Monthly Archives: September 2013

The Dud Avocado

It’s easy to get lost in Paris, despite Baron Haussmann’s best efforts to impose order on the city’s street plan. Sometimes I get turned around by one too many adventurous forays from a main avenue, and wind up pointed in the wrong direction. I have google maps to sort me out of course, but is […]

Read More

Hitting the Hemingway Trail: Part I, Montparnasse

As I mentioned in my post on Hemingway’s hunger, many of the cafés and restaurants that the great man habituated remain open today. But with Hemingway being a man of such large appetites, and thus a habitué of so many venues, how can the nostalgic tourist decide which Hemingway haunt to drink at first? As […]

Read More

Hemingway’s Hunger

“I’m very hungry,” I said. – Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast (1964) Published posthumously, Hemingway’s brief memoir of expat life in 1920s Paris is so popular that in “Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay,” the stoner duo meet a prostitute named “Tits Hemingway” who explains that she got her name because “I have huge […]

Read More

Kitchen disasters

Recently, an old friend emailed to tell me has been enjoying the blog, especially since he started managing a 1200-acre organic farm in upstate New York last winter and he’s been learning how to cook the wonderful ingredients that come with the job. I off-handedly replied that great ingredients require so little alteration, they make […]

Read More

My Life in France

The title to Julia Child’s as-told-to 2006 memoir could not be more generic. “My Life in France” is a name that might be given by countless English-speaking Francophiles to the stories of their années françaises. Which makes it a very fitting title, since from its opening page Child’s memoir captures an absolutely archetypal experience. She describes her […]

Read More

The State of French Food

One of the best restaurants in Paris today is Spring, owned by chef Daniel Rose. Or so I hear, not having had the chance to eat there myself. But last night I did have the chance to hear from Daniel Rose, at a panel event hosted by the American Library in Paris, a venerable institution […]

Read More

Canard à la Presse

Growing up in America during the late 1970s and 80s, my juvenile imagination equated the word “Paris” with one thing: gourmet food. And if there was one fancy restaurant in Paris that I knew the name of as a child, it was “La Tour d’Argent.” The silver tower. The words had a ring to them, they […]

Read More

Truffles and Haschich

The recipe for haschich fudge that makes Alice B. Toklas’s 1954 cook book notorious may, at first glance, appear out of keeping with the general tenor of the work. What could this set of instructions for a concoction designed to produce “euphoria and brilliant storms of laughter” have to do with the twenty-three recipes for […]

Read More