Playing With My Food ~
A journal about food, thought, travel, and life; by Chef & Raconteur Chaz French.

A final note on Paris…

As well as France in general, this is the one a certain Aussie in London has been waiting for.


Oh the food, the food, the fucking glorious food. It is beyond words, though I’ll try, beyond joy, beyond eating anywhere else in the world. France puts a value on even the most basic sustenance that other cultures just don’t compare and most (I’m looking at you America), just don’t appreciate.

Food in the United States has been corrupted by the corporations, with their genetic modifications and flavorless ‘get it to a store a thousand (or more) miles away’ mentality. I won’t even get into the greed and immorality of fitting 1,156 chickens into an 8×6 foot room!

Food in France, and not just French Food is amazing because the people demand it to be so. I ate not just French Food while there, I ate Italian, Japanese & Mexican to name just three, must to the consternation and puzzlement of at least one friend. But I’m looking at France with an eye on living there, and need to know things like ‘Where do I get a good burrito?’ (not the place in the 9th, blech). But even that wasn’t a bad food experience, the food itself was tasty, it just wasn’t authentic Mexican.

I ate at a number of touristic places because I had to placate a picky appetite as well as my own, and even places where the waiters spoke better English than I do, had decent food, it may not have been a non-stop culinary extravaganza but it was good food.

Now for a few places of note. l’Ambassade d’Auvergne, dearest Rue, thank you so much for this suggestion, and I apologize for forgetting to ask what the house Champagne was. My meal was just wonderful from the Aligot to the duck breast, to the freshest spring vegetables served in the thinnest imaginable crepe that was deep fried into a purse to hold the veggies (listed as Croustillant de Légumes du moment à l’Huile de Noix on the menu).

The wine (oh how did I not make note of the label) was also impressive.

The small cafe in the 7th heading from Champ du Mars to Place Invalides where I had the coffee I posted about earlier. Best coffee of the trip.

Le Corial on the corner from our hotel for their wonderful ice creams, which we indulged in for our last meal in Paris. (yep as a meal).

The Cafe du Palais in Reims where I came across the amazing Biere Champagnoise “Orgemont”

The simple cafe/tabac in the 6th where we had lunch, my mother with the best omelette she’s had and where I had the most stand out Salade Chevre Chaud of the trip… Mmmm warm goat cheese on toast in a salad with a mustard vinagrette that I’m trying to duplicate at home. (I’ll post the recipe when I get it down).

The most generous gift of my boss who had someone hunt me down on my vacation and arrange for dinner (though we opted for lunch) at the restaurant of my choice. I chose Joel Robuchon’s La Table (not L’Atelier). What a fabulous birthday gift. George if you’re reading this, thanks again Señor.

La Table… The walls from floor to ceiling are gold leaf, not gold paint, gold leaf, I know the difference. The staff attentive but unobtrusive. The service outstanding, and the food was just, well… It’s got two Michelin stars for a reason. My gazpacho was startling to say the least, it had the color and texture of Campbell’s Cream of Tomato. The flavor however was a different book all together… It was a garden exploding in my mouth with each flavor standing out individually and at the same time applauding each other’s brilliance. If you can’t afford a place like this, pop in and just get this dish, you won’t be dissapointed. My lamb chops, all 6 of them were little meat lollipops, this had to be the freshest, and youngest of spring lamb I have ever seen, and the taste was truly gentle, not sublime, gentle, it was a meat raised with care, however brief. Again… Charles write down the fucking information on the wine bottle. It was good, it was €17 a glass. YUM! Dessert ooh the ice cream, if one needs to know anything about France it is this: They make some awesome ice cream. I was served a plate with a scoop each of Vanilla & Cinnamon ice creams, Strawberry & Mint sorbets and then a line of frozen strawberry yogurt with fresh berries on top of that.

Overall a great experience.

The Beligan Chocolates from Jeff de Bruges, the Dijon mustard (ON TAP) from the Maille store in Dijon, the wines I purchased at the winery in Burgundy. The Pont le Vec cheese at the wine bar in Montmartre, The sushi at Fukushiyama, The pizzas… crusts a little too thin for my tastes, the Croissants and the Tartlettes both of which had to be consumed daily, I think it’s a law… And of course no food post about France can be complete without a mention of baguettes. How I wish I could do a pure levain baguette in my home oven… and yeah, you might think you can, but NO, No you can’t do it, it requires a few special things that you just can’t duplicate it at home.

I’ve gotten a lot of feedback about my travel posts and I thank everyone who’s taken the time to read them and to share my wonderful vacation.

Next up, We’re off to San Antonio, Texas for some meat, BBQ that is, and much fun with friends old (not seen often enough) and new (whom I look forward to meeting again).