Paris's food scene needs no introduction. It's as legit as it gets. But in the last few years it has modernized in a way that's creative but still totally respectful of all the beurre, onglets, et vin that first made it so famous.
On this week's episode of #OffMenu, furtniture maker-extraordinaire and expat Adrian Rubi-Dentzel, and I searched out the best modern versions of classic Paris. Ever since living there for culinary school, Paris has felt like a home away from home for me, but, even though it's familiar, it's always shifting, changing, and growing.
And now? Now the food scene is better than ever. The respect for the past combined with a forward-looking creativity means chefs breakaway from stodginess but still give a nod to tradition. And that spirit is what this episode of Off Menu captured perfectly.
We started our day out visiting master pastry chef Benoit Castel (mastermind behind one of my favorite places in Paris, La Grande Epicerie) at his new-ish shop, Liberté Patisserie, where I had some of the most amazing shortbread-citron tarts ever (my version coming to the site ASAP).
We then searched out an almost-extinct dish: the classic ham and butter baguette sandwich known as the Jambon-Beurre. Classically made with Jambon de Paris (the only ham still made in Paris), a demi-sel butter, and a perfect ficelle baguette, it's hard to find made well these days. But at Caractère de Cochon they pay respect! There is an obsessive quality to their sandwich making and they go on the classic to include ham with mirabelle plums and butters from all over. After that we finished the day off visiting the butcher shop, Boucherie Les Provinces.
That gorgeous Tarte Au Citron from the episode? I'll be sharing a version with you soon, but, in the meantime, here is the simple but oh-so delicious Jambon-Beurre Sandwich. Preferably eaten with a glass of wine, while watching this episode, of course!
Opening photo by Kirstin McKee