An eventful summer
Reads, bakes, travels, and eats
Well, it’s been a while. It feels like almost every time I send out a new newsletter, I’m saying the same. I’m just enjoying life too much or trying to. I’m excited about new changes coming up and excited to share them with you when the time comes. Read all the way through to the end of this newsletter to learn how you can be involved in one of these new changes!
This summer, I’ve been trying to read more. I’ve read two books and part way through my third. I’ve found that reading and keeping in touch with friends in different time zones is hard. Either my attention span is too short, or I need to learn how to multitask. Regardless, I thought I would share some of my recent reads with you:
Vie due thé, esprit du thé (en: The Japanese Way of Tea) by Soshitu Sen - This book was really interesting! The book, originally written by the 15th-generation tea master in Japan, explores his interpretation of the seven rules of tea: make a satisfying bowl of tea, boil the water correctly, evoke a sense of coolness in the summer and a sense of warmth in the winter, arrange flowers as they would appear in nature, be prepared ahead of time, prepare for the rain, and treat guests with utmost dignity.
Will Write for Food by Dianne Jacobs - A book all about writing about food, how to become better at it, how to make money from it, how to enjoy it, and how to eat it. It’s been a vital resource for me in the secret project I’m working on (hint hint) and a book I often reference even outside of this secret project.
Une vie de goûts et de passion (en: Good Taste: A Life of Food and Passion) by Alain Ducasse - The namesake of my most recent alma matter, I felt it necessary to purchase this book. I bought the book while still in pastry school but only recently started reading it. I’m not yet (or close to) done, but I’m excited to continue reading this.
While it hasn’t been an eventful summer, I have been enjoying my time in the kitchen. I’ve been trying new recipes and flavour combinations. One thing that I love about this job is that I have the opportunity to make the weekly dessert special every once in a while. One that I recently made was something really out of my comfort zone. I always try to make a dessert with an ingredient that I don’t particularly enjoy every once in a while. I find learning how to use an ingredient you don’t enjoy is important. I never know when the next client can come around the corner asking for a pastry with an ingredient I hate in the middle of it.
The dessert I recently made was really interesting. I had taken a lime-infused sugar cookie as my base and infused a milk chocolate cream with lapsong souchong. Lapsang souchong is a smoked black tea, so you get a really smoky taste aroma, mixed with the sweet and light milk chocolate, is a nice pairing. I served this with a mixed berry sorbet, adding a bit of acidity to counter the smokiness of the tea. While I don’t particularly enjoy anything smoked, I found the dessert to be quite balanced and enjoyable. It’s always important to challenge yourself to do something a bit out of your comfort zone occasionally.
In August, I had the chance to take a few days off for my birthday, and I’m so happy I did. I returned to my favourite city in France, Lyon. Making a return to Lyon was an amazing break for me. I needed a chance to breathe away from Bretagne and enjoy city vibes. Taking the metro for the first time since March felt amazing! Paying by card for a purchase under 5€, revolutionary!! A close friend from Geneva joined me for my time in Lyon and a one-night trip to Paris. Of course, there was plenty of food, long conversations, and memories made. And can’t forget the shopping that happened in Paris!
My favourite arrondissement in Lyon is the first, or le premier. This is where city hall is located, just across the Saône from the old city. The first is a mix of old and new architecture, various types of stores and businesses, and right in the middle of Lyon. City Hall, what I would say is my favourite building in all of France, is a majestic and grand building with gold plated ornaments and crests of the Republic and of the city, towering over the Place des Terreaux. Place des Terreaux is a massive square that feels so small with the amazing sense of community that exists in Lyon. Opposed to the capital city, the Lyonnais are warm and inviting. Every time I pass by city hall in the evening, there is almost always a band playing live music in front of the main entrance, with people laughing and dancing in front of them.
Of course, my trip to Lyon and Paris was filled with amazing food and restaurants, most of which were new finds. A few of the highlights are (in no particular order):
Diploid, Lyon 1 - Diploid is quite possibly my favourite brunch restaurant in France. First introduced to me by my good friend from pastry school, a trip to Lyon is never complete without a trip to Diploid. My favourite brunch item is, for sure, the smoked trout pancakes, served with a poached egg and a yogurt sauce. Often, I have one or two pancakes left and always ask for some maple syrup on the side.
M Restaurant, Lyon 6 - M Restaurant is a Michelin-recognised restaurant. While not holding any stars, it does have a Bib Gourmand, similar to an honourable mention. The food was well-balanced, refined, and soooo good! The entrée (appetizer) really stood out to me, rabbit rillettes. Similar to duck confit, rillette is a shredded version of confit. The rabbit just melted away, and was accompanied by an acidic salad.
Blanca, Paris 11 - A golden find I came across while reading David Lebovitz’s newsletter. Started by an Argentinian brother-sister duo, Blanca was an amazing experience. To be honest, I’m salivating writing about this restaurant. A very small menu comprising three steaks, each at its own length of dry ageing, is very well executed, along with the dining experience.
In other news, I’m looking for recipe testers! I’m looking for some help to test some recipes that will be included in my secret project. If you want to be a recipe tester, head to this link to learn more and submit your name!
Until next time, happy adventuring,