From les grands restaurants to the thousands of exquisite specialty shops to the neighborhood boulangerie, Parisians have mastered the art of cuisine. On this 2.5-hour walk, we will have an insider’s visit to some of the city’s top food shops, meeting shop owners, tasting artisanal products and enlivening our senses to the amazing culinary traditions for which France is known the world over.
Our walk, led by a trained chef, sommelier or food writer, travels through the chic Left Bank of Paris, stopping in at a select group of food shops and allowing us to become French for a few hours. The exact shops and presentation will vary depending on the docent and group; we may visit one of the best bakeries in the city to discover what defines a good baguette and its importance on the Parisian table. We may also spend some time learning about French cheese, its seasonality and the aging process.
We may stop in at an award-winning purveyor who will tempt our palates with foie gras while explaining its origins to us. We could have a look at this season's wild game in the window of a real butcher shop or slip inside to taste some homemade rillettes. We might sample a succulent chocolate made of roasted Equatorial cocoa beans, or pop into a wonderful wine shop that has been passed down through the generations to discuss wines and French spirits over a small glass of Armagnac.
Along the way, we will examine how all of these products fit into the French diet and other culinary traditions and philosophies. We may also discuss how this legacy has evolved into today's dining trends and discover the differences between a brasserie, bistro, and restaurant, including some firsthand dining recommendations. At the end of the walk, we should have an excellent foundation in French gastronomy and be better prepared to further discover French food during our stay and beyond.
Please note any food allergies or intolerances in the Notes box when booking.
For wine enthusiasts we have a separate wine tasting tour, Bordeaux to Burgundy; see this link for details.
|Duration: 2.5 hours|
|Venues: Various specialty food shops|
Alisa Morov moved to France from L.A. over ten years ago and shifted her career from fashion to food. Her talent for American desserts led her to create her own catering company, Sweet Pea Baking, in 2006. Starting a trend for American baking in Paris, she was quickly recruited by French publishing house Marabout and has written three cookbooks so far. In addition to leading culinary walks she also teaches market based seasonal French cooking classes.
Preston Mohr first arrived in Paris in 2003 to spend a year abroad while earning his BA in art history and French studies from the University of Minnesota. He has worked in many fields, including property management, fashion, and education, however, wine, gastronomy, and the French art de vivre have always been the focal point of his existence in Paris. Preston is an associate member of the Institute of Wines and Spirits (IWS) and has earned the Diploma from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET), becoming a sommelier. Preston offers wine tastings, excursions, and other gourmet wanderings using his knowledge gained from extensive travels and studies in France.
Laurel Sanderson comes from a long tradition of Southern bakers. As a Parisian resident for the past 15 years, she has honed her culinary, baking, and tasting skills by combining classical French traditions with delicious home-baked and decorated concoctions almost too beautiful to eat. Laurel perfected her professional skills while at Wedding Cakes Avenue, a Parisian bakery specializing in tiered cakes, before founding and opening the widely renowned Sugarplum Cake Shop where she was able to combine the welcoming ethos of a classic American coffee shop with serving mouth watering cakes. Three years on Laurel wanted to reconnect with her family while remaining connected to the baking and creative world she loves; she is currently working on a new project. Laurel enjoys sharing her in-depth knowledge and passion for food and pastry here in Paris.
Cassandra moved to Paris in 2010 to pursue a career in the culinary capital of the world. She received her formal training in French cuisine at l'Ecole Ferrandi, France's leading school in the culinary arts, and in French pastry at l'Ecole de Boulangerie et de Patisserie de Paris. She honed her skills working in Michelin-starred kitchens, the famed Astrance and the George V, and most recently as Pastry Chef at Verjus Restaurant. Cassandra spends her time outside of the kitchen discovering new restaurants, revisiting old favorites, and savoring the city's dynamic food scene.