Reminiscing about “My Paris Days” during the Coronavirus lockdown in NY
Written by Vera Loulou
As I now sit in my flat in Manhattan, which I’ve called home over the last 17 years…isolated as never before from my friends and the cities and cultures I’ve come to call home – be it Japan, Israel, London and my home of origin Moscow …
“I reflect on Paris, my true love, the city which beckons me each and every day…The city that taught me how to eat, to eat what’s in season, and directly from farmers and fishermen.”
Living in Julia Child’s apartment in Paris was one of the major inspirations that led me to become a chef.
Born in Russia and raised in NYC, I moved to Paris to pursue my gastronomic dreams as well as to meet the city’s most renowned chefs. In the process, I learned an enormous amount about French culinary traditions. I became an expert on food shopping and making Sauce au Poivre; I could also tell you where to eat the best Steak Tartare, and maybe even introduce you to Alain Passard.
As a result, I started to cook and travel all over the world, landing in Japan, a city and culture which became a huge influence on both my style of cooking and philosophy. I love to cook my heart out, fusing haute-cuisine techniques with regional traditions, and adding my own unique twists. I take advantage of peak produce and work with seasonal ingredients. I believe that devotion to pristine ingredients has a moral valence: each ingredient may well be the best example of its kind you have ever tasted.
I have over ten years of experience cooking all over the world both in restaurants and for private clientele. Cooking is my passion…the search for truth my obsession!
I lived in the 7th Arrondissement. My social group was rather Bohemian and eclectic,…Bon vivants, an interesting mix of artists, models, chefs and designers. Overall, an incredibly artistic crew!
A day in the life of Paris is endlessly abounding…waking up in the morning in the 7th arrondissement…a Croissant at Des Gateaux et du pain or La Maison d’Isabelle.
A walk down Boulevard Saint Germain for a little coffee at Cafe de Flore, and staying until lunch reading a book or a newspaper. Two glasses of Rose later and running into friends, checking out some galleries and stopping by La Palette for a glass of red only to contemplate over again, where to go for diner. A coffee and another aperitif at Cave du Septime, oysters at Le Duc and dinner at Le Baratin. Op! Montana always proved a fun evening as we continued to drink, dance, and celebrate amidst the lights. La vie en Rose, all day and every day!
Paris is unlike any city, a beautiful yet dangerous vortex, a romantic supernova.
These are some of my favorite spots that I infinitely cherish because of their consistency, high-quality products, a frequently changing menu with seasonal, small plates and a great wine list, mostly natural, as well as casual, laid-back atmosphere.
L’Ecailler du Bistro – oysters
Table by Bruno Verjus – pithivier
La Bourse et la Vie – pot-au-feu and naughty steak frites
Chez la Vielle – Herring and potato salad and duck terrine
Le Baratin – Cervelle de veau and a carafe of Jura
Uncino Restaurant – spider crab spaghetti
Mokonuts – Miso-sesame cookies, guinea fowl with cabbage and apples, cockles with bergamot
Le Servain – Cuttlefish tartare, tuna belly with Fromage blanc on brioche toast
Clamato – Legendary Fish Sandwich, octopus carpaccio, tuna tartare
L’Avant Comptoir – Boudin Noir red pepper jelly macaron, ham artichoke waffles, BAO buns with pork belly
Verjus – Cheese-filled ravioli with cauliflower, capers, chili, and cocoa
Les Enfants du Marche – Baby glass eels, grilled langoustines, and whole-roasted suckling pig
Au Passage – Tete du turbot and pigeon fume
Le Duc – Lobster with orange sauce and 00 Belon oysters
Bistrot Paul Bert – Cote de boeuf, roasted bone marrow and eggs with truffles
Le Clarence – Pate en croute
Le Verre Vole and Cave Septime–For wine
Fromagerie Laurents Dubois – Buttery and velvety Mont D’or
Circus Bakery – bread
Written by Vera Loulou