Illustrated Pastry

Instagram has become a tremendous source of inspiration for me. I follow creatives, restaurateurs, chefs, bakers (and, if I'm being entirely honest, a few animal accounts as well) from all corners of the world. It's like one big artistic collective in my feed and since I spend a lot of time on my own behind a computer, seeing other people's work or vision of the world has made my own process feel less solitary.One of the artists whose work I've completely fallen for is Jade Sheldon, an illustrator based in Portland who uses Instagram to share her creative process, delicious food photography and snapshots of her life with her husband with whom she runs the site Endlessly Enraptured.I reached out to her to see if she might be interested in a collaboration involving - no surprise - illustrated interpretations of some of the pastries I've photographed and shared both on this site and on Instagram ....more

Restaurant Report: Ellsworth

If anyone could get me to eat Brussels sprouts, I'm not surprised it's Laura Adrian and Braden Perkins, the owners of Ellsworth, their new small-plate canteen located a block from their mega-successful wine bar and gastronomic tasting table Verjus. Since they opened in early March, I've gone for brunch and lunch four times, tasting different dishes with each visit and it has quickly climbed up the list of my favorite, reliably good restaurants. Here's the rundown: Ambience:...more

Teatime in Paris by Jill Colonna (+ Giveaway!)

If you've been following this site for any length of time, you might already be familiar with today's guest contributor. Jill Colonna, author of "Mad About Macarons" and one of my earliest Franco File Friday features, has just released her second book "Teatime in Paris", in which she shares the best and easiest ways to make French pâtisserie classics at home, from madeleines to éclairs. While some desserts may appear hard to make, Jill breaks down each recipe with a simple step-by-step, making them more than suitable to prepare for your own teatime, wherever you may be.Here, she offers a few additional tips on preparing French pastry at home, sans stresse! ...more

Franco File Friday: Cakeboy Paris (Frank Barron)

I met Frank Barron (aka CakeBoy) the way I seem to meet most new friends and acquaintances in Paris these days: at one of the city's many coffee shops. In fact, it was at the coffee shop seen above, Boot Café. I strolled in with my in-laws post-brunch in an attempt to school them on the merits of specialty coffee ....more

An Afternoon at The Parisian Kitchen

One of the biggest changes I've felt in my encounters with Parisians over the last several years is their budding need to follow their passions, even if that means eschewing the stable trajectory and semblance of security that corporate jobs have traditionally offered. Bénédicte Mesny, a young mother of two, left her career in the jewelry industry to pursue a much more personal vocation -- offering French cooking classes from her home in the 17th arrondissement.Aptly called The Parisian Kitchen, Mesny's concept emerged from a genuine affection for cooking and entertaining. Turning her home into an open space for locals and visitors who are curious about French cooking, but who wish to learn in a more intimate space, allows her to do both several times a week ....more

Wish List: Better in French

Everything sounds better in French, doesn't it? Well, it does if we are to believe an entire set of the foreign population who have incorporated t-shirts and accessories splashed with French expressions and phrases into their wardrobes, with greater frequency....more

Franco File Friday: Our French Oasis (Susan Hays)

Here’s something you don’t read everyday: English family of seven lays down roots in the Charente Maritime. Since 2008 (minus a brief interlude in the United States for work) Susan Hays and her family have been discovering the simple, everyday pleasures of living on the Southwestern coast of France. With four school-age children navigating the French educational system and a more laid-back lifestyle, Susan created the site...more

How to Create the Perfect Wine & Cheese Party

If taken in earnest, the name of my site might lead some to believe that I am an impassioned cheese lover who...more

Franco File Friday: Lauren Bate (Folies de Bonheur)

After an extended hiatus, the Franco File Friday series is back for the 4th year! And I'm so pleased to kick things off again with someone I've gotten to know better over the last year and someone I enjoy immensely. Lauren Bate, of the blog Folies de Bonheur, came to Paris for two days in 2009 via London where she had been visiting a friend ....more

Introducing: Jean Hwang Carrant Cookies in Paris

Few foods make you feel that everything is right with the world like cookies. Fresh from the oven, melting chocolate and sweet crunch, gobbled down with an oversized glass of milk. It's the ultimate comfort food (and certainly saw me through more than one hardship) and certainly the most versatile ....more