February 6, 2015

A Candlelit Birthday Dinner in Paris


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. 


My French-American friend and private cook, Alix Lacloche, helped us prepare the meal. She effortlessly organized the shopping and the prep and let us chill out. She threw on her apron and started chopping, tasting and pulling all the elements together. Simone and I were in charge of one thing, the white truffle ravioli that we made from scratch using a truffle we hand selected at the white truffle fair in Alba. 
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

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