Ahh Paris... where to begin. It is by far my most favorite city in the entire world, and I was lucky enough to go there with work for meetings/watching Roland Garros! (I know... extremely lucky) Andrew and I try to tack on vacations whenever one of us has to travel for work, so we jumped on this opportunity to have a mini-vaca in Paris together.
So, why is Paris my favorite city? Hmm... the architecture, the french macarons, the wine, the foie gras, the escargot, the iron balconies on everyones apartments, the steak tartare, the amazing breads and pastries, the red flowers on the balconies, the cheeses... So I am realizing that it looks like the main reason I love Paris is the food... and that is definitely a huge factor. But there is something about Paris... something that makes it so wonderful and romantic... whatever it is, it makes me never want to leave.
Our first day together in Paris we were lucky enough to get tickets to Roland Garros (the French Open). We couldn't have asked for better weather, it was perfect.
On our second day we did a French cooking class with La Cuisine Paris . We took the "French Market Cooking Class - Marche Maubert Paris", where we started the morning shopping with our chef through one of the oldest Parisian neighborhood markets in the city, Marche Maubert. There were about 8 other people in the class (all americans!), and we on the spot decided what we were going to make for lunch that day. I was in heaven as we walked through the market learning the best way to buy fish, choosing which cheeses we wanted to have, and exploring the "boulanger" smelling the fresh baked bread. (we learned you always want to go to the place that says Boulanger, because that means the bread is baked fresh there, vs brought in from another bakery).
After picking up all of the ingredients, we walked back to La Cuisine Paris and we spent the next three hours putting together our amazing meal. They even taught us how to "plate" the food (aka make it look fancy on the plate) which was one of my favorite parts. I LOVED this cooking class, and it makes me want to do one like this in each city we visit, it was such a great way to experience the city.
One of the best parts of the cooking class, was at the end they gave us a map of the best restaurants in the area, as well as a discount to an AMAZING culinary store. E Dehillerin is a famous wholesale cookware shop that was established in 1820. It is a bit rough around the edges, but that's what makes it amazing. Floor to ceiling shelves of copper pots, wire whisks, pastry brushes, baking sheets, sharpening stones, every type of knife you could dream of, and the list goes on. Although I felt a bit out of my league in this store, the staff was extremely helpful... especially Franc, who became our go-to expert. The store is renowned for its copper selection... and I've always dreamed of owning one, so we figured this was the perfect (yet expensive) Paris souvenir. We also bought an escargot platter with the wonderful little tools (hey, when in Paris!).
to be continued in Part two...