garlic, bacon and parsley. Below is the light version. This incredibly fluffy pie (which is oven-baked until golden-brown) was served as a side dish to an orange-glazed duck (just like the one I made at Taste of Roma Food Festival some time ago) but is also perfect for lunches on the run with a green salad, for aperitifs sliced in tiny pieces, for pic-niques in an adventurous panier... not only boulot-metro-dodo.

Pâté des pommes de terre

Serves 6 people as a main course/side dish:

  • 400 gr. of shortcrust pastry
  • 800 gr. Charlotte potatoes
  • 1 dl. of dry white wine
  • 1 room temperature free-range egg
  • 1 dl fresh double cream
  • 80 grams of unsalted dairy butter
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • a sprinkle of grounded nutmeg
  • a sprinkle of salt
  • a sprinkle of pepper

Pre-heat the oven at 180°. Peel the potatoes, wash them, put them in a saucepan with cold water and cook for 15 minutes after boiling. Drain and cut into thick slices of around 1 cm. Arrange them in a bowl, season with 70 gr. of butter, the wine, the thyme leaves, some salt, pepper and nutmeg, then stir gently.

Pick up two-thirds of the shortcrust pastry and roll it out with a rolling pin into an oval formed baking paper sheet. Grease an oval baking dish (of around 22x18 cm diameter) with the remaining butter and recline the dough prepared in order to cover the edges. Prick the bottom with a fork and fill with the seasoned potatoes.

Knead the remaining dough into an oval shape and make a 3 cm wide well in its center, then roll it over the potatoes. Seal the edges , making sure to eliminate the excess dough with scissors and use it to decorate as you wish.

Brush the pie with the beaten egg (the very French so called royal) and cook in a preheated oven at 180 °  first in the lower part, for  about 35 minutes, then pour the cream into the center hole and continue cooking for 20 minutes further. Serve warm.

Profitez-en!

Eleonora

Scenes from a Japanese tea ceremony

Amongst the things that remind me of what a great deal of life is dedicated to celebration is the Japanese Tea Ceremony, also known as The Way of Tea,  which tradition has endured for over 1200 years. No wonder why the #foodhappiness transmitted during my cooking workshops rings a bell to many.

In Paris, I took part in this Japanese cultural activity which revolves around both the preparation and presentation of matcha (powdered green tea). It's such a solemn performance that the art of its ceremony can be studied in universities and colleges all over Japan.

The tea gathering I literally bumped into, took place in a marvellous shop located in the Rue de Seine and wholly dedicated to this sublime art, Jugetsudo. Jugetsudo means “the place from where one looks at the moon.” At the time it was established, in the 1854, its founder Maruyama Nori had in mind this sentiment towards nature so particular to the Japanese heart of deeply savoring the existence and the passing of the seasons. From ancient times, the Japanese have been attuned to the worship of nature, knowing how to savor its beauty, as for example, the view of the moon rising in the sky and glowing onto the mountain slope, reflecting in the water. While contemplating this backdrop, they would write poems and have tea, and present offerings to the full moon at harvest time.

With love and matcha,

Eleonora

Cooking Team Building

Last week I headed to Paris in order to conduct a cooking team building for the luxury watches brand Officine Panerai,

an historic watchmaking that combines the design and the Italian creativity with Swiss technology and the passion for the sea. The cooking workshop took place in the sensational setting of the Italian Cultural Institute, which is located in the heart of the city of lights' 7th arrondissement, on the rather glittering yet conservative Rue de Grenelle. It's always great to discover wonderful places inside the ville lumière bringing about a breath of fresh air involving cultural events, talks and activities.

The concept behind this brand gastronomic consultancy was to define the concepts that link the Italian gastronomic culture to the essence of the firm's philosophy. Embracing our lifestyle and habits through a storytelling on the origin of the dishes proved to be the perfect way to involve the different teams working in the retail section of Panerai France.

At the end of each workshop, teams were given a recipe booklet with a little Italian food culture background (there's no food without an historical background)  and then, bien sur, all the recipes that they could easily replicate at home. The partner of the event was the celebrated coffee maker producer Bialetti. Away from all globalization-centric industrial ways of making coffee, we decided to take the Moka and each member of the group gave it a go.

At the end of the 2 days full on the Italian Gastronomic Culture, a reception has been organized in the premises of the Institute. Here is where Vuthéara, an active member of the Instagram Community, joined me for a talk, a few drinks, and...

why not, a few photos. This camera virtuoso has been the official photographer for the guides to the city of Paris in 2013. Here is how the amazingly talented eye of Vuthèara sees me:

vutheara

With #foodhappiness and love,

Eleonora

Made exception for this last shot, all photo credits go to Olivia Magris.

Mesmerizing Food Ideas

For those of you who know my food style, I get loads of inspiration from worldwide homefood. Research can be endless, and it can get you to peaks of gourmet paradise as well as unrequired, indigestive hell. Then there's purgatory, or better, Le Purgatoire, a parisian space where delightful homefood meets design in the form of temporary art exhibitions. A private dining room sitting up to 16 people and cooking classes on the go for the fresh produce seekers. The atmosphere is upscale bobo (bourgeois bohémien) and the space captivating. But the most exciting item of all is Alain Cirelli's creation, le crayon du Purgatoire (Purgatory's pencil): this pencil, created by adding water and agar-agar, can be sharpened directly on the dish, driving it to new tasty dimensions.  We'll always have Paris gets to the next level. crayons-condiment-purgatoire-alain-cirelli-2-700x364

When taste is not (only) about food in the plate. This is what the online magazine Fine Dining Lovers is about. And what could the main covered subject be today? But of course, The World's 50 Best Restaurants evening, which was held last night in London and minutely detailed on all social networks, with René Redzepi's pride and joy winning, that is Noma restaurant in Copenhagen, a place I would love to discover later on in the year.

Noma-Copenhagen-21

I'm always amazed at those who take it as a life mission to improve the food system. That's what Philip Lymbery has done with the now best-selling book about the true cost of cheap meat, Farmageddon. The organization behind this epiphany is the UK based CIWF (Compassion in world farming) that won battles to ensure animal welfare is protected by law, influencing change in the way animals reared for food are perceived by consumers and food suppliers; they are being joined by leading voices from the environmental, humanitarian and scientific communities to challenge intensive, industrialised farming. Definitely worth having a look at.

Nature

Turning food photography into images of a sexual nature is hardly the most original thing in the world, but turning it into a fetish certainly is. Don't you get shivers by looking at this? I do!

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Check out the rest of Doherty’s incredible portfolio of work and editorial photos for the New York Magazine over on his website.

Be inspired!

Yours,

Eleonora