Every year starting on January 6th, la galette des rois (the cake of the three kings), a cake made of frangipane (almond cream paste) and a buttery crust, is sold in patisseries all over France. These delicious cakes celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany, where the three wise men came to see the baby Jesus. In certain parts of France the cake is made with brioche and filled with glazed fruit. A feve, a little china figure, is hidden inside of the cake, and whoever gets it, (without breaking a cap when biting into it) is crowned king and gets to choose his queen. The cake is usually sold with a gold paper crown.
Wednesday night after the shocking Charlie Hedbo attacks, my friends Kristine and Cindy came over for dinner and to have our galette des rois. We spoke about the tragedy that occurred earlier in the day but put it aside for a few hours so we could cherish a French tradition that seemed much more precious and important than ever.
Vincent made a delicious dinner of wilted spinach salad with pine nuts and parmesan, Nobu’s miso marinated codfish and quinoa.
After dinner we started the ritual of the cake and Kristine told us the youngest person in the group or the virgin of the group (which was me, the youngest person, certainly not the virgin) has to crouch on all fours under the table and assign pieces of cake to each person. Thinking this was a candid camera/I’m being punked moment, I did it anyway. I got up, dusted myself off and we divided the cake up. It was a classic well-executed version of the cake with a flaky pastry and smooth, creamy almond paste. Over the years I have had an extremely high percentage rate of getting the feve and kept up my averages again this year by getting the feve and luckily not ruining any dental work. Of course, I had to choose my queen, and I had the heartbreaking task of having to choose one and rejecting the other. After much consideration (about 30 seconds) I chose Kristine and I crowned her my queen for the year. (I guess I get to trade her in next year if I get the feve again).
The fun ritual of the cake washed away some of the sadness of the day and lightened the mood, which we were glad for.
I want to thank you again for your kind outpouring of love, support, and sympathy for the Charlie Hebdo attacks and sorry if I couldn’t email all of you back individually.
New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotte's professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 185 euros per person (about $240)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday,Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.
I am pleased as punch to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I will personally be leading. The Eye Prefer Paris Tour includes many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes & food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks, and much more.
Tours cost 210 euros for up to 3 people, and 70 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris.
Check it out at www.eyepreferparistours.com
Click here to watch a video of our famous Marais tour