Four years ago, I moved to Paris, the city of love and the city of light, thanks to a great opportunity at work. I still remember my first weekend in the city. It was a glorious sunny September weekend and I took the picture above in my neighborhood. I moved into a cute little apartment on the left bank with a tiny kitchen. Honestly, the kitchen was a big disappointment. No fancy stove, no dishwasher, barely any working space. It’s impossible for 2 people to be in it at the same time. I was so disappointed that it took me almost 6 months to turn on the stove! And I love to bake and cook. And bake. So this was almost a disaster. Ever since, I’ve gotten used to my tiny Paris kitchen but most of all, I’m so inspired by this beautiful city. I threw out all unnecessary things that were just taking up space, reorganized the cupboards and drawers, made some room for all my favorite tools and I try to make it work. I know that my gas stove has it’s own understanding of temperatures and that I have to set the temperature 5-10ºC less than the recipe states. And take into account a shorter baking time not to cause unnecessary burning. I constantly dream of a big, spacious kitchen and especially of a dishwasher (I seriously hate washing dishes) but until then, here are some adventures from my tiny Paris kitchen that has kind of grown on me.
Wow, where to begin! I’ve been playing around with the idea of starting a food blog to share some recipes from my tiny Paris kitchen for a while now. I had no idea how to start, where to start. But one day I just started :-). I’m inspired by so many amazing food blogs that I follow like Call Me Cupcake, My New Roots, Honestly Healthy, Green Kitchen Stories, Living Minnaly and Manger just to name a few favorites. The food and the images, amazing! They have great Instagram profiles and if you love food photography, I really recommend that you start following them. I love to take pictures of food but I definitely need A LOT of practice in this area… I need to get a real camera and stock up on props. An inspiring and enlightening experience was a food photography workshop that I took last summer with lovely Emily Quinton and Catherine Frawley, both extremely talented photographers. Emily’s studio was like a playground of prettiness and Catherine was so inspiring! Here are some images that came out of this lovely day…
This workshop opened so many ideas, it was a creative blessing and I hope to be able to participate at many more similar courses in the future. I already have my wish list ready!
But coming back to food. My mom is an amazing cook. Whatever comes out of her kitchen is just simply delicious and most of the time also deliciously simple. I’ve always loved baking. And eating sweets and pastries! It was actually my grandmother who taught me to make my first cake, the yoghurt cake or as they say in French “gâteau au yaourt”. So simple but really good. I baked something almost every weekend after that. But I was quite picky when it came to savory foods, my mom didn’t have it easy with me. Well, it turns out that most of the foods I didn’t like as a child, actually are not good for me. I’ve recently developed many food intolerances so I had to change the way I eat, quite drastically. My biggest enemy is gluten so all pasta, cakes, pizza, breads and company are out of the picture. But I love to bake and I adore pasta! So, my challenge is to eliminate all the “nasties” out of my daily diet and eat as clean as possible, but not miss out on the taste. Because I love to eat, I really do :-).
When it comes to pastries and desserts, the challenge is even more exciting! Living in Paris for the past three years has opened up a whole new sweet heaven. French “patisserie” is rigorous, technical, recipes must be respected to the dot but the result is oh so beautiful and delicious. The techniques can be very complicated but at the same time, the pastry chefs are true artists. It’s adorable to watch tourists admire famous pastry shops like La Patisserie des Rêves, Angelina, La Durée and others, with eyes as big as children on Christmas morning! The challenge therefore is to make gluten-free, delicious and beautiful sweet and savory creations. In a tiny Paris kitchen. Seriously tiny. I swear I always manage to break something due to the lack of space but most of the time, it’s worth it!
Here’s my take on Phillipe Conticini’s choux pralinés from his famous and heavenly delicious Paris Brest, a must-have when in Paris! They were a hit last Christmas, during our family dinner :-).