um... HELLO !

Well well well... it's been quite a while. But I'm back! There has been lots of changes this year that generated a hiatus, but before the year wraps up, I'm turning the TofC light back on.

I've got some exciting news in the pipeline! I've teamed up with a retreat producer in Los Angeles, Janna Stark, and together we are launching a new company that ties into the future of Trail of Crumbs. Earlier this year, Stark approached me to be a producer of a team building retreat for Google. I quickly said yes and pulled together a chef from Chez Panisse, a favorite musician ( Eric D. Johnson of the Fruit Bats), and scouted an incredible farm near Napa to host it. A team of 120 Googlers arrived at the farm last August for what was their favorite event to date! So... that being said, it was time to make this new venture something more permanent. 

I will be generating new content here, will give the site a new look ( soon!) and keep the magic flowing.


Danielle Rubi
Founder, The Trail of Crumbs

Lahmacun Recipe from chef Selami of Urfa Dürüm in Paris !

We miss living in Paris. It's been two years since we moved back to California, and I am so grateful that we are at least able to still work in and visit Paris each year to keep the balance that we were hoping for. But dang, we miss the street food options that were found in the 10th arrondissement, like our favorite Turkish/Kurdish teeny tiny restaurant, Urfa Dürüm. 

Adrian's scribbled recipe from the phone call with Selami, plus our young son's high energy doodle
I woke up on a recent hazy weekend morning and all I wanted was one thing... Lahmacun from Paris.  I popped up from the couch and asked my husband Adrian to call (Adrian's french is fluent, whereas mine is ok) Selami in Paris, the man in charge at Urfa Dürüm, to get the real recipe so we could make it STAT. We had befriended Selami after filming at his restaurant with the team of Anthony Bourdain's show, "The Layover". After that Selami was always so extra welcoming to us. So Adrian picked up the phone and called Selami. He was so happy to hear that we would like to recreate his magic in our California home and casually relayed his recipe in the middle of his dinner service... "it's easy!", he said.  You just have to have a couple Turkish seasonings to make it authentic. These ones: Kirmizi Pul Biber (Aleppo) or Marash pul Biber (Turkish chili with medium heat and a sweet-earthy taste), and Sumac (has a lemony earthy flavor).

For the mince you will need:
2 lbs ground lamb
2 medium onions
a bunch of parsley
2 very red bell peppers
Turkish Chili flakes,  either Kirmizi Pol Biber (Aleppo) or Marash
Ground Cumin
Fresh cracked black pepper
Sea Salt 

All purpose Flour

...and for the garnish: 
Red onion, Lemon, Sumac, Tomatoes, Red Onion, Parsley 
(you can also add a handful of your fave lettuce)

Equipment: Wooden pizza paddle and pizza stone

Before you start prepping, place your pizza stone on the middle rack of the oven and pre-heat to 450-500 degrees. Nice and hot.

First deseed and devein the bell peppers and chop them into very fine pieces. Then finely chop the onion. Put ground lamb, chopped peppers, and onions into a big bowl and add 1-2 TB of Turkish chili flakes ( these chili flakes have a medium heat to them, so add as much or little as you like), 1/4 cup of chopped parsley, 1 TB of ground cumin, and 1 TB ( more or less) of salt and pepper. Mix well. 

Selami did not give us any specifics about making the dough, he simply said to mix flour, salt and water gently together and hand knead a little bit until you get a very soft dough. Divide dough into individual portions,  form into tennis sized balls and cover for 15 minutes. We used about 4 cups of flour and poured a fair amount water into the flour well and slowly mixed the water in with our hands. Add about 1 teaspoon or so of salt. We experimented a little and it was easy to achieve. We covered our dough with plastic wrap, but you can pre-form all dough and simply cover with a tea towel if you have lots of people to feed and you will use it quickly.

I couldn't find my rolling pin so I used my 4 year olds, hey it worked!
Toss some flour on your work surface and roll out a ball of dough into a very thin round 10" shape, then place rolled out dough onto a well floured pizza paddle (or large cutting board) . Using your hands, start pressing a thin layer of lamb mixture over the dough.  Gently transfer to the pizza stone using jab like gestures, to get it on the stone properly. This will take a little practice. You can give the paddle a few test shakes to make sure the Lahmacun is moving around ok. Make sure there is a nice layer of flour on your board, the flour acts like tiny ball bearings that help make the transfer to the stone way easier. Bake for about 8-10 minutes. Check on it and when the edges get crispy and light brown, it's done.

En route to the hot as oven
Et Voilà !! Now just throw on the garnishes and roll up and grub
 Watch the short video below of Adrian placing the final touches on the first Lahmacun to come out of the oven. From the streets of Paris to our lunch time mouths in California. Yes!

Urfa Durum in Paris:
56 rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 75010
Open every day except Sunday

Swiss Mountain Frolick and Fare

On a recent trip to Grindelwald, Switzerland, we traveled up up up in every direction. Postal buses, gondolas, hikes... all paths led to heart skipping natural beauty and cozy, melty Swiss food.

Traditional swiss Rösti, grated potatoes cooked with speck and topped a farm egg and Alpkäse, alp cheese. Alpkäse is a type of swiss mountain cheese that is strictly produced using milk from cows grazing high up on the alpine grasses and flowers.
A peek into a Swiss aging and curing cheese hut, up in the mountains surrounding Grindelwald

Traditional Käseschnitte: melted Raclette cheese on bread served with potatoes, pickles and pickled onions. Raclette cheese is produced with a strict ratio of water and dairy fat that makes it a perfect melting cheese. Hearty, simple and incredible.

One year old alpkäse in the aging hut for hikers to sample during an annual Alpkäse festival

Our son Anton in a fascination daze as we slowly ride up on a gondola to some mountain trail heads
We made it! Bachalpsee, a small magical mountain lake in Grindelwald located at an elevation of 2,265 meters. I highly recommend hiking up to this lake when planning your Berner Oberland adventure.
One of the regional gondola rides brings you to Pfingstegg. Here you can ride the rodelbahn en route to a network of rad hiking trails that traverse across and down, back to the valley and into town. One of our favorites.
just down the path and around the bend we met a hunter who turned out to be a chill swiss man who told us all about the local wild game

At the end of a long hike we feasted on housemade sausage and spätzle, little swiss eggy dumplings that are boiled then sautéed. Some of the best local housemade sausages and other regional dishes are at the Hotel Wetterhorn.

Darkness slowly falls inside the forest... time to wander back to the chalet and slumber to the sound of distant cow bells

Working with Chef Ludo Lefebvre on the new season of Mind of a Chef

Chef Ludo Lefebvre and Chef Iñaki Aizpitarte hanging at Le Dauphin, the cave à manger next door to Le Chateaubriand
We recently worked with ZPZ Productions again on 4 episodes of this season's Mind of a Chef, featuring french chef Ludo Lefebvre. TofC's Adrian Rubi-Dentzel was on fixer duty for all episodes shot in France, and helped Chef Ludo and the production crew navigate their way through top kitchen's of Paris as well as secret gardens of Normandy, magical islands off the Normandy and Brittany coast and beyond. Lots of pre-production, creative b-roll shooting, eating, laughing and translating!

DP Ethan Mills filming Chef Ludo observing Chef Iñaki of Le Chateaubriand in Paris
Chef Ludo and his father picnicking at Parc Buttes Chaumont

Trail of Crumbs + Aida Mollenkamp = New Paris Episode for "Off-Menu" !

Check out TofC's Adrian Rubi-Dentzel as he takes Aida Mollenkamp to a few of our favorite hidden gems in Paris. We at Trail of Crumbs coordinated this episode for Tastemade and had a blast with their crew. Thanks to Tastemade and Aida for making it so fun. Enjoy the show!

White Truffles in Marfa, TX?

Years ago, Adrian made a pit stop in a tiny remote town in the high desert called  Marfa, Texas. He was on a long road trip making his way down to his family's house in coastal Mexico. He felt the magic right away. He ended up buying a little fixer upper house and we've made a point to circulate Marfa into our lives when we can. Marfa was put on the contemporary art map when American modern sculptor Donald Judd took residence there in the 1970's. With the help of the Dia Foundation, he bought several large buildings as well as the decommissioned Fort D.A. Russell to house large scale bodies of his work along with pieces by other artists. Both the Chinati Foundation and the Judd Foundation continue to manage these spaces and keep his art history legacy alive.

 Donald Judd's aluminum pieces in one of the fort's large buildings that comprise the Chinati Foundation

  Judd's wood furniture design pieces and permanent work by Dan Flavin at the Chinati Foundation

We recently had a sweet little excursion over to Marfa last month to check up on our house, soak up the sky and to celebrate my birthday with my twin sister Simone. Last year, we spent our birthday together in Piedmont, Italy, and ate white truffles at the source. This year, we did it again, but in the high desert! Simone scoured the internet and found a source that shipped white truffles directly from Alba to us in the middle of West Texas. Simone and her boyfriend Rob run the best coffee shop in all of Texas ( Ok, I might be a little biased but still). Their coffee shop is called Do Your Thing, and has become the go-to spot to catch up with locals, find out about what's going on that day, and to enjoy the high quality coffee and tasty rad café breakfast grub.

One of the neighborhood horse buddies ... Me n my twin sister, Simone
 A porridge bowl and DYT coffee...and a "modern", my favorite drink at DYT
White truffles were purchased for the big birthday dinner... Mary Farley's beautiful eggs from down the road.
Simone rolls out pasta with Chinati foundation director, Rob Weiner
Seared pork loins encrusted with Sarawac peppercorns... soon to be dressed with a cognac, pepper cream sauce
Mary's eggs getting separated by Simone and dear friend, Buck Johnson of the always amazing Wrong Store
A singular ricotta and egg yolk raviolo, with brown butter and white truffles from Alba
Old TofC friend, Janella Fox, made two magical dark chocolate Guinness cakes with cream cheese frosting for our birthday...  DELISH!
Sunset walks in Marfa are beyond

The Côtes d'Armor in Brittany

Before heading west to California, we frolicked on one of our other favorite coastlines, the Côtes d'Armor in the Brittany region of France. From fresh mussels, clams, oysters and scallops to buckwheat crepes in their place of origin and lots of incredibly beautiful cove beaches... the Brittany coast is one of the most magical places on earth.

Les Bouchots, the mussel farms in the Fresnaye Bay

The best fresh steaming mussels from the seaside flea-market stand for only 5 Euros

Quilles, a wooden vintage french bowling game found at the flea market. Love the breton striped men with berets!
Anton and I chilling by the Erquy lighthouse
two favorite plages sauvages, Plage Lourtouais and Plage Portuais & oysters from Nicolas Nonnet

We have finished filming! It's a wrap!! A dream has been realized, and a film has been shot. The footage is so incredible and the actors brought the script to life in ways we never imagined. We are so proud and happy to be making "Prestigious Ingredients" ! Follow our production diary and all film related news here.

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