There’s nothing romantic about doing laundry runs, even if in Paris. Hauling a sack of dirty clothes to a coin-operated facility reminds me of my college days on campus, a time when the smell of soap suds in steaming humidity was hard to shake off. It’s hardly a charming affair, despite the promise of fresh clothes […]Read more "Laverie et du Pain"
I pass by her everyday. I don’t deliberately go all out to stalk her. It’s just that she’s always within my vision as I get home, as though greeting me hello and good night. Standing there tall and proud, a block away, I call her my grand ol’ dame. I never tire of looking at […]Read more "She’s Always a Sight to Behold"
It was Christmas week and we learnt how to make Petit Fours and Macarons, which seemed really appropriate given that these little pieces of confectionery would be great to bag to a party of people on Christmas Day. We were taught by yet another Chef who was new to us. He’s the sugar work master […]Read more "Week 6 at École Gastronomique Bellouet Conseil: Petit Fours et Macarons"
Everything about about this week was really too pretty to look at and too pretty to break in to eat. And I truly mean it. Outside of Paris, nothing comes close to the petit gâteaux that you will see in this post and Bellouet Conseil is leading the way on these new tendencies. And what […]Read more "Week 5 at École Gastronomique Bellouet Conseil: Petit Gâteaux Individuels"
Week 4 and we are all gradually falling ill but we hang on in there and nobody takes a sick day off. How’s that for commitment? We pushed one another to drink lemon and honey, eat our meds, and practise safe hygiene. Winter here can be long and hard and it wouldn’t do to be […]Read more "Week 4 at École Gastronomique Bellouet Conseil: Les Entremets Tradition et Évolution"
It was not the best of weeks here in Paris and there was visceral tension in the air for all who knew that they had to go on with their lives despite the atrocities that had happened just too close to home. Folks still had to hop onto the Metro to get to work, weave […]Read more "It’s About You & I. Not only Charlie."
Tea cakes and cakes served at tea salons. I paused and scratched my head: are these gâteaux only served during tea time, and are these the only gâteaux that can be served with tea at a tea salon here in Paris? I asked Chef my mind-blowing questions, only to be told: these are the cakes […]Read more "Week 3 at École Gastronomique Bellouet Conseil: Spécial Gâteaux de Thé et Salon de Thé"
This was my kind of week! Baking viennoiseries and tartes all week long! Yeast and dough and pâtes. Just the thought of it was enough to draw hunger rumblings from the tummy. The dough sheeter was rolled out and we cranked it up for croissant dough, feuilletage classique (puff pastry dough), fueilletage inverse (inverted puff […]Read more "Week 2 at École Gastronomique Bellouet Conseil: Viennoiseries et Pâtes de Bases"
We trickle in one by one. Students from across the globe for our first day of school. Not sure where to place ourselves, we hovered around the breakfast area where pastries and coffee are served. There was a roll call by the head Chef Pâtissier of the school, Jean-Paul Michel, and I quickly understood to respond […]Read more "Week 1 at École Gastronomique Bellouet Conseil: Classique et Traditionnelle"
I am in pâtisserie school in Paris. I must admit I am a titch astounded by the fact that I am. For you see, I am not a home-baker and am certainly not anywhere close to being a semi-professional one; Home Economics classes belong to a bygone era of my yesteryear; and I hardly have […]Read more "P is for Paris. P is for Pâtisserie School."
It was an unanimous vote. Seafood all the way. I personally felt it was time I sat behind an ice-platter of fresh oysters instead of watching others get into the action (poor me). Winter is a glorious time for oysters when the supply is in fresh abundance. It’s been said that French people consume more […]Read more "[FR] Pedra Alta in the 16th arrondisement @ Paris"
Rue Montmartre is a charming street in the 1st & 2nd arrondisements where you can possibly buy all the tools, equipment, spices and condiments for your baking and cooking needs. These specialty stores are a nice change of scenary from the flagship stores, retail chains and grand kitchen departments in up-scale giants such as Le […]Read more "[FR] Rue Montmarte: A Splendid Street for Patisserie & Culinary Wares"
I was at Restaurant Abri two years ago. It was a deliberate find during a wee trip from across the English Channel on a frigid winter’s day. I was on a budget then and hungry for a good lunch where the chefs take their food seriously. It’s winter again as I write, and apparently I […]Read more "[FR]: Restaurant Abri @ Paris"
I have taken my vow to up the antenna of my kitchen skills. No more just eating out and wondering feverishly, “How the hell do they make that?” and then emptying my purse because, how else am I able to eat it if I don’t pay for it? So, I now find myself in Paris, […]Read more "C’est Moi, Paris!"
Graphic details of U.S.D.A. prime beef tenderloin being handled and prepped into cuts of filet mignon for human consumption. Chef NAT is hard a work. In Instant and Black & White camera modes. Rather film noir, I must admit.Read more "We, the Carnivores"
There was a wee bit of conundrum. Yes, yes. A small one. Staff: Welcome to Joie, we have changed our concept from our days as Dozo before our re-location. Us: We can see that! (wilted faces all round). You don’t serve Japanese food anymore! (correction: fine moderne Japanesque).There’s no meat on the menu! (minds envisioning […]Read more "[SG] Joie by Dozo"
Candlenut has made great progress since its teething days at Neil Road. Presently housed in the Dorsett Residences at Chinatown, it presents itself as a classy yet understated Peranakan powerhouse with a modern twist, an intentional departure from the stuffy image that Nonya restaurants traditionally emit. With the tagline, “Inspired Peranakan Cuisine”, Chef-Proprietor Malcolm Lee […]Read more "[SG] Candlenut: Inspired Peranakan Cuisine"
You Kee is a meat lover’s place. It’s also famous for its herbal soups. Nestled along a row of shophouses in Tuta, Skudai, it’s unmissable for its gigantic banners featuring an XO drinking duck and a brown urn. Double check that there are 2 such life-sized urns stationed out front and voilà you are there. Now, […]Read more "[M’SIA] Restoran You Kee XO @ Johor Bahru"
There were so many choices. Seriously, so many choices from which to decide where dinner should be upon landing in Houston after a 1.5 day flight halfway across the globe. And lo! I insisted on LA Crawfish in a run-of-the-mill foodcourt right by the 99 Ranch Market off the Katy Freeway. If one has ever […]Read more "[USA] LA Crawfish @ Houston, Texas"
BIG.FAT.DONUT. There’s nothing in that catchy tagline that particularly appeals to my general sense of health and well-being. But curiosity killed the cat, and so it did my week-long fast of cous-cous, Greek yogurt and kale. So as we drive into Austin, we pinned down Gourdough’s as our first cholesteral-filled, heart-stopping destination for Sunday brunch. […]Read more "[USA] Gourdough’s Public House @ Austin, Texas"