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“Cookery books should be stained and thumbed”, insists Dorie Greenspan, author of very grubby tomes such as Baking with Julia, The Café Boulud Cookbook (with super-chef Daniel Boulud), Waffles from Morning to Midnight, and Desserts by Pierre Hermé, which won the IACP Cookbook of the Year Award. A contributing editor at Bon Appétit, Dorie divides her time between Paris and New York — pastry shops and book signings. Now Dorie presents her new baby, Paris Sweets, Great Desserts from the City’s Best Pastry Shops. Oh la la! You have to admit the lady has chutzpah, how do you go about persuading the likes of Pierre Hermé, Christian Constant, Dalloyau, Robert Linxe etc., to divulge their precious secrets — pay them off? This book is worth it’s weight in whipped chocolat chaud; it’s the Kama-Sutra of culinary revelations. “Some chefs, who are not in the book, gave me recipes with ingredients missing,” Dorie smiles an impish smile. “But as I tested all the recipes in Paris and New York; I soon discovered the boobs!”   “For anyone who loves pastry, Paris is the centre of the universe,” says Dorie, who first came to France in 1971 and says it was a mere cosmic mistake that she was born in Brooklyn, not Paris! Not only can you find a patisserie or boulangerie on every street, the odds are, like Dorie you’ll always remember your first taste of that mouth-watering strawberry tartlet. “It was not elaborate; it was perfect,” recalls Dorie. That first tartlet epitomises everything the lady loves in French culture and cuisine; “From that day on, I sampled pastries in every corner of Paris — and then I sampled them again! Paris Sweets is a fascinating record noting 30 years of discoveries.” The book, with beautiful illustrations by the water-colour artist Florine Asch, is divided into chapters featuring: cookies of all sorts; tarts for teatime; demystifing macaroons and simple cakes. Really! Recipes for kitchen klutzes! “One of the things that I really like about Paris Sweets is that there are many recipes for beginning bakers,” explains Dorie. For example: Pierre Hermé’s Korova Cookies (P.6), Financiers (P.16 Jean-Luc Poujaran), Lemon Butter Cookies (P.24, Pâtisserie Lerch), Grandmother’s Creamy Chocolate Cake (yum — P. 42 La Maison du Chocolat) and Christian Constant’s Chocolate Bread Pudding (P.110). That’s without the easy Whole Lemon Tart (P. 85 Rollet Pradier), and Crème Brûlée (P.104 Pâtisserie Mulot)! At the end of each recipe there is a dear little note explaining how to personalize, or serve your masterpiece. As you gain confidence go for Grand Gateaux for Fêtes and Feasts and read the information on, say, vanilla and why it’s always best to use mineral water. Obviously you’ll want to taste the originals before staining your own copy of Paris Sweets, all the addresses are listed under Les Bonnes Addresses. If you’re hoping Dorie will be some huge blob, with bad acne and a card to Weight Watchers in her wallet; forget it. Dorie is as thin as a pin. Fired from her first baking job for creative insubordination because, she explains, “I liked inventing, translating and testing recipes, more than I liked baking the same sweets over and over again.” “I was saved when I got my first article published and realized that writing about food was the perfect job for me.” Dorie dedicates Paris Sweets to her husband Michael, her Parisian friends, to the city’s pâtissiers, boulangers, and chocolatiers, “who make Paris so sweet”. And to her lucky son Joshua, who must run home each day, followed by le tout Universite! “When you bring your cakes to the table, or make anything from Paris Sweets, I know you will be as grateful to the pastry chefs who shared their recipes, as I am,” smiles Dorie. Thank you Dorie, we love you. For a shiny new unstained version of Paris Sweets go to:Galerie La Hune Brenner,Meet Dorie at 6pm on Tuesday 4th March at:14 rue de l’Abbaye (Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés), 6thMétro: Saint-Germain-des-Prés.T: 01 43 25 54 06.Or, if you’re not lucky enough to be in Paris on Tuesday, order from Amazon: Paris Sweets – Click Here How many times each day do you tell someone you love them? Hug them, tell them they’re 3*** star? So what’s it got to do with you, Ms Buzz, you enquire? Well, I had intended to write about Pierre Hermé and his Spring-Summer Collection 2003, then I discovered that *** star super-chef Bernard Loiseau committed suicide — shot himself with his trusty hunting rifle — yesterday. Today, with a tear in his eye, Hermé dedicated one of his new creations Emotion Decouverte to Loiseau and insists, “The show must go on, although the world of gastronomy is truly rocked by this tragedy.” Loiseau at 52, seemed to have it all. Undoubtedly one of the most popular and gregarious chefs (along with Paul Bocuse) in France, he came from modest beginnings. His father, a travelling hat salesman wanted better for Bernard, sent him, aged 15, to cookery school and then to Pierre Troigros where he worked his way up through the ranks. Loiseau began his solo career at La Barriere de Clichy, Paris and in 1975 went to Saulieu (in the Burgundy countryside) and The Hotel de la Cote d’Or as chef/manager to the legendary Alexandre Dumaine. He loved the little town of Saulieu and its friendly locals very much and, when Dumaine retired, began to realise his dream. It took at least $3 million to transform the simple country house auberge into a palatial restaurant-hotel, considered worthy of Michelin stars: 1* came in 1977, 2** in 1981, but Loiseau was shooting for 3***. By 1991 he had his ***stars, awarded for une cuisine ancrée dans le terroir, but revised and corrected, so no cholesterol, no fat, flour banned for thickening sauces, salt banned in the dining room. Loiseau was one of the first, along with Michel Guerard, to see the future,…
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Born in Hampton, Middlesex, UK, Margaret Kemp is a lifestyle journalist, based between London, Paris and the world. Intensive cookery courses at The Cordon Bleu, London, a wedding gift from a very astute ex-husband, gave her the base that would take her travelling (leaving the astute one behind) in search of rare food and wine experiences, such as the vineyards of Thailand, 'gator hunting in South Florida, learning to make eye-watering spicy food in Kerala;pasta making in a tiny Tuscany trattoria. She has contributed to The Guardian, The Financial Times Weekend and FT. How To Spend, The Spectator, Condé Nast Traveller, Food & Travel, and Luxos Magazine. She also advises as consultant to luxury hotels and restaurants. Over the years, Kemp has amassed a faithful following on BonjourParis. If she were a dish she'd be Alain Passard's Millefeuille “Caprice d'Enfant”, as a painting: Manet’s Dejeuner sur l’herbe !