We'll start early, arriving to see the Marché d'Aligre bustling with activity. Often overlooked by tourists and much coveted by locals, this market boasts an array of items from les fleurs to les fruits, with just about everything in between. With a long history of serving its quartier—the Marché d'Aligre was inaugurated in 1781—some even consider it le Second Ventre de Paris. Our culinary expert will guide us through the maze of stalls, identifying seasonal produce and discussing issues like food provenance and the concept of terroir (the character of the soil).
On our stroll, we will also select some provisions to sample together as a group. Taking in row upon row of artfully arranged fruits and vegetables, we'll admire this particularly elegant approach to food. We may also pay a visit to a fromager's stall to view the delectable wares on display, such as artisan raw-milk cheeses so special they're unavailable anywhere else in the world or take in charcuterie and homemade paté at the boucherie stand. We'll spend some time with the lively vegetable vendors from France and North Africa, pick through the displays of Atlantic and Mediterranean seafood, or even taste some mouthwatering olives from Provence or Italy. After some time in the market, we may also visit some of the specialty food stores or historic cafes in the neighborhood. As our walk comes to a close, we will leave with an understanding of the role the market plays in Parisian life, as well as an ability to navigate le marché.
Note: we also offer a Paris Food Tour on the left bank that focuses more heavily on French traditions and specialty food shops.
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Native Parisian Philippe Engammare's love affair with food and cooking began when he was six years old. By the time he was eight, he was preparing entire meals for an eight-person family. He then studied at Sciences Po. and in a doctorate program in history, then became an impresario and director of a recording company, before returning to cooking.Today he runs a catering and teaching organization called "Paris Chef" and leads market walks and other culinary programs for Context. As a rule, Philippe does all of his food shopping exclusively on bicycle at his neighborhood stores and markets.
Rebecca has been a lifelong Francophile. Receiving her Bachelor's degree in 1991 in French and international relations, she has worked in French language environments since her career began. She received her Master's degree from the Professional French Masters Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008. A resident of Paris since 2003, she has lead walking tours in Paris and other parts of France for the past eight years. In addition to her specialty of Montmartre, she provides custom walks on various historical and cultural themes.
Rhona began her culinary training in Paris Michelin-starred kitchens. She taught cuisine and pastry at the French Culinary Institute in New York where she started the pastry program. Rhona became one of the first woman executive pastry chefs when she worked at the Lespinasse restaurant in the Saint Regis hotel. Her love to teach and write led her to translate a dozen authoritative books on pastry, bread, and cuisine. Living in Paris the past 18 years, Rhona is constantly exploring its many culinary offerings. She is presently putting finishing touches on a pastry book with a focus on understanding the basics.
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