Paris’s Perfect Pastries

Pastries at Stohrer

Paris is home to some of the world’s best pastry shops (called patisseries), and the delectable desserts they produce every day are simply to die for. Here are some pastry perfections from my favorite Parisian bakeries: Angelina, Laduree, La Loir dans la Theiere, Mariage Freres, Le Gay Choc, Pain de Sucre and Stohrer. Continue Reading →

Laduree: Pastry Perfection!

Raspberry Saint-Honore

Paris is the pastry capital of the world. And there are scores of patisseries scattered throughout the city’s 20 districts (called arrondissements), from elegant, upscale tea houses to small neighborhood mom-and-pop shops.

But a few have grabbed well-deserved international acclaim. One of my favorites of these exceptional salons is Laduree. Specifically, the Laduree boutique and tea house on the Champs Elysees … Continue Reading →

Desserts Rule at Le Loir dans la Theiere in the Marais

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The amazing Le Loir dans la Theiere in the Marais is among my very favorite dessert spots in all of the City of Light. This funky, gay-friendly tea room offers a daily changing menu of homemade tarts and cakes, usually with five or six choices available for €8.50 and discounted to just €6.50 after 4 p.m.—if any are left. There’s usually at least a couple of desserts remaining, but if you don’t want to take a chance on missing out, show up around lunchtime when the selection is abundant. Delicious! Continue Reading →

Macaron Mastery at Pierre Herme

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Paris is home base for a chain of out-of-this-world patisseries launched by arguably the world’s greatest pastry chef, Pierre Herme. The patissier is best known for his macarons, most of which have quite unusual flavor pairings, such as orange, carrot and cinnamon; foie gras and figs; sherry and golden raisins; white truffle and hazelnut; and olive oil and sea salt. Another signature Herme pastry is the 2000-feuille, a more decadent version of the French classic millefeuille or 1000-feuille—a rich dessert made up of layers of stacked puff pastry sheets separated by chocolate, almond cream and hazelnut cream filling. But truth be told, all of Herme’s desserts are delectable. Continue Reading →

G. Detou: A Must-Stop Shop for Pastry Chefs

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Paris is heaven for both amateur and professional patissiers (pastry chefs and bakers). Not only are there numerous world-class pastry shops (patisseries) to try, but there are several culinary supply stores that are simply unsurpassed in their collections of baking equipment and supplies. For pastry chefs looking for the highest-quality or the most unusual ingredients, the boutique of choice is G. Detou. The shop’s name is a homonym for the French term “I have everything”—j’ai de tout. And the place does seem to have it all. If you can’t find it here, you won’t be able to find it in all of Paris. Continue Reading →

Puits d’Amour at World-Famous Stohrer

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Nestled among the many wonderful fish, butcher, cheese, produce and other fine-food shops on the market street Rue Montorgueil in Paris’s 2nd Arrondissement is one of my favorite pastry shops in the entire world – Stohrer. Technically called a patissier-traiteur because the shop offers a range of delicious meal and snack items in addition to desserts, Stohrer is best known for its fantastic pastries and its unbelievable history that stretches back to before the French Revolution. The shop’s two most-famous confections are the baba au rhum (a rum-soaked brioche) and the to-die-for Puits d’Amour (wells of love). Continue Reading →

Joyeux Noel!

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I am — and always have been — a huge Christmas Queen. And the City of Light is a delight during the holiday season. Here’s a peek at some of my experiences from my visit a year ago. There’s lots o’ pics here, so you’ll really get a good sense of what the holiday season is like in Gay Par-ee. For me, it was an absolute thrill and provided me with holiday memories I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. Joyeux Noel! Continue Reading →

Le Petit Dejeuner

Breakfast in Paris

I’m dreaming of having le petit dejeuner (breakfast) in Paris. The quintessential Parisian breakfast is coffee (or hot chocolate, if you’re indulging), croissants, perhaps a pastry (again for the indulgence), and freshly squeezed OJ. Simple, full of carbs and caffeine to get you going, and delicious. There’s nothing quite like a freshly baked buttery, flaky French croissant! Continue Reading →

Sunday on the Rue des Rosiers

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Paris’s Marais district is home to the city’s LGBT community. But it’s also home to the city’s Jewish community, and the Rue des Rosiers lies at the heart of it. The four-block-long street has a number of fantastic Jewish bakeries, restaurants and curio shops, but, sadly, like much of Paris has fallen prey to the influx of clothing boutiques and even some chain fashion shops. Still, the area is well worth a visit, especially on Sundays, when most of the rest of Paris is closed, but the shops on the Rue des Rosiers are open (and jam packed!) And be sure to try the falafel at L’As du Fallafel, arguable the best in Europe! Continue Reading →