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JAPAN LIFESTYLE

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Last night when going from blogs to blogs (yes, it can be a trip!), I discovered Lifecycling.
Lifecycling is a japanese web magazine introducing people and their lifestyles.
I’ve never been yet to Japan, but I’ve always felt that if I go there, I’d be able to stay for a while…
People are so stylish and everything is so into details.
Hope you will love this overview.
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Takahiro Koike, Nao OgawaTatsuro Sato
Takahiro Koike, Nao Ogawa kitchenTakahiro Koike, Nao Ogawa lightTatsuro Sato salonhome_tapis chaises

 

TEA TIME

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I ♥ this tea set by Finnish label Tonfisk.
I love all the colors, but my favorite goes to the white/ warm.
Wood combined with porcelain give an impression of ‘Nordic design meets Japanese style’.
I also ♥ the Free Time Industries tea set.
As I already have many utensils for tea, I would use them to serve soy sauce or maybe nibbles…

Tonfisk black

Tonfisk light

Tonfisk warm

faraday_tea_set_1

faraday_tea_set_2

HUGUES FORGET

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It’s a Friday morning and I’m going next to Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche to meet Hugues Forget, the wine cellar Chef at La Grande Epicerie de Paris.
I love to go there, even if it’s just to buy little things as a truffle oil or good country ham.
You can find all that you need as that’s a delicatessen, but you will also find fresh fruits & vegetables, a butcher’s shop, a fish shop, a rotisserie, a bakery, a dairy shop…and a wine cellar of course !
I feel I’m about to hear some secrets in this temple of gastronomy…
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Hugues Forget, Chef de Cave de La Grande Epicerie de Paris
We meet and go downstairs to have a coffee at Le Balthazar, the restaurant dedicated to world’s best wines and spirits.
I let almost all my questions aside, because Hugues talks and answers in advance to everything you would like to ask…
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Le Balthazar
The first thing he told me was that he’s not doing a job. It’s just his life. Or if it had to be a job, his job would be to listen to others and meeting the makers.
He started his career in a hotel school in Paris.
Then, Philippe Faure-Brac -Best Sommelier of the world in 1992- taught him what he calls “an educated palate”.
H.F. : ‘I was kind of frustrated when I started to work in his restaurant because I used to see clients talking to sommeliers, much more than to waiters.
The menu principle was to serve 6 dishes with 6 differents glasses of wines.
We also used to change our 40 glasses of wines every month.
Some bottles couldn’t be served because of aromatic faults or a wine cork defect, so I started to taste these ones’.
He became the Sommelier Manager for 3 years and a half.
H.F. : ‘Then, I wanted some change. I worked as a Wine Cellar Chef in a shop for one year.
People came in to get some advices. A successful combination between dishes and wines can make a moment unforgettable’.
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In 1999, La Grande Epicerie is looking for a Wine Cellar Chef.
He gets the job and started to work in the 160 sqm area devoted to wines.
H.F. : ’1999 was a good year for Bordeaux Wine Vintage. The year started with a hurricane, but then was followed by a warm spring. Thanks to vineyard techniques, the sales exploded’.
With his feelings, his approach to people and passion, he organizes the cellar management and buys wines to make them age.
H.F. : ‘Some Bourgogne we bought in 2002 are going to be sell just now.
Even if most of our customer base are neighboorhood clients looking for ready to drink wines, we keep a strong attachment to terroir and a large offer of vintage wines. You can find here wines you’ll never find anywhere else.
We also try to vary the offer with 5% of imported wines’.
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He calls this place a magical place. Talks about the fact that the bakery is the biggest one in Paris.
H.F. : ‘They make everything on site and have talented chefs’.
I can see during our interview cooks in hurry, bringing food to the restaurant or upstairs -I feel like the rat in Ratatouille!-
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Before the end, Hugues reminds me that a good wine is a balanced wine.
H.F. : ‘That’s not a price thing. You can find there good wines starting at 5€ (and up to 20 000€)’.
When I ask him what’s his favorite wine, he just says :
Choosing is refusing. There’s so many good wines and champagnes ! The most important thing is to share it with people you love.
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Then, we visited the cellar, the caveau which shows the rare and best bottles.
There’s also a large selection of spirits.
H.F. : ‘There’s about 20-30 different Japanese Saké. And guess what ? Japanese whiskey are more sought after than Scottish ones’…
…what will bring us very soon to a special event Le Bon Marché & La Grande Epicerie will launch in honour of Japan !
Keep your eyes open !
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La Cave de La Grande Epicerie de Paris copyright Virgile Guinard (1)

La Cave de Grande Epicerie de Paris copyright Virgile Guinard (3)

Le Caveau

Champagnes.

I would like to thanks the whole team for making this interview possible and M. Hugues Forget for his time and kindness.

 

GOOD MORNING TODAY

Have a lovely morning with that too cute cartoon !

JILL BLISS

As you may have noticed, I’m really inspired by art prints.
My first year learning carpentry gave me a huge desire to do more manual things .
I realized that I totally got the wrong studies !!! But it’s never too late so I think I’ll take other evening courses.
Now, wherever I go, I analyse the architecture, the materials, the structures.
I want to draw, to sculpt, to create concepts. I hope I’ll catch my dream !
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That personal introduction was to tell you about a girl I ♥♥♥.
Her name is Jill Bliss.
She’s a young artist/ photographer/ writer/ designer/ naturalist (!) specialized in Salish Sea (Pacific NW Islands).
She does magnificient drawings and paintings and she has commercialized stationeries, notebooks & notecards with her drawings.
It’s really poetic and it makes me dream about doing the workshops & retreats with her.
I love to watch new pictures everyday on her Instagram account of what inspire her.
And I love that you can do the parallel between what she sees and her work.
Jill…hope to see you on the 2015 retreat !
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Jill BlissJill Bliss_3

Jill Bliss_1

Jill Bliss_2

CLAIRE NEREIM

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Lately, I discovered Claire Nereim wonderful work.
She’s an artist based in L.A. and she’s exploring connections between art and design.
She’s best know for her fuits and vegetables ink calendars.
There are also some flowers versions -my favorites-, but they were not available anymore…
I love the simplicity of her drawing style. I love that there’s no month written, only numbers.
I couldn’t resist to buy one for home, and I long to purchasenew ones.
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.Claire Nereim_2

Claire Nereim_3Claire Nereim_1Claire Nereim_0

ENRICO BERNARDO

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I lately have the chance to meet Enrico Bernardo.
He won the Best Sommelier of the World title in 2004 and has two restaurants and a wine shop in Paris.
I firstly knew the shop Champagne & Vins in Odeon where you can get very good advices if you’re not a wine specialist but you can do the difference between a good one and a second-rate.
I’m always walking in this area but now that I’m learning carpentry, my eyes were immediately caught by this wooden-structure cellar.
I’ve always been interested in good products and meeting the makers, so it was a beautiful opportunity to meet the man behind this high quality selection of champagnes & wines.
After a few emails, we finally met at The Goust, one of his restaurants.
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What you may know…
At only 16 years old, Enrico Bernardo was elected Best Chef in Europe, then Best Sommelier in Italy.
His master and mentor was Giuseppe Vaccarini (Best Sommelier of the World in 1978). He discovered the profession with him.
He keeps a strong souvenir of their first time in a restaurant in Milan; Giuseppe was able to guess all the wines served, he could even knew how they’ve been conserved !
M. Bernardo held a series of trainings and at only 22 years old became the Chef Sommelier au Clos de la Violette in Aix-en-Provence.
A year later, he got a proposal from the prestigious Hôtel Georges V to be the Chef Sommelier of the restaurant Le Cinq.
There, he had carte blanche to build a wine cellar of 60 000 bottles (30 000 to sell/ 30 000 to stock).
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In 2007, he finally opened his own table, Il Vino.
On the menu ? Only wines. Then, the head waiter chooses what go best with your wine.
The idea was to place the wine as the main actor. The Chef, José Manuel Miguel, was not a superstar. The decor is uncluttered and the wine is highlighted as a solid-value.
Wine makes people happier. A lot of couples come here after their work and at the end of their dinner, we can notice a smooth ambiance. It’s a very cosy place.

The first year of its opening, the place gets one Michelin Star. The consecration ?
Not really. It was a great recognition for the all team but I’m never satisfied ! I always think I could have done better ! But it’s the proof that passion pays.
I work with passionate people. Not only in food, their interests go from tennis to desserts. That’s a team’s destiny.

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In 2012, the shop Champagne & Vins opens in Odeon.
(Don’t hesitate to go there if you want good advices or rare champagnes & wines at good price. Ugo is very helpful and if you like mineral champagne -with fine bubbles-, go for a Pierre Gimonnet, my favourite!..).
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In 2013, Enrico Bernardo created Le Goust (1 Michelin Star*) which offers a Mediterranean-inspired gastronomy where you choose your dish and the sommelier the wine !
This place was created to answer the demand of clients who wanted to opt themselves for their dishes.
The menu changes every 2 months and we work with seasonal products. The Chef is totally free to cook according to his inspirations.

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Do you have a purchasing policy ?
E.B. : Impulse purchases are my motivation. I yet try to buy 20% of new wines every year.
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Which wine book would you advise for someone who wants to learn by his own ?
E.B. : The World Atlas of Wine by Jancis Robinson and Hugh Johnson because you have a general approach. You can also find little books during Wine Fairs that explain easily the different AOC, variety of vines, regions…
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What look do you take on World Wines ?
E.B. : In France, there’s a tradition as well as in Italy. But today, you can find very good wines from Europe : Austria, Hungary, Portugal and Germany especially. But also in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Argentina’s wine quality was climbing a few years ago, but now Chile overtakes the position in South America. And California has improved a lot its wine quality. They gained world recognition.
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According to you, what’s a good wine ?
E.B. : It’s a permanent questioning. You have to stay awake. A good wine always have a mystery touch.
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To what notions do you match wine ?
E.B. : To meetings. Wine is a simple means to meet new opportunities : a wine-grower, a vineyard, a local cooking…
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If you should keep a single bottle. Which one would it be ?
E.B. : It would be a Château Margaux 1928. If I die tomorrow, I hope I could drink a bottle before !
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M. Bernardo has kindly accepted this interview. He also invited me to lunch in his company at the Goust. Here are a few pictures…
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Mise en bouche : Purée de choux-fleur et gelée de persil. Écume de haddock fumé

Servi avec : Champagne Brut Bruno Roulot (délicieux!)

Entrée : Tartare de thon rouge espagnol, mayonnaise de wasabi, œuf et coulis de mangue

Servi avec : Weissburgunder Pauly Mosel 2013

Plat : Suprême de volaille bourbonnaise au yuzu et caviar Baeri du printemps, ravioles farcies à la cuisse de poulet et au foie gras, mûres, écume de cacahuètes

Servi avec : Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes Domaine des Beaumont

*** Fromage : Comté ***


Dessert : Millefeuille chocolat-vanille, framboises et sorbet à la noix de coco

Servi avec : Moscato d’Asti Giorgio Pelissero 2013

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This sumptuous lunch was perfect.
My preferences went to the Champagne Bruno Roulot
served with the appetizer, the tuna tartare :  so fresh !, the chicken & foie gras ravioles : wonderful!!, the Gevrey-Chambertin red wine and the Comté (I’m sorry I didn’t take a picture, I totally forgot, it was with salty grains inside…Delicious !).

If you’re looking for a good restaurant in Paris, you won’t be disappointed !

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