Pâtisserie Philippe Rigollot, Annecy
With all MOFs (Meilleurs Ouvriers de France) you encounter in France, you will only experience unrivaled excellence, which is why we love checking them out as often as possible. The pastries and confections of Philippe Rigollot, who is not only a MOF but also a Champion du monde de pâtisserie, blew us away during our last visit to Annecy. I thought I’d share some photos with you. We tried all the flavors of the macarons, chocolate and five different pastries (not enough!). We noticed that they ran out of the Paris Brest every time we stopped by so make sure to grab one of those.
Tarte Mr. Smith
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L’Encas Bio, Annecy
If I lived in Annecy, I’m sure I’d be a regular at L’Encas Bio, an organic restaurant that’s tucked away in the Vieille Ville somehow distanced from wandering tourists yet right smack inside the historic area.
Specializing in delicious, healthful light fare, they offer fruit juices, smoothies, ice cream, quesadillas, vegetarian meals, soups, wraps, salads and more.
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How to Score Big Flour Tortillas in France
At some point in time (I don’t know when because I wasn’t paying attention), the kebab places in France branched out and offered kebabs wrapped in flour tortillas (they call galettes) or inside the usual pita pocket bread. It made me realize that big tortillas were available in France somewhere! I had to find some for me to use at home. These are the large, flour tortillas that you’d find wrapped around a yummy burrito somewhere in the Mission district in San Francisco. You know, the gordos! They seemed impossible to find in France. The small, dried out tortillas in the supermarkets here just don’t do the trick.
So how can you get these tortillas since they still do not offer them in the markets? The most logical answer: your kebab place!
I got these (in the photo) from our kebab guy. They’re labeled as Dürüm ekmeği, which I think means (durum) wheat flour (wrapping) bread in Turkish. There are 18 halal tortillas and there are no trans-fats and they are easily freezable according to the packaging. Just make sure you place parchment paper in between each tortilla when freezing. I measured them (yes I have a ruler!) and they are 12 inches in diameter. Exactly one foot! Hmmm.
Kei Restaurant, Paris
Kei, a gastronomic restaurant named after chef Kei Kobayashi, made a big splash onto the restaurant scene since its opening in 2011. Already awarded a coveted Michelin star, it’s getting more and more difficult to grab a reservation. We called a week or so in advance to make dinner plans there but they had no more tables available. Luckily, we grabbed a lunch opening and it was such a remarkable visual and culinary experience, I had to share it. If I were asked to describe the hours spent in Kei in a few words, I’d have to decline because anything I’d say would not sufficiently convey and detail the perfection/harmony in aesthetics, subtle and sublime flavors, creativity, pace and service we received. That being said, here are some of the seven dishes we each had. I was happy to discover new and unexpected flavor combinations.
Chef Kei Kobayashi is originally from Japan and worked for several years at Restaurant Alain Ducasse housed in the Plaza Athénée before venturing on his own in the first arrondissement not far from Les Halles. Understanding his background you will even further appreciate how he can flawlessly merge the impeccable sense of artful grace with the epicurean and sensual consciousness of French cuisine. Although Kei is in a formal setting, you never get a feeling of stuffiness or inflexibility. The restaurant asks your party in advance if there are any food allergies or ingredient intolerances and creates custom dishes. The service is outstanding and we found every staff member we encounted friendly, efficient and even playful. Highly recommended.
Kei Restaurant (http://www.restaurant-kei.fr/welcome.html)
5 Rue Coq Héron, 75001 Paris, France
Tel +33 1 42 33 14 74
Closed January 27, 2013 to March 5, 2013