Chefs on va­ca­tion

Canada’s 100 Best - - Travel -

Our first meal in Paris is al­ways a pic­nic. We head to our near­est boulan­gerie and buy a “baguette tra­di­tion,” and load up on cheese at the mar­ket. My favourite place to get cheese now is from the food hall of Ga­leries Lafayette, which has an amaz­ing se­lec­tion of per­fectly ripened cheeses. We’ll usu­ally get a nice bot­tle of Côtes-du-Rhône to wash it down with.

What do lo­cal chefs and cooks do best?

There is an amaz­ing va­ri­ety of young chefs who trained in fine-din­ing es­tab­lish­ments and have gone on to open their own restau­rants and mini-em­pires—for ex­am­ple, Iñaki Aizpi­tarte, Ade­line Grat­tard, Bertrand Grébaut, Sven Chartier, Gre­gory Marc­hand, to name a few. The cook­ing styles are so eclec­tic and per­sonal and give the Paris food scene so much char­ac­ter and rich­ness. Each chef in­ter­prets the pro­duce in their own way, and it makes din­ing there so much fun.

For a quick week­end—just two restau­rant lunches and two din­ners—where would you go?

Pierre Hermé for a dessert lunch: I’d get the Is­pa­han crois­sant (maybe two), an as­sort-


ment of his mac­arons (white truf­fle and hazel­nut, pas­sion fruit and milk choco­late are my faves), the in­fin­i­ment vanille tart. Clown Bar for in­no­va­tive bistro cook­ing— it’s fun and ca­sual and quirky. Le Baratin fea­tures soul­ful cook­ing by the queen of bistro food, Raquel Carena. Her sweet­bread dish is one of the best offal dishes I’ve had in my life, a whole veal sweet­bread seared and basted with but­ter, served on a bed of sautéed sea­sonal veg­eta­bles. The place has very in­ter­est­ing nat­u­ral wines cho­sen by her hus­band. And L’As­trance— Pas­cal Bar­bot is one of the best chefs of his gen­er­a­tion. He to­tally turned three-star din­ing on its head with a tiny, in­gre­di­ent­fo­cused, tast­ing-menu-only restau­rant.


Morn­ing cof­fee?

Brû­lerie Saint Roch at 53 rue Saint Roch. It’s an old-school cof­fee shop, time­less and Parisian, friendly owner, stand­ing room only. The price of an espresso has not changed in five years—no latte art here!


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