Hello from Paris!

I finally arrived in Paris to start my 10-week course in Advanced Cuisine (Superior Cuisine’) at Le Cordon Bleu Paris. God, it’s a long ways from South Australia, with 20 hours of flying and a 6-hour layover in Singapore. Needless to say, I’m a little nervous since it’s been two years since I completed the Intermediate Cuisine course here. Most of the other students in my class have already been cooking together for the past 6 months, so I hope I fit in alright!  

My Paris apartment is located in the Latin Quarter in the 5th arrondisement, an area which also includes the Pantheon and the Luxembourg Gardens. Every morning I take an early morning walk up the Rue Mouffetard, an ancient Roman street with an open air market and lots of food shops. During my walk, I descend the hill towards the Seine River and behold the wonderful site of the Notre Dame Cathedral, a 20-minute walk from where I live.  

The view from my Latin Quarter Paris apartment Paris apartment vue Rue Mouffetard in the early morning Rue Mouffe Morning Notre Dama Cathedral- almost 1,000 years old! Paris Sights 8 of 8) (1 of 1) But I’m here in Paris to cook and eat, right? One of my favourite Paris markets is the one located at Boulevard Raspail, open three times a week. There are lots of fresh fruits and vegetables with an organic market on Sundays. This market is well-known for the vendor with potato pancakes, which is still on my ‘must taste’ list!

An added bonus is you can easily walk from this market to Gertrude Stein’s former apartment at 27 rue de Fleurus, where she lived with Alice B. Toklas for almost 40 years. As I walked past her apartment recently, the door to the lobby was open due to renovations. I slipped inside the lobby ‘sight unseen’ and was honored to be able to walk in the same hallowed halls as Picasso and Ernest Hemingway, who regularly visited Gertrude to discuss art and writing.

Gertrude Stein’s former apartment at 27 rue des Fleurus

Gertrude Stein

Nearby Gertrude Stein’s apartment is the well-known bread bakery, Poilâne, located at 8 rue du Cherche-Midi. Their signature sour dough bread is baked in a wood-burning oven and  is made of 4 ingredients: sourdough, stoneground wheat flour, water and sea salt from Guérande. It carries the signature mark P for Poilâne and each loaf weighs about 4lbs or 1.9kg. That’s a lot of bread and should last at least one week!

Poilâne Bread Bakery at 8 rue du Cherche-Midi

Poilâne Bakery at 8 rue du Cherche-Midi

Poilâne Bakery at 8 rue du Cherche-Midi

Signature Poilâne bread baked with letter ‘P’

Signature Sourdough bread with signature 'P'

Signature Sourdough bread with signature ‘P’

Walking back from the Poilâne bakery to my apartment, I passed by the Sadahuru Aoki patisserie on the Boulevard de Port Royal, founded 15 years ago by the Japanese pâtissier of the same name. Aoki’s philosophy to baking is simply stated:

“Creating something delicious. To achieve this goal, it is essential to maintain simplicity.” – Aoki

And I certainly knew where he was coming from. I entered his store and bought one of his delights called Sensuelle. consisting of layers of ganache and flavoured mousse set on a base of textured biscuit and topped with a miniature macaron.

Sadahuru Aoki Patisserie- Paris

Paris Sifghts (2 of 2) (1 of 1)

 Layered Pastries topped with a mini Macaron

Layered pastry topped with a mini Macaron

Layered pastry topped with a mini Macaron

With my belly full after visiting several of Paris’ culinary delights, it was back to my Paris apartment to rest before starting my course in Superior Cuisine at Le Cordon Bleu Paris. Please follow my blog as I present photos and recipes from my 10-week course at LCB!

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  • Reply
    [email protected] Riffs
    June 20, 2014 at 2:21 am

    Fun stuff! What a treat to tread Stein’s hallowed halls! Look forward to hearing all about your Paris cooking and eating adventures.
    [email protected] Riffs recently posted…The Queen’s Park Swizzle CocktailMy Profile

    • Reply
      June 20, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      Thanks John. Despite all the walking I’m doing in Paris, I’ve put on a little weight. So today, I’ll have to cut out my ration of patisserie!
      Fran recently posted…Hello from Paris! My Profile

  • Reply
    June 20, 2014 at 6:48 am

    Oh Fran, so happy for you!
    What a great culinary adventure and a wonderful place to stay.
    Paris is such a charming, interesting city and your apartment has a wonderful location.
    Daniela recently posted…Amazonia – A Journey To The Green Heart Of Our PlanetMy Profile

    • Reply
      June 20, 2014 at 2:35 pm

      Thanks so much, Daniela. Yes, it seems like there is a bakery on every corner in Paris with glorious food!
      Fran recently posted…Hello from Paris! My Profile

  • Reply
    Joanne T Ferguson
    June 20, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    G’day and congrats on the safe travels Fran!
    Having experience France’s wonder pastries, I don’t think when I was there I could go past a patisserie! lol
    Cheers! Keep walking and good luck with you course!
    Cheers! Joanne
    Joanne T Ferguson recently posted…Are You Curious What My Secret Ingredients Are This Month? {#Thermomix Assisted}My Profile

  • Reply
    Gourmet Getaways
    June 21, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    I enjoy walking to markets and bakeries. It becomes more of a pleasure. I like the pastry line!!!

    Gourmet Getaways
    Gourmet Getaways recently posted…Kim Restaurant -Potts PointMy Profile

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