Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Kings of Pastry!

Gerard Mulot Pastry Box, 9" x 11"

Pastry chefs and I have always seen eye to eye.   They are the 'artistes' in the cuisine, painting with chocolate and sugar.  

Of course they adored having their portraits on their own business cards. They really got my food art biz going.
When I received an invite to a screening of KINGS OF PASTRY I was thrilled. It's about the 3-day competition of carefully selected French pastry chefs, sixteen in fact, all vieing for the much coveted M.O.F. or Meilleur Ouvriers De France award in Lyon. As luck would have it, I went to Maine to paint and missed the screening, but they sent me the video and BOY OH BOY is it fun!
The Guardian said,
"I never saw so many men sobbing at once"
"A culinary HURT LOCKER"
You get to see top pastry artistes pushed to the limit, racing against time and each other to make their super, fragiles creations. You see top pastry judges of France (PH included!) tasting and grading the contender's art works (16 desserts) and their responses. Full of suspense...catastrophes beaucoup...even the judges are in tears.
If you love French pastry, you MUST see KINGS OF PASTRY
Pastry chefs of the highest order are required to make many confectionary sculptures... Usually made of sugar. These chocolate masterpieces were at the Salon du Chocolat last October. Now I have a better idea of the enormous effort that went into making them.
Oh the torture, oh the sleepless nights. I attended the Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie in Lyon in '94 - words can not describe the fabulousness of it all. If only I'd had my Canon back then. Last June I returned to Lyon for a macaron class. Instead I ate lunch at Paul Bocuse's Brasserie Le Nord. Very chaleureuse/warm indeed.. Very much in the old French tradition of quality and simplicity. Bien sur you know I had une salade... And then the very traditional cote d'agneau for my main.
Miam-miam When I asked for the l'addition they said I was an invitee/guest!?
How I wished I had ordered dessert...something on the order of this elaborate chocolate chapeau...
And go see the movie.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Statue of Liberty

Have you been to the Statue of Liberty yet?
I went for the first time ever on Saturday...
as Liz says in EAT PRAY LOVE (EPL) meaning
'Let's cross over'
I'm always bla-bla-blaing about the Eiffel Tower so I thought it was time... Get ready to land PBers! Thar she is! YAHOO

Naturallement we check the map before taking a step further

Ah the view...regarde!

trop Magnifique!

The everpresent gulls
Await a few crumbs from my sandwich.
You'll take your own lunch PBers if yr smart.

Every language under the sun is heard...
I brought along my paintbox bien sur for a few quickie thumbnails

Take my picture svp
Waiting and working - Lady Liberty gets no holidays...
Have you been?
Do tell all svp

Friday, August 27, 2010

Tip Your Hat

Shall we tip our hats to the last days of summer?
I got a desperate plea from a PBer yesterday to PLEASE show anything, architecture, clothes, books anything but food.
The Brits do love their hats.
And their love of hats goes way back, even to this 1775 Lowestoft cane handle.
'Course you might have to go to Ascot to actually see someone wearing a hat in the UK. Here's that stunner again in the Underground.
Where else but in London do you see a plethora of...
Cocktail hats?
Even a decorative headband becomes a 'Hat' in the UK.
Butler & Wilson on Fulham road has been creating fantasy hats forever...
That hat again in Harvey Nichols - worth a second look non?
Naturallement, the French, who wouldn't be caught dead wearing a hat, think nothing of throwing some jambon on an assiette and calling it a chapeau.
Put a bow in your hair in Paris and it equals a hat.
A fantasy hat from Kensington Garden Palace...
You can always settle for a faux paper hat...
At the V&A...
I hope Maxim's will never lose their charmant chapeau rouge...
I rarely wear hats.
I do have a battered, ripped-up old straw hat I've wore this summer when out painting..
Do you wear hats?
Shall we all tip our hats to summer 2010?
I hope yours was a good one.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

5 Things I Ate at Jean Millet Patisserie

I only tasted ONE cannele at Patisserie Jean Martin.
je le regrete beaucoup. Only one crepe too.
THREE sable citron (not all at once).
I'm a sucker for anything with lemon on it and this rich buttery cookie has just a thin icing of lemony-ness.
I have had their croissants.
Before I noticed they had mini versions.
Abricot is another flavor I swoon for. Do you too?
103 Rue Saint-Dominique
7th Arrondisement
Metro: Invalides
Pastry chef Denis Ruffel has received France's highest honor, the M.O.F. or "Meilleur Ouvrier de France" so this little patisserie is well worth searching out.
I did not get to taste this.
Nor did I buy a 'week-end' cake to take as a gift.
Foie gras? mais non.
I would LOVE to eat one of their salades for lunch.
A la prochain.