I was recently invited to the Taste of Paris event by my good friend Anna of Parisforepicurians.com and although I’m not a huge foodie, I’m so glad I went. Now don’t get me wrong, I looooove to eat, I mean who doesn’t? However, I couldn’t tell you much about the chefs preparing my food. Yet, ever since I moved to Paris my attitude towards food has changed. Here I learned how to eat. What flavors I really enjoyed. Which kinds of meats I like. How to appreciate different textures in my food. I even developed a love for steak tartare. For those who don’t know, it’s basically seasoned raw meat, typically served with a side of fries. Alas, I digress. Continue reading to find out more about my experience at Taste of Paris.
Taste of Paris is based on the concept of allowing folks to enjoy some carefully selected Michelin starred restaurants in Paris in a festive atmosphere. Set at the Grand Palais, attendees are invited to enjoy tastings and meet top chefs, food producers and artisans. Upon access, guests are expected to grab a card and add money to it. This card is then used to go to different pop-up restaurants. Each pop-up has a set menu with different dishes, some plates are even Michelin starred. All dishes were priced from 6 to 12 euros. The portions aren’t that large, however after 4 or 5 of them bad boys, you’d be surprised at how full you can get.
First stop was at restaurant Guy Savoy, which has been managed by the renowned French chef Guy Savoy since 1980. He’s ranked as one of the top chef’s in Paris, so of course I had to stop there first. I chose the supreme chicken with foie gras and mushroom vinaigrette, which is a mainstay at Guy Savoy’s other restaurant Atelier Maître Albert. While extremely flavorful, I was sad I didn’t have a bigger portion. I wanted more! Anna ordered the artichoke soup with black truffle, accompanied by a mushroom and truffle brioche, which received 3 Michelin stars. She too had one wish, that her portion were bigger. However, we both concurred that the dishes were well thought out and it was evident that the quality made up for its lack of quantity. Final word: His food would be more enjoyable in the actual restaurant with the full experience. In the bite size, fast food output, it lost its flair.
Les Fables de la Fontaine
Things got interesting at the second pop-up, Les Fables de la Fontaine by Julia Sedefdjian. I was curious simply because I was told of her back story. You see, at barely 18 years old Miss Sedefdjian walked into her local unemployment office and asked for help in finding a job at one of the top Michelin starred restaurants. They did just that and the rest is history. She now ranks as one of the youngest chefs to receive a Michelin star. Girl power at its finest! I must also say, it’s a ranking well received. For my dish I chose the braised beef cheek with Cantabrie anchovies and carrots. All flavors I knew I would appreciate and I was not disappointed! Meanwhile, Anna poached some salmon in beet juice with accompanying flavorful vegetables. Final word: The girl knows what she’s doing, what can I say?
La Scène au Prince de Galles
For the third destination, me and Anna chose different restos. She made a pit stop at Stephanie le Quellec headed restaurant La Scène au Prince de Galles. She got her hands on some delicious scallop tartare with sorbet. Her Final Word: Great flavors and beautiful presentation.
As for me, I headed over to Japan…not literally of course. But I wanted something a little different from the direction we had been going in. That’s where I found Kei, aptly named after its head chef whom originated from Japan. The chef’s story is much like anyone who falls in love with the idea of Paris. Came to learn and never left. The line for Kei was long, but I knew it would be worth it. And boy was it! Now I had every intention on getting Japanese food, because I assumed that’s what would be offered. Well, you know what assume does, it makes an a** out of you and me, padonmy French. In fact, Kei’s menu isn’t stuck on any particular region at all. It’s focused more on the balance of flavors and what combinations work together in order to make your stomach happy. So when I saw he offered some gnocchi with truffle sauce, I had to try it. The presentation was beautiful, flavors were perfect and I was fully satisfied after consuming the dish. Final word: Really good cooking going on in this kitchen. A must!
La Tour D’Argent
Still room for more I headed to the historic Parisian restaurant La Tour D’Argent. Now headed by chef Philippe Labbé, the fabled restaurant dates all the way back to 1582. Never losing it’s French soul, most dishes are very traditional and amazingly delectable. I chose the duck sausage with homemade ketchup. Really delicioso! Final word: A typical French dish, made by one old institution of a restaurant, it had no choice but to be good.
Tomy & Co
Now on my card I still had enough left for dessert. After some searching I settled on Tomy & Co. Off bat I loved head chef Tomy Gousset. He noticed me taking photos and was all for posing and getting that exposure. My camera didn’t capture his thumbs up or big smile, but I still managed to capture some good images. On top of that, his pop-up stand had graffiti on it. Readers know good and well I love my graffiti! Now, about my delicious dessert. An appetizing blend of tapioca with strawberries, cocoa, and Cambodian sugar, we had a winner! Final word: It’s refreshing to find a cook who can update their native dishes to reflect the palettes of a wider audience.
La Tour D’Argent
Anna went with La Tour D’Argent for dessert. Hers looked just as sweet as it tasted. Offering a simple delight reminiscent of most French children’s childhood. She was served raspberries with petite beurre cookies, crème brûlée jelly and ice cream. Her final word: Less is more.
Hungry, why not check out the chefs I discussed and reserve a table via the links below!
Guy Savoy website – guysavoy.com
Les Fables de la Fontaine website – lesfablesdelafontaine.net
La Scène au Prince de Galles website – la-scene-restaurant.fr
Kei website – restaurant-kei.fr
La Tour D’Argent – tourdargent.com
Tomy & Co. website – eater.space/tomy-co