Category: MOF Meilleur Ouvrier de France
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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Posted in chocolate, food and drinks, MOF Meilleur Ouvrier de France, pastries, photos, Rhône-Alpes
If for one reason you come into Maison Larnicol, the brainchild of Master Chocolatier and MOF, Georges Larnicol, it’s to marvel at his playful, colorful chocolate creations.
Oh but you should taste as much as possible, too. We dropped by his shop in Saint Malo (Brittany) but he has a whole slew of shops in these cities Auray, Bordeaux, Concarneau, Guerande, La Baule, Locronan, Nantes, Pont Aven, Quimper, Rennes and Saint Brieuc.
The kouign amann (an oh-so-amazing buttery, baked Breton pastry), macarons and chocolate were heavenly. There are no additives, preservatives or artificial ingredients in the baked goods.
The mini kouign-amanns called kougnettes are so cute and come in 14 different flavors.
The only regret we have now is that we didn’t try every single item in the shop. There’s so much more to grab here: cookies, lollipops, galettes…
6, rue Saint-Vincent
35400 Saint Malo France
Telephone Number: +33 (0)2 99 40 57 62
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Posted in Bretagne/Brittany, chocolate, MOF Meilleur Ouvrier de France, shopping, tips, travel and places, travel tip Tagged with: chocolate, chocolatier, france, georges larnicol, Maison Larnicol, mof, saint malo
The grace and beauty of window design in France never ceases to amaze me all year long. But with Christmas being one of my favorite times of year, I MUST get out to see the festive displays. This is when true artistry emerges. The beautiful window display below is from Fabrice Gillotte, who happens to be a MOF of chocolate. Not only is he a master of his craft, his stuff is cute! And different. I LOVE his Santa.
Fabrice Gillotte, Chocolatier
21, rue du Bourg
Telephone +33(0)3 80 30 38 88
Posted in art/culture/design, chocolate, MOF Meilleur Ouvrier de France, people, products, shopping Tagged with: chocolate, christmas, cute, design, fabrice gillotte, france, french, meilleur ouvrier de france, santa, window displays
“This week brought the release of the new Michelin Red Guide, prompting foodies to run and see which chefs had been awarded stars—the top honor in restaurant criticism.
The guide, whose English edition arrives mid-May, sells 1.3 million copies a year in its various editions.
Its star system rewards expensive restaurants, of course. But the guide also has a lesser-known rating for affordable restaurants. Toward the back of the guide, there’s the “Bib Gourmand” section in which Michelin recognizes places that offer excellent three-course meals for less than €35 ($44) each.
This year, 47 Paris restos are on the Bib Gourmand list—a record. Many of these spots are new additions to the list. My favorites include:
• Le Baratin,, 3 rue Jouye Rouve, 20th arrondissement, 011-33/1-43-49-39-70
• Le Bistrot Paul Bert, 18 rue Paul Bert, 11th arrondissement, 011-33/1-43-72-24-01
• La Cantine du Troquet, 101 rue de l’Ouest, 14th arrondissement, 011-33/1-45-40-04-98.
• L’Entêtée, 4 rue Danville, 14th arrondissement, 011-33/1-40-47-56-81
The above restaurants are not open every day of the week, so call ahead to confirm and to see if reservations are needed.”
More about The Michelin Red Guide France 2009
Posted in books/magazines, food and drinks, MOF Meilleur Ouvrier de France, news, paris, restaurants, reviews, tips, travel and places, travel tip, wine
Our MOF Discovery partners in crime, Chloé and Jacques, told us about an MOF Chef named Serge Chenet who just opened a restaurant near their bed and breakfast in Saint Laurent des arbres. We all, of course, HAD to go check it out and have dinner there. On s’est régalé. Absolutely no complaints here. It was divine, and we highly recommend it, not only for the most scrumptious dishes ever but also for discrete service, and very reasonable prices.
Les mises en bouches / starters
Brochette de boudin noir , sorbet de hareng sur canapé / blood sausage skewered wontons, herring sorbet with caviar on toast (there was a teeny triangle of lemon on top)
Soupe d’artichauds , parmesan agé et coriandre / artichoke soup with aged parmesan and fresh cilantro
Entrées / Appetizers
Duo de foie gras : poêlé à l’hypocras et sa figue rôtie , farcie à la figue / Foie Gras Duo: Seared slice of foie gras cooked in a mulled honey wine with a roasted fig, non-seared foie gras stuffed with fig
Duo de lapereau : Médaillons de Lapereau , feuilleté de lapereau / Leveret Duo: Medallions of Leveret (some people call these bunnies), puff pastry with leveret
Course principale / Main Course
Lieu jaune accompagné de purée de chou fleur sur un lit de mousse de cresson / Pollack with a puree of cauliflower in a bed of watercress mousse Read more of this article »
Posted in cheese / fromage, chocolate, food and drinks, MOF Meilleur Ouvrier de France, people, Provence, restaurants, tips, travel and places, travel tip, wine
Excerpt from the latimes:
“…On the menu – There’s not a burger or Happy Meal in sight. Instead, rigatoni with boletus mushroom sauce, a fresh chèvre sandwich on sun-dried-tomato ciabatta with olive-tomato tapenade, and a nicely balanced strawberry tart. Other sandwich offerings, all about $6.75, included sweet and prosciutto-style cured ham on pain de campagne (country bread), sliced roast chicken, and smoked Norwegian salmon (both on ciabatta). Crudités are served with tapenade and lemon tartar sauce (about $8.65); the daily entrée special on a recent visit was sliced chicken in a French Basque-style sauce of tomatoes, onion and sweet red Espelette pepper, with rice and salad (about $15).
For that same price there are also formules (combo menus) — sandwich, salad, quiche (such as onions, mushrooms and lardons, or bacon) or pasta (such as farfalle with a seafood sauce made with squid and mussels), plus frites, a drink and dessert. Gaufres, anyone? The waffles are served plain, or with powdered sugar, chocolate sauce or Chantilly cream. Wines include a Guyot Côtes du Rhône and Georges Duboeuf Mâcon Villages. Service is fairly friendly and the clientele varied — a recent drizzly weeknight drew a large group of twentysomethings and various twosomes and threesomes ages 16 to 60…” Read the rest
Posted in celebs, daily life, food and drinks, MOF Meilleur Ouvrier de France, news
Can we agree here? Meetings suck. So much so, we’ve decided that whenever we have to conduct a meeting, we will combine it with something enjoyable, something so good that we might forget that we’re actually having a meeting.
Apparently, most of the people we saw at the Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris last week, had the same idea. Even singer Laurent Voulzy was having a meeting there. (yes, our first French celeb sighting!) Like them, our meeting was held in La Galerie des Gobelins inside the hotel, during tea time featuring yummissime pastries created by World Champion Pastry chef and MOF (Meilleur Ouvrier de France), Christophe Michalak, who, strangely looks like he could be my sweetie’s (heavier) brother.
You’re greeted, seated, then a cart of perfectly lined up pastries are presented to you. You then begin to drool. Choosing will not be easy but if you have the appetite and a few extra euros, choose more than one. Go ahead and be a pastry pig. Life’s short.
I wasn’t a pig, though I would’ve been had I not just eaten a late lunch. I chose a salted caramel religieuse that wasn’t too shabby. My sweetie’s choices had wild forest strawberries (the one on the left was excellent cheesecake-like creamy goodness.) He always has room for at least 10 two pastries and doesn’t seem to suffer any consequences from this sort of voracious and hedonistic behavior, which I find insanely unfair.
We debated about whether these were indeed the BEST pastries we’ve had. I can’t answer that unless I’ve tried ALL the pastries here, so we’ll have to come back to test them all… I can say, however, that I’ve had equally delicious pastries as well as perhaps even better pastries elsewhere. (Of course, they weren’t inside the Plaza Athenee)…
Hôtel Plaza Athénée Paris
25 avenue Montaigne, 75008 Paris, France
Tel: +33 (0)1 53 67 66 65
The tearoom is open from 3pm to 5pm. Expect to spend about 20 to 35+ euros per person (Pastries are 16 euros each).
tags: france travel french pastries Hôtel Plaza Athénée Paris christophe michalak pigging out in paris
Posted in daily life, food and drinks, MOF Meilleur Ouvrier de France, paris, pastries, people, travel and places, travel tip
I’ll be in Paris next week for a chocolate fix and other things so I was trying to find the exact address of Jean-Paul Hévin’s place. I serendipitously stumbled upon these new chocolate abs on his website.
It turns out, since May of this year, you can get Les Tablettes de chocolat (abs of steel, 6 pack abs) without having to work out! Isn’t that excellent news?
In France, the equivalent of the phrase, “abs of steel” is, “les tablettes de chocolat” (chocolate bars). So, chocolatier Jean-Paul Hévin, an MOF in Paris, has taken the concept one step further and has re-invented the les tablettes de chocolat, called “Abdominal bars,” which actually sounds more dietetic, if you think about it. What a sneaky trick. Far, Far, and light years away from being dietetic, these Jean-Paul Hévin chocolate bars seem like the best alternative to going to the gym for some abs. Of course, they aren’t THOSE abs we’re really thinking about.
There are three different kinds of abdominal bars: Pecs, Muscle and Fitness Bars.
Origin : Venezuela
Bean type : Criollo, Trinitario
Nose : powerful, manly
Taste : spicy touches of coffee and dry fruit, floral touches, slight acidity due to the bean fermentation.
Distinctive feature : intense aroma and surprisingly long taste, cocoa finesse.
2,20 € per 40 g bar
Origin : Madagascar
Bean type : Criollo, Forastero
Nose : powerful, intense
Taste : acidity typical of Madagascar, touches of red and yellow berries.
Distinctive feature : intense freshness due to cocoa acidity.
2,20 € per 40 g bar
Origin : Blend of central America and Africa
Bean type : Trinitario, Forastero
Nose : black chocolate, spicy
Taste : spicy, marked chocolate taste
Distinctive feature : sugar-free, suitable for diabetes patients
2,20 € per 40 g bar
Jean-Paul Hévin Chocolatier
23 bis, avenue de la Motte-Picquet
75007 Paris – FRANCE
tags: france travel jean paul hevin chocolate in paris les tablettes de chocolate MOF abdominal bars
Posted in chocolate, daily life, food and drinks, funny, MOF Meilleur Ouvrier de France, news, paris, pastries, people, travel and places, travel tip, weird
After getting a taste of a couple of French MOFs’ (Meilleur Ouvrier de France) awarding winning desserts and meals (Le Daniel and Paul Bocuse), we’ve since been on a mission to seek out and try out more and more (and more!) of them. Perhaps I’ll be shopping for new clothes here soon.
Les 5 Sens (The 5 Senses), a 2-year old modern and reasonably priced gastronomic restaurant in Avignon, is owned by Chef Thierry Baucher, an MOF. We were in the neighborhood last week, so we headed out with Jacques, Chloe and Noa (from Apres la sieste), in search of a yummy meal. Yes. We found what we were looking for and more. The meal was positively and incredibly memorable.
Chef Thierry Baucher working in the kitchen
Note: You will notice that I forgot BOTH my cameras (I know. I’m a fired blogger!) so some of the photos were taken with the phone camera in very low light, and many of them just didn’t come out. I had to shrink the remaining of them. (The top photo is a scan from their business card.)
We sat outside in the courtyard on a beautiful, warm evening. The night kicked off literally with a bang starting with the amuse bouche, traditionally served before the first course. A small glass filled with a mixture of cucumber and tiny pieces of raw salmon.
Suddenly, my sweetie let out a little scream. Then Jacques blurts a little “woah!” Next, Chloe and I followed. The chef had sprinkled Pop Rocks (candy) into the amuse bouche. Pop Rocks, remember those fizzy exploding candy things?! (also known as Action Candy, and in France it was called, “Frizzy Pazzy”) A memorable amuse bouche (with mouths snapping, crackling and popping) if ever I knew one.
Everything that followed was excellent, so much so that everyone was fully concentrated on their meal for a while, oohing and ahhing in between.
Each dish and the dessert was truly unique and absolutely wonderful, and there were always unexpected twists in dishes. There’s not much to say, really, except that you must try Les 5 Sens if you’re ever in Avignon.
I had to sample the cheeses by Josiane Deal, another MOF! They were superb, and the sorbet made with roquette, lime and mint, perfectly accompanied the cheeses, as well as being really refreshing and singularly different.
So the chef heard that the blogger from Why Travel to France was eating in the courtyard, so he came out to chat with us. Kidding. I’m not sure why he came out to talk with us, but it was very sweet of him, anyway. Give that man a raise!
A last note.
The bathrooms are impeccably clean, which means only one thing: the kitchen is very clean. You know, that cleanliness advice from Anthony Bourdain in Kitchen Confidential?
A clean kitchen is a must.
Another last note: The bathroom has black toilet paper, which my sweetie thought was blog worthy. I agree.
Les 5 Sens
Place Plaisance (the restaurant is not visible from the street so you must enter the courtyard)
18, Rue Joseph Vernet
84000 Avignon, France
+33 (0) 4 90 85 26 51 (reservations recommended)
Hours: 11:30am to 2:30pm and 7:30pm to 11pm
Closed Sunday and Monday except in July
tags: france travel les 5 sens meilleur ouvrier de france avignon restaurants
Posted in art/culture/design, daily life, food and drinks, MOF Meilleur Ouvrier de France, people, Provence, Recommended Accommodations, travel and places, travel tip