Monday, May 31, 2010

Macaron 2-Do List

Deluxe Eiffel Tower Stack ( thanks to Sybil G.),watercolor, 9x11
This time tomorrow I'll be tearing around trying to figure out what to pack. Today I'm relaxed AND I SHOULDN'T BE. I'm toying with various and sundry macaron to-dos in Paris.
Near the top of the list is find some macaron pillows. My big plans for an 'eiffel Tower' decor have not progressed. It's time to switch to a macaron theme and see what goes. Your suggestions are welcome.
Mimi kindly sent me a picture of this adorable key ring at Les Fleurs.
I could waft around the apartment wearing Marc Jacobs' new Splash for atmosphere, which I read are scented Basil, Grapefruit, Pear.
I am planning to visit Gerard Mulots' macaron cuisine .
For the macaron-obsessed this is a must-do.
macaronsAnother macaron course is on the agenda. This time in Lyon at Patisserie Bouillet. I'm working myself up to actually make these cuties someday... Well that's my rationalization for charging around, pretending I know how to bake...
your terrific suggestion on Londons' tea salons.
I will search out some in Paris as well.
You've got me itching to paint cups and macarons again. This trip the paintbox gets to come along.
I'll be waiting on a few Paris lines as always - the perfect opp to check what Parisiens are wearing.
I could pretend and try out for this macaron position while in London.
It's back to the 'macaron' salt mines. More hard labor for Bear et moi. We'll be slogging from patisserie to patisserie keeping your hungry appetites appeased. Any special macaron requests?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster

Paris Deluxe Tea time, 9" x 11"
I'm reading a thriller and there's no blood or guts like Girl with The Dragon Macaron Tatoo, which I dropped in the bin after 10 pages.
Paris A wine expert told me about Dana Thomas' Deluxe:How luxury Lost Its Luster. I'm enthralled. It's the perfect summer read or plane read or anytime read and a page-turner. Deluxe gives you the inside scoop on major high-end fashion brands, particularly Louis Vuitton. Remember I took you inside the grand Avenue de Champs-Elysee flagship store?
There's a huge new branch in Bloomies.ParisPhoto c/o Elle Japan
Author Thomas takes you behind the scenes of these best name status brands we've come to associate with must-have luxury. She tears out the lining and looks inside. Things are not what they once were. Formerly family-owned companies have been gobbled up by the conglomerates and the picture ain't pretty. Certainly past quality for the select few has made way for quantity for the masses.Paris Is it all 'Dreckitude' now? Read the book. Dana Thomas says, "Marc Jacobs is King of Paris fashion." I caught him leche-vitrine. The King with Miss Piggy. Another point Deluxe makes is the essential role of perfume to support top luxury fashion brands. Don't we feel great when we own a few ounces of a brand name no matter how tiny the bottle or how costly?Paris Everyone on the planet knows SATC2 is opening today - an OTT excess of conspicuous luxury consumption if ever there was one. Nevermind that. W.H. Smith, my favorite hangout in Paris, is having a slew of fun events starting yesterday!
Dana Thomas will be reading at Cafe Etienne Marcel next Thursday. I'll try to catch her before I board the Chunnel. Elizabeth Bard of Lunch in Paris,
Jamie Cat Callan of French Women Don't Sleep Alone and David Lebovitz of Ready For Dessert will be there on various days too. So if you're in Paris for Gawd's sake high tail it over there. It's bound to be great fun!Paris In honor of Sex and The City 2 Bergdorfs has put on some splendid windows full of luxe items. Window designer David Hoey loves camels and they pop up frequently in the windows for no reason at all. OK so there's a camel or three in the movie.Paris Cary's closet full of stuff that Thomas talks about in Deluxe...ahem One terrific thing Deluxe did for me was demystify the big name brands. I have every intention of waltzing into all the posh Paris joints and acting like I own the place. I will be FEARLESS! Very fearless. Well I'm gonna try. Famous last words...
I have absolutement pas no fear waltzing into any posh Parisien pastry shop. I feel right at home. I know I don't have to worry about being served up any ersats counterfeit macarons bien sur. Have you read this book?
Do tell.
PS *note Parisbreakfast has had a face lift-it's the REAL thing too.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

How Much Is That Macaron?

Box O' Macarons, 9" x 11"

Another obsession is the porte-etiquette - the little price signs you'll see on glass counters and scattered in windows of Parisien patisseries.

You can dream all you want about Paris, but it's nice to know what things cost.

 I always include them in the shot? Price tags are ever present. Parisiens like to know how much things costs just as much as we do. The price list is always front and center in a boulangerie. It's the law. Unlike some upscale US pastry joints who insist you ask, "How much?" Based on the premise if you have to ask, you can't afford it. The French are not so snobby.

These little sign posts tell you it's OK to waltz in and actually buy something. The same does not necessarily apply to Cartier or Hermes.
Some signs give you much more information than just the price. Ingredients in detail. 
Name cards of gateaux can be quite poetic, or not. Dalloyau calls this cake "Mogador". Is it really a reference to Essaouira Bay in Morocco? It remains a mystery. Do you know the answer?
I'd rather shop for macarons in Paris than shoes. Trying to deceifer hand-written signs is part of the fun is it not?

I'd rather read pastry signs than a book. So much food for thought.
Fauchon boxes decide the price. Fauchon wins many a round when it come to creativitie so they get away with a lot. Here the box decides le prix.
Gerard Mulot is using 'new math' with these vertical macarons sold by the meter no less. Get out your rulers.
In addition (no pun intended) Mulot tells us upfront in the window the price for his towering cones of macarons. Try not to fall out of your chair gasping for air.This macaron tower is reasonable, though I didn't buy it. No time. You must pre-order this charmer 48 hrs ahead. All for a mere 41 Euros. It won't feed a ballroom full of hungry wedding guests.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Piece O' Cake

If you're looking for a piece of traditional white cake in Paris, like you'll find on every counter of every Greek coffee shop in New York, just forgetaboutit.
If you're looking for a mountain of whipped cream with even more whipped cream on top, that you will find in just about any patisserie on any corner in any arrondissement.
This white cake with the Frenchie name of St. Honore was found in the Japanese shopping mall at Mitsuwa Marketplace in New Jersey not Paris.
This is one quite superb white cake you will find in Paris.
Every French girl's dream it is too, since it's a wedding cake.
But your average white cake (icing and layered) as we know it since childhood birthday parties, has yet to hit the streets of Paris.

Could it be the next big tendance/trend when the cupcake begins to pall in Paris?

While we're on the subject of white, I was walzing through Bloomies last nite and found this exquisite display honoring Vera Wang. Wang has been creating perfect white wedding gowns for 20 years. It's on the 4th floor by the way.

A true American Horatio Alger story - Wang could not find a wedding gown for her own wedding, so...

Et voila!

We are the happy beneficiaries of her divine ingenuity.

Her gowns truly are a 'piece of cake'.

Perfectly simple yet quite complex and often poetic...

Here's a very nice French 'piece o cake' seen in Bergdorf's windows last week from M. Alber Elbaz of Lanvin. Ruffles are IN, in case you hadn't realized.

I got this in the mail today from M. Pierre Herme...

It's Fête des Mères this Sunday.

I suppose if one must make do with a non-white cake in Paris, this will do the trick quite handsomely.

And who 'takes the cake' in yesterday's contest?

Aquarose that's who.

Let me know where to send it in Alaska Aquarose svp?