When visiting Paris earlier this year we (myself and three of my closest friends) had the opportunity to take a market/neighborhood tour with our friend and Paris Passionista Chef Edward EJ Keller seen here piping blue cheese into slices of endive (our appetizer). EJ is a former resident of the US living in the 2nd arrondissement near the great shopping and pedestrian street, Rue Montergeuil. Classically trained at some of the greatest restaurants in Paris including La Grand Vefour, L’Escargot Montorgeuil, Jacques Cagna and Cabaret, he now works with private clients offering home meals and culinary events including the market tour and cooking class that we enjoyed.
We met him on a Monday morning near metro Sentier and began our walk through his district going from the 2nd to the 1st visiting several institutions of French food and history along with way.
The famous kitchen supply store Dehlerrin, which I will blog about in more detail soon.
The beautiful church across from Les Halles, Saint Eustache, wonderfully understated and with a touching memorial to the wholesale food market which dominated the neighborhood until the 1960’s when it moved to the suburbs and the controversial mall constructed and now being reconstructed again.
From there we walked about Rue Montorgeuil, one of the best shopping streets in Paris where Edward met his butcher to get the proper cut of veal for our lunch. It was the further thing from buying packaged meat in a Safeway you could imagine, the butcher asked for what he was cooking first and then gave the alternatives. You can find the movie where EJ talks about the pleasure of his local butcher by going to this you tube address: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-l5aq3Q6Hk&feature=youtu.be
We continued our tour up the street past the famous Patisserie Stohrer, home to what are arguably the best eclairs in Pairs (read the blog on this here).
And then on to his home kitchen.
Edward is a teacher full of techniques that you can take home with you. Anyway, they say a photo tells the story so enjoy this pictorial with minimal commentary of the meal we made.
Cutting the endive for the appetizer.
And the result (stuffed with bleu cheese and home-made confiture and nuts)
As it was spring white asparagus was in season.
And the result? Amazing. But everything is better with bacon and a warm vinaigrette
Mark patiently tossing the cous cous for 15 minutes. It made a difference.
The veal before.
Along with this we enjoyed an easy to make vegetable soufflé and for dessert, a chocolate cake.
Somewhere along they way after several glasses of wine we forgot to take pictures of the finished plates. Oh well, just too much fun.
You can learn more about EJ at his website carottecaviar.com When visiting the Yellow Flat Edward offers you a wide variety of cooking options including market tours, cooking classes and should you wish, he will come to the Yellow Flat and cook for you. We had a great afternoon with Edward learning about French cooking and the area around Les Halles.