April 25, 2015
We are making a short film next month about modern french cuisine. It stars Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development, Whip It) and it's about a stifled Hollywood actress who gets hired by a chef in Paris (Pierre Jancou) for an unlikely role. This film features modern french cuisine in a fictional narrative format, which makes it unique among all the reality/documentary food based content out there.
There's still time left for our Kickstarter campaign and we would love any support possible to reach our goal. If we do not reach our goal by May 14th, we will lose all pledged support... so please help us spread the word! We really want to make this film to be put out into the universe.
We've got lots of great prizes for those that donate... some handmade cheese boards by Adrian Rubi-Dentzel, who has designed furniture for many top new Paris restaurants, original drawings by Alia Shawkat, Pierre Jancou's inscribed and signed new cookbook... and many more to come.
Please watch this video about our film and click here for more details on how to support us!
April 10, 2015
A big perk of being creatively involved with new restaurants is being able to go to fun things like test dinners. Last night we tasted much of the new menu at Hero, the new cocktail restaurant from Josh, Adam, and Carina of Quixotic Projects (Candelaria, Glass, Le Mary Celeste). Haan Palcu-Chang's food program is centered around Korean fried chicken. Available by the whole or half bird, the chickens are quartered, fried to a thoroughly-crispy, dark brown and dressed in one of three sauces: regular, sweet garlic, or spicy. Luckily ours was a table of four which warranted getting a whole chicken moitié/moitié, half in spicy sauce, half sweet. Thankfully, Haan is a stickler for certain cutural necessities of cooking, and does not hold back on the chiles in the spicy sauce. There will be french people who cannot handle this, and that is fine. The menu is full of great antidotes to a mouth on fire: two delicious tapioca pearl drinks, the zenned-out seawead rice, the fresh and bright noodle salad, tangy rich kimchi mac 'n' cheese, and of course the light Hite Korean beer. Haan's cooking never disappointed at Le Mary Celeste, and Hero is no different. The dynamic range from acids, saltiness, spice and sweet is perfect alongside cocktails that managed to further surprise us in how crazy, new, and fun a beverage can be. The interior design by Jeanette Dalrot and Safari Sundays takes you from chic Bladerunner to 80's Santa Monica beach house and downstairs to a woody kitchen dining bar. Downstairs, dubbed Superhero, will soon be home to a nightly six-person tasting menu service, for which our own Adrian Rubi-Dentzel designed and made the bar top.
|The sweet half of a "moitié-moitié " pile of fried chicken. This stack is a whole chicken half in sweet sauce, half in spicy. "Bubble Trubble" cocktail made with tapioca pearls, absinthe, bekseju, young almond syrup, and almond milk. One of our favorites and a perfect antidote to the truly spicy chicken.|
|Two of Hero's cocktails: "Nice Legs", Litchi, pink pepper, soju, Aperol, prosecco, and "I Woke Up Like This", Tapioca pearls, young almond syrup, almond milk and blue.|
|"My personal favourite for the Hero menu: seared rice cakes, ragout of mushrooms, Chinese salted radish, and gochujang on purée of soft tofu." - Quote from Haan's instagram @haanpc|
|Kimchi mac-n-cheese, tastes like the old school mac-n-cheese you want but bright, tangy and a little spicy|
Two Hero cocktails, "Nice Legs" (left) and the pretty "Thug Life", soju, mescal, cognac blanc, gin, yuzu, lemon, ginger beer, cranberry, bitters, antesite
|Steamed and fried bun with samjang glazed pork ribs, korean mayo, and pickled cabbage|
|Spring vegetable, cold noodles, pickled daikon, seaweed and egg|
|buns chilling on the chef's table in the basement level called Super Hero with a six seat tasting menu|
|Hero's chefs prepping for their first dinner service behind the wood and resin bar by Adrian Rubi-Dentzel|
Short round on the shirt (soon for sale) / Haan and Adrian in Super Hero
|Detail of Super Hero chef's table, european chestnut wood and hand tinted resin pools|
|Upstairs dining room by swedish designer Jeanette Dalrot and NYC design firm, Safari Sundays|
|Central wash basin for those fried chicken sticky fingers|
Pink lit stair case lined with cinder block planters, the upstairs back counter dining area
289 Rue Saint Denis, Paris, 75002
+33 1 23 45 67 89
February 23, 2015
TofC contributor, Ingrid Pankonin, has recently taken a trip to Copenhagen with some friends and has shared her experience here on the Trail of Crumbs. Ingrid is a private cook ( Miel Cooking ) and close friend who lives in Oakland, California. Thank you Ingrid!
When a dear firend invited me to join him at Noma, the celebrated Copenhagen restaurant, I pretty much HAD to figure out how to get to Denmark! I was to join a group of friends, and we found a really lovely home on AirBnB. Traveling to Copenhagen could not have been easier - there is an excellent public transit system. Once we had al arrived, we hit the ground eating!
Despite the cold weather, the citizens of Copenhagen were out in full force - shopping and drinking mulled wine from stalls in the outdoor markets. The architecture was beautiful and I loved the mix of old, old buildings with all the mid-century design. We definitely found some amazing eating and shopping…
Our first, jet-lagged dinner of Copenhagen was at this modern, very open waterfront restaurant. The vast space somehow managed to feel cozy, and the food was surprising, yet still recognizable. Nice wine list, smart service, and literally one of the best tartares I've ever eaten - veal with tarragon and egg yolk. It had all of the elements you want in a tartare, while opening your palate to something different, and with an obvious sense of place. We also had delicious cocktails, like the Nordic Negroni, a twist on the classic using science-project techniques for marrying the flavors under pressure.
Lunch at Slotskælderen - a typical smørrebrød - the iconic Danish open-faced sandwiches - restaurant. We somewhat stumbled upon this one, reputed to be the best in Copenhagen, and somehow snuck a group of six of us in at the last minute. Apparently everyone in Denmark likes to have these lavish lunches around the holidays, and in general, reservations are recommended well in advance. We started with special holiday-edition aqvavit, which had travelled around the equator twice, picking up spices along the way to infuse in it. Skål! We had beautifully fresh oysters, many sandwiches - tiny bay shrimp, fried and marinated herring, pork belly, hard-cooked eggs, lots of mayonnaise and the requisite capers, red onions and dill on most of it. So delicious! And all amongst a super cozy, family vibe - we left with warm hearts and bellies!
Changing of the Guard at Amalienborg Palace
Every day at noon, the changing of the guard at the Queen's palace happens - think Buckingham Palace-style uniforms and stern faces. This was an amazing display of history and tradition, not to mention hardiness against the cold, in the plaza between the four identical palaces that comprise the Danish royal family's winter residence.
Words can't really describe how amazing this meal was - from the cozy setting, to the flawless and super-personal service, to the mind-blowing food and wine and juice. Believe the hype.
This is a gorgeous, modern, indoor-outdoor food market located just a block or so away from Nørreport Station - one of Copenhagen's central metro stops. There are two large, glassy halls and a central outdoor area between them, filled with stalls selling everything from fresh produce to wine to Danish cheeses to seafood to artisanal licorice. This is a wonderful place to have a casual lunch at one of the restaurant-y stalls, and to pick up typical Danish products to bring home.
This is a sweet little neighborhood with lots of vintage shops, little cafés, clothing stores, and galleries. The vintage places range from fully-curated mid-century design emporium to sardine-packed bric-a-brac mess - which makes for a fun shopping experience! The lovely Frederiksen boutique has a great selection of women's clothes, and Bevar's serves a cozy, slightly hipster smørrebrød lunch.
We made a reservation at Geist for the evening after the Noma lunch, cancelled it due to overwhelm, and then ended up in their lounge/bar area for a light dinner anyway! As with pretty much anywhere we went, the staff was incredibly nice and helpful, with the bartender offering great advice on their interesting wine list. We had just a few dishes, but they were delicious and inventive. The suckling pig and crispy artichokes were rich and comforting, and the baked celery root and chestnut dish was a STUNNER. The well-heeled, slightly older vibe matches the inventive but not bewildering cuisine.
Our last meal of the Copenhagen days was at this modern smørrebrød restaurant nestled inside the Standard Hotel along the canal front. An airy, comfy space and an open kitchen started out lunch off right, and the updated versions of the sandwiches were exciting and still grounded in tradition. As with all the restaurants we visited, there were myriad aqvavit selections, as well as nicely chosen beer and wine lists. A perfect send-off, wrapping us in a Danish modern hug and leaving us wanting more!
All photos and text: Ingrid Pankonin
All photos and text: Ingrid Pankonin
February 6, 2015
Recently, I was able to celebrate my birthday with my twin sister Simone, who crossed the seas from Marfa, Texas to be in Paris for our annual fête. First we went on a road trip through white truffle laden Piedmont, Italy and after, hosted an intimate birthday dinner party at a friend's elegant home in Paris.
I adore the apartment that belongs to the charming couple, Michaela Lee and Alex Thumerelle. Alex runs a bookstore, gallery and boutique, called Ofr. I met Alex when I curated an art exhibition in the Ofr gallery a few years ago featuring three artist and musician friends from California. Their chic apartment also functions as an extension and atelier of the Ofr universe. It's a gorgeous apartment used for photo shoots, private events, a showroom during fashion week and beyond. I was thrilled when she offered us the space for our birthday dinner, as it has lots of old world Parisian spirit, magic and soul.
Alix prepping a pile of fresh Chanterelle mushrooms from a nearby market,
Simone cutting the pasta sheets for the ravioli
Alix carefully inspects the Chanterelle mushrooms
Simone inhaling the intoxicating smell of the chosen white truffle at the Alba truffle show in Italy
A truffled egg yolk sitting in a pillow of fresh ricotta from my favorite fromagerie down the road
Each guest was served a single raviolo to begin the meal. I finished each one with a drizzle of browned butter and grated white truffle. One of the best things I have ever tasted in my life. Seriously. Quickly cooking dishes à la minute was fast-paced and fun, especially when one of our guests happened to be co-owner of 3 of Paris' best cocktail bars (Candelaria, Le Mary Celeste and Glass) and made everyone in the kitchen a round of very good Negronis. Yes!
Á table! Simone takes a moment to slowly stoke on the raviolo. Mmmmmmmmmmm
Stuffed pork loin with Chanterelle mushrooms and herbs,
Lovely Michaela in her billowy white chiffon blouse
Alix explains it all
Alix slicing the pork loin,
A happy dinner plate with stuffed pork loin, roasted potimarron squash with herby salsa verde, potato purée, sautéed Chanterelles, and fresh greens.
Last but not least... came two birthday cakes brought by a guest from Stohrer, the oldest Pâtissier in Paris (since 1730), along with lots of champagne
All photos by Danielle Rubi-Dentzel, except for top 2 photos by Simone Rubi