Tag Archives: France

French Wines Find Favor in China Again

For a wine-grower, precision and luck are elements of the utmost importance to ensure that the best harvest is reaped for a full-bodied and hearty glass of wine. Right now, French wines face the twin perils and opportunities of climate change and China, both of which offer strong challenges. Bordeaux was one such region flanked on both sides by various new developments, both good and bad, from both science and the marketplace.

China Profits

After reaping a meagre harvest in 2013, Bordeaux wines faced depressed sales in 2013 and 2014 to China because of a frugality drive that made officials wary of opening high-end bottles of wine.

But Saint-Emilion wine merchant Philippe Casteja said last month that the Chinese market was stabilizing. Exports were up 3.0 percent to 1.83 billion euros ($2.05 billion), according to the Comite Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB). After two years of dropping, sales jumped 37%.

Overall turnover was 3.8 billion euros last year, up 1.0% over 2014 with 640 million bottles sold.

“The Chinese speak of a ‘new normal’ – and now instead of proposing exceptional wines we are targeting a consumer market.” Casteja noted, speaking of the Bordeaux region in general.

Climate Pressures

Yet, with the release of a new and somewhat alarming study by Nature Climate Change, Bordeaux’s current short-term sales may be the least of their worries.

Grapes are extremely temperature sensitive fruits. Exceptional vintages are generally produced when an early harvest develops from a rise in heat due to things like hot summers or a late-season drought. “For much of France, local climates have been relatively stable for hundreds or thousands of years,” said Elizabeth Wolkovich, an assistant professor of evolutionary biology at Harvard University and co-author of the study. Looking back through records dating all the way to 1600, it was found that harvest dates have moved up by two full weeks since 1980 compared with the average for the preceding 400 years.

Droughts helped heighten temperatures just enough to bring in the harvest a few weeks early, said lead author Benjamin Cook, a climate scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in New York City and lead author of the study. These were uncommon circumstances in the past. “Now, it’s become so warm thanks to climate change, grape growers don’t need drought to get these very warm temperatures,” Cook added.

In the short term, the resulting growth in temperature has caused some beneficial effects through certain stand-out years. For Bordeaux, 1990, 2005 and 2010 have all been described as once-a-century vintages, while in Burgundy 2005 and 2009 are said to hold exceptional promise.

Yet, in the long term, the result may be unsustainable. In 2003, the same year where a deadly heat wave hit Europe leading to thousands of deaths, grapes were picked a full month ahead of their time but did not produce particularly exceptional wines. “If we keep warming, the globe will reach a tipping point,” said Wolkovich, pointing to what happened in 2003.

“That may be a good indicator of where we are headed,” she added. “If we keep pushing the heat up, vineyards can’t maintain that forever.”

The result could be an identity crisis for French wines. While other wine producing regions like California and Australia can head for a new ‘terroir’ better suited to these grapes, France has an elaborate structure of rules and special areas dictating which grape varieties are to be grown in what proportion. French wines such as Champagne, Sauternes, Margaux or Saint-Emilion are grown only in such authorised areas. For many wine-makers, changing these rules is tantamount to changing the core aspects of the wine. Among the grapes that may no longer be well-adapted in the future includes signature grape varietals — Pinot Noir in Burgundy, and Merlot in Bordeaux.

The ability to adapt to such revelations gained from information sources, whether about the market or the climate, will be the key decider in which wine producers can ride the market with the best possible produce and the best possible profits.

This report was compiled by in-house writers, in combination with a wire report and image from the AFP. Find out if any of these winning wines are on Epicurio now. Download the app on iTunes or Google Play now.


Lost and Found: La Tour’s Madrid Exhibition

The works of Georges de la Tour (1593 – 1652) will be on display at Madrid’s Museo del Prado in a new exhibition. Of his 40 surviving paintings, 31 will showcase the progression of the artist with his use of realist treatment of figures and refined religious scenes.

While the French artist was a celebrated in his day, he was forgotten by the art world till an art historian Hermon Voss rediscovered his work. With only four of his paintings being dated and 18 signed, many of La Tour’s works were credited to other artists such as Zurbaran, Ribera and Velazquez.

"The Fortune Teller"

“The Fortune Teller”

The Prado exhibition, which features many pieces on loan from international institutions such as Paris’s Musée du Louvre, California’s J. Paul Getty museum and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, offers a chronological survey of La Tour’s career. He gained considerable fame when the Duke of Lorraine bought some of his works between 1623 and 1624. In 1639 he went to Paris where he was named Painter to the King. In addition to the governor of Lorraine, Richelieu, the architect Le Nôtre and Louis XIII were customers.

In his early career La Tour painted biblical and religious figures with humble appearances as can be seen in the Albi “Apostle” series, four of which are on show in Madrid. At this time he also depicted ragged beggars as in the work “The Pea Eaters.” The exhibition also features “The Money Lender”, which is more refined in character and the artist’s first-known nocturnal scene, which became more prevalent towards the end of his career, almost always lit by candle, with limited range in colors.

Hurdy-Gurdy Player with a Dog"

Hurdy-Gurdy Player with a Dog”

Later works on display in Madrid include “The Penitent Saint Jerome” or “The Cardsharps,” which, along with “The Fortune Teller,” are considered essential works by the artist.

The Georges de La Tour exhibition is on display at the Museo del Prado till June 12, 2016. For more information, click here.

Guide: Hermès Watch Straps

There are the typical parts of a watch where watchmakers show the world what they are made of (and capable of doing): the movement, complications and beyond, the case, be it jeweled or not, and the dial – the more artistic, the better. These days, in a bid to outperform each other, manufacturers are less prone to giving anything beyond the lugs of a ticker more attention than what is on or within. Not many brands would say as much about a bracelet as opposed to a retrograde hour, 600 snow-set diamonds on a pink gold case, or a dial decked out in sculpted gems. Our friends at L’Officiel Singapore take a look at one brand that does.

Every artisan at Hermes’ workshop in Bienne oversees the making of a strap from scratch to finish.

Every artisan at Hermes’ workshop in Bienne oversees the making of a strap from scratch to finish.

Hermès, on the other hand, has a lot to say about its straps. These are, of course, famous (see Apple, for example) which begs the question, why exactly is that?

The French house would credit its expertise with leather bracelets to its beginnings as a saddler, and as wristwatches progressively replaced pocket timepieces in the early 1900s, it would highlight its role as the brand with a know-how for making exquisite straps. Straps are what make saddles and stirrups work, as this Wikipedia entry illustrates.

In 2006, Hermès opened a workshop in Bienne, Switzerland dedicated to this craft (watch straps that is). Under this roof is an array of supple, precious leathers – spanning from goat and calf to ostrich and alligator – cut, stitched and finished by a team of skilful artisans (where consistency matters, Hermès shares that each employee works on an entire bracelet by himself or herself).

Indents on the strap indicate the exact position of each stitch and the distance between them.

Indents on the strap indicate the exact position of each stitch and the distance between them.

An Hermès watch strap goes through four stages of work. For starters, the leather selection process is rigorous, with scratches, wrinkles and veins strictly avoided. Using a single flaxen thread and two hand-held needles, an artisan creates the brand’s signature saddle stitch on the skins before applying a careful treatment process to ensure all areas on a single strap look perfectly uniform. A furrow is then pressed between the sewing line and the edge of the leather to make the strap suppler than it already is. After loops are meticulously fixed, a finishing stitch (with great attention to detail given despite being invisible to the wearer) forms Hermès’ iconic ‘H’.

As a finishing touch, each strap is authenticated using a letter that shows the year of the leather’s manufacture.

As a finishing touch, each strap is authenticated using a letter that shows the year of the leather’s manufacture.

Record Sales of Champagne in 2015: Report

Grape-growers can rejoice as champagne sales hit a new record thanks to growing overseas thirst and exploding exports of the French-bubbly. Well, growers in Champagne at least!

From a report on Wednesday, February 17, a total of 4.75 billion euros ($5.29 billion) worth of champagne was sold last year, a 5.6% increase from 2014. In terms of bottles, though, the volume was a 1.7% increase, as 312.5 million bottles were shipped compared with 307.2 million in 2014. 2007 was the record year for bottles shipped, but the total value was a mere 4.56 billion euros. We use the word ‘mere’ loosely, obviously.

Unsurprisingly, December was once again the bubbliest month of the year, with 42 million bottles sold.

It seems buyers are starting to hanker for a bit more class and refinement, as “rarer, more expensive” lots such as rose, prestige, and vintage champagnes rise in popularity. “These faraway markets are prepared to pay the right price for a product that represents the French Art of living to them,” Thibaut Le Mailloux of the Comite Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC), an organization involved in the champagne industry, commented.

Sales outside of the EU, notably, were up by 4.8%, reaching a record of 70.5 million bottles. In Europe itself, sales went up 3.3% to 80.2 million bottles, and within France, sales stayed level at 162 million bottles, after consecutive years of declining sales. The higher average price per bottle can be partially attributed to transportation costs.

CIVIC co-president Jean-Marie Barillere commented in December that the value was likely to grow faster than volume “in the decades to come”. Whatever the costs are, we can be sure that admirers of the sparkling fluid will be popping those corks still.

This story was written in-house, based on a report from the AFP. Stock image courtesy of the AFP


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Dior Granville Candy Colored Jewelry

From peridots, green beryls, aquamarines, tanzanites, tourmalines and rubellites come together in this 12-piece collection and draw inspiration from Christian Dior’s childhood home, Granville. Named after the home he spent his time in as a child, which is now a museum, the candy-colored gems that make up the collection are the brainchild of Victoire de Castellane.

The brand’s fine jewelry creative director explained that the pieces were created “as if putting stickers together spontaneously, without any preconceived constraints”. Although inspired by childhood joie de vivre, the pieces have been meticulously crafted with creativity and exceptional skill in Dior’s Parisian high-jewelry workshops.

A pink gold watch in the "D de Dior Granville" collection, with brilliant cut yellow sapphires on the bezel, a diamond studded crown, turquoise dial and pale pink patent leather bracelet.

A pink gold watch in the “D de Dior Granville” collection, with brilliant cut yellow sapphires on the bezel, a diamond studded crown, turquoise dial and pale pink patent leather bracelet.

Christian Dior’s Normandy childhood is channeled in rings, earrings and bracelets that pop with color. The collection is accompanied by a range of nine watches, crafted from white, yellow and rose gold, evoking the festive and colorful ambiance of the Granville carnival.

Flagship pieces in the “D de Dior Granville” collection include a pink gold watch with a bezel set with brilliant-cut yellow sapphires and a diamond-studded crown. This fresh bouquet of springtime color is topped with a turquoise dial and a pale pink patent leather bracelet.

5 Top Chefs Who Started in France

In its second year running, French cuisine will be celebrated the world over. It will bring over 1,500 chefs from five continents as they whip up some of France’s best cuisine while showcasing its gastronomic traditions. The chefs will be dishing up a traditional French menu with courses such as aperitif, starter, main course, cheese and dessert, accompanied by fine French wines. Before we join in the celebrations with the rest of the world on March 21, we thought we would take a look at five of the world’s top chefs who picked up the tools of the trade in France.

David Bouley

A big name in New York City’s French food scene, American chef Bouley is on of the most respected chefs in the city’s French food scene. Inspired by his visits to France and Europe, the chef has fashioned his own take on contemporary French food. His flagship restaurant Bouley, in the hip TriBeCa neighborhood of New York City (USA), has even been crowned with a Michelin star. The chef studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, and worked alongside legendary masters of French cuisine like Paul Bocuse and Gaston Lenôtre.

Gordon Ramsay

The Scottish chef and media personality has united age-old rivals Britain and France in his own culinary entente cordiale. It’s certainly no coincidence that the charismatic chef heads up some of the finest restaurants in the land of frogs’ legs and snails (the Trianon Palace in Versailles, Le Pressoir d’Argent in Bordeaux). After giving up an early career as a footballer, Gordon Ramsay set about learning the secrets of French cuisine under industry heavyweight Albert Roux at Le Gavroche in London. The Scottish chef then completed his training in France, working with Guy Savoy and Joël Robuchon.

Chef Gordon Ramsey

Chef Gordon Ramsey

Thomas Keller

This American chef has always been a Francophile foodie. He serves up fine fare at his flagship restaurant in California, called The French Laundry, and his New York restaurant Per Se is recognized as one of the best in the world, coming second in “La Liste,” the French Foreign Ministry’s response to the London-based “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” list, unveiled last December. He’s the only American chef to hold three-star Michelin ratings for different restaurants simultaneously, placing him in the same league as Alain Ducasse and Joël Robuchon. Keller went to work in France in 1983, learning his trade in various high-end establishments, including Guy Savoy and Taillevent. The chef was even awarded France’s Legion of Honor (Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur) and was chief consultant on Pixar’s animated movie “Ratatouille.”

Chef Thomas Keller

Chef Thomas Keller


André Chiang

This Taiwanese chef is on his way to becoming a global restauranteur, building the foundations of an international gastronomic empire. He has a particularly close relationship with France after learning his skills under the Pourcel twins – Jacques and Laurent – at their Michelin-starred Montpellier restaurant Le Jardin des Sens. André Chiang first learned to cook alongside his mother before heading to France to discover the secrets of the country’s cuisine. He ended up staying for 15 years, with stints working under Pierre Gagnaire and Joël Robuchon. Today, he’s considered one of the best chefs in the world, particularly for his André restaurant in Singapore.

Chef André Chiang

Chef André Chiang

Shuzo Kishida
Shuzo Kishida is one of a new generation of Japanese chefs learning their trade in France and keeping close ties with the country. Born in the region of Chubu, on the south coast of Honshu island, the chef learned the basics of French cuisine in 1993, working in French restaurant La Mer in a Japanese hotel. Before heading to France, he also did a stint at KM in Tokyo’s famous Shibuya district. After moving 10,000km away from his native Japan, Shuzo Kishida racked up experience in one Michelin-starred restaurant after another, before settling down to a longer spell at L’Astrance under Pascal Barbot. By 2004, he had worked his way up to sous-chef — the second in command — at the triple Michelin-starred establishment. In November 2005, he returned to Japan, maintaining the culinary skills and traditions picked up at L’Astrance to open Quintessence, a restaurant that would take him even further along the road to success with his own three-star Michelin rating.

Chef Shuzo Kishida

Chef Shuzo Kishida

The full list of restaurants participating in Goût de France/Good France on March 21 is available at www.goodfrance.com. To take part in the event, food lovers can simply make a booking directly at the restaurant of their choice.

Johnny Depp French village

Johnny Depp is selling his private village in France

Johnny Depp French village

Johnny Depp is putting his estate in the South of France – a former village with more than a dozen buildings – on the market for $26 million.

The sale includes Mr. Depp’s furniture, books, DVDs, art and many of the actor’s other personal belongings, according to The WSJ.

Johnny Depp swimming pool

Near the village of Plan-de-la-Tour, the tiny hamlet that now comprises Mr. Depp’s estate had been largely deserted for decades.

When Mr. Depp purchased the roughly 37-acre parcel in 2001, “it was in a pretty rough state,” said Alexander Kraft, chairman and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty France.

Johnny Depp French home bedroom

Mr. Depp spent about $10 million restoring and updating the structures, which were likely constructed in the early 1800s from natural stone and wooden beams, with terra-cotta roofs.

The estate centers around a village square, with a church that Mr. Depp converted into a guest house; a former confessional is now a wardrobe.

Johnny Depp French Estate church

There’s also a restaurant with a full professional kitchen, which Mr. Depp used as “basically the dining room.” Other buildings in the square include a laundry building and a garage, all made to look like local businesses.

Johnny Depp French Estate

Mr. Depp did much of the decorating himself rather than hiring a designer, Mr. Kraft said. A wine cave in the main house has a “Pirates of the Caribbean” motif, with skulls and brightly colored scarves.

Johnny Depp wine cave

The main house is a rambling structure of about 4,300 square feet, with five bedrooms, 3½ bathrooms and an art studio where Mr. Depp painted. There are also several cottages that are used for guests, as well as a covered wagon that Mr. Depp outfitted with a bathroom and kitchen.

Johnny Depp French home

There are two swimming pools, as well as a gym and a skate park with a halfpipe that Mr. Depp built for his son.

Johnny Depp luxury home

Via WSJ – Côte d’Azur Sotheby’s International Realty has this listing.


France tourism campaign asks citizens to be nicer


The French government is about to launch a publicity campaign asking the French to be nicer to tourists as part of a major tourism scheme aimed at boosting visitor numbers.

Improving the welcome extended to tourists must become a “national priority,” said foreign affairs and international development minister Laurent Fabius at a meeting of the Tourism Promotion Council this week.

And while part of that priority may include everything from improving the issuance of visas and streamlining VAT reimbursement procedures, a big part of the initiative will also include the launch of a “humorous” public awareness campaign asking the French to help scrub their reputation for being surly and rude to tourists.

It’s not the first time the French government has appealed to its own citizens to be more hospitable towards tourists.

Tourists pose for a picture in the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris

Last year Fabius and Fleur Pellerin, speaking then as the Secretary of State for foreign trade and tourism, jointly acknowledged the need to improve customer service and help repair the country’s flagging international reputation following well-publicized attacks on groups of Chinese tourists.

This year, the new tourism measures were outlined at the close of the Tourism Promotion Council, after hearing from a panel of 250 tourism professionals and government representatives.

The country’s goal is to attract 100 million tourists in 2020 and maintain its stronghold as one of the top tourist destinations in the world.

Other priorities for the country include improving foreign-language skills and quality service among the people who work the front lines with tourists.

Likewise, the French capital also published its own six-page etiquette manual last year offering mini cultural sensitivity lessons on how to relate to British, American, Chinese and Brazilian visitors.

The manual was distributed to restaurants, taxi drivers and sales staff.

instant luxe

Second-hand luxury goods market booms in France

A decade ago, French lovers of high-end fashion would not have dreamed of buying a pre-owned luxury fashion accessory. Now the second-hand market for luxury goods is booming, thanks to the internet.

The global second-hand luxury market is worth an estimated 3 billion euros (and that’s a lot of bags! Even when they’re Chanel).


Hotel De Matignon

French Prime Minister Sells Wine Cellar

Hotel De Matignon

After a path-breaking wine auction by the French presidential palace of some of the best bottles from its cellar, the prime minister will follow suit in December, the Drouot auction house said Friday.

A total of 1,400 bottles from the prime minister’s official Matignon residence in Paris will go under the hammer on December 6.

“These bottles are estimated between 15 euros and 5,500 euros,” Drouot said. Top-end offers include Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac 2000, a Romani Conti 2004 and a La Tache 1990.

In May, 1,200 bottles, including some of the world’s most prestigious labels,were auctioned by the Elysee presidential palace. Officially, the purpose of the auction was to liberate funds to rejuvenate the presidential collection but officials have also said proceeds will be invested in more modest replacements and any surplus will be ploughed back into government coffers.

The conspicuous cost-cutting is in keeping with the tone of Socialist President Francois Hollande’s presidency, which has been clouded by a gloomy economic backdrop.

But it has not gone down well with Michel-Jack Chasseuil, one of France’s most prominent wine collectors who wrote to Hollande complaining that he was selling off national heritage.

Tour de France

How to score VIP access to the Tour de France

tour de france champs elysees

A handful of spots are still available for VIP, front-row seats to the greatest cycling sport event in the world. Though the 100th edition of the Tour de France kicked off over the weekend, official tour operators for the event have a few empty spots for select legs of the race.

Trek Travel, one of six official outfits for the Tour de France, still has availability for July 11-17, when the cyclists make their way through Ventoux and Provence.

Those keen on being a part of history also have the option of a Paris Finishing Package, a four-day itinerary that includes sweeping aerial views of the convoy as cyclists make their way along the Champs-Elysées and Place de la Concorde from the balconies of the Automobile Club de France.

Instead of bumping shoulder-to-shoulder with thousands of fans in the July heat, guests will sip on champagne and cocktails and watch the arrival of the first-ever nighttime peloton.

Similarly, Thomson Bike Tours still has spots remaining for both hard-core biking enthusiasts and non-riders alike.

Segments that roll through the Pyrenees, Mont Ventoux, and the Alpes d’Huez are designed to give riders a taste of the course. Rides range from 30 to 80 km daily and include access to VIP viewing areas throughout the race and the chance to ride the last few kilometers of a Tour de France stage escorted by the Official TDF Car.

Non-riders can purchase spectator packages that include exclusive VIP access to the finish line, guided visits of technical areas, media centers and team zones and meetings with Tour de France celebrities.

For more last-minute tickets and VIP access to the Tour de France, visit www.letour.fr/le-tour/2013/.

Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris receives Palace rating

Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris

Le Royal Monceau is the latest top-end Paris hotel to receive the prestigious Palace rating — one step higher than five stars — from Atout France, the French Agency for Tourism Development.

Le Royal Monceau La Cuisine

Located on Avenue Hoche, it has 149 rooms and suites. Its two restaurants, La Cuisine and Il Carpaccio, received Michelin stars earlier this year. It re-opened in 2010 after a two year transformation by Philippe Starck, revealing brilliant, witty contemporary interiors infused with artistic flair.

Le Royal Monceau Carpaccio

The vibrancy of les Années Folles of the late 1920s, when the hotel first opened, peopled by a cast of artists, intellectuals and adventurers, had been successfully recreated.

Le Royal Monceau Presidentielle Suite

Le Royal Monceau is the sixth Paris hotel to receive the rating, the others being the Four Seasons George V, the Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme, the Plaza Athénée, Le Meurice and Le Bristol.

Le Royal Monceau spaLe Royal Monceau Terrace

Miraval rose wine

First Jolie-Pitt rose wine vintage sells out within hours

Miraval rose wine

The first 6,000 bottles of Miraval rose wine from a French vineyard owned by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt sold out Thursday within hours of going on general sale.

“Selling started at 9:00 am (0800 GMT) and everything was sold by 2:00 pm” during the online sale, said Vitabella, a public relations firm representing the vineyard.

The couple teamed up with the French winemaking Perrin family to develop the “Miraval Cotes de Provence” label, named after their Chateau Miraval estate in the south of France.

The 2012 vintage was priced at 105 euros ($138) per case of six bottles for the Internet sale. Another 100,000 bottles have been sold to wine merchants and restaurants.

Jolie and Pitt acquired the 500-hectare (1,200-acre) estate in 2008 and have used it as a summer residence. The estate includes around 50 to 60 acres of vines.

Marc Perrin said that the couple were involved in the production process and wanted to do more than “just put their name” on the label. “They want to be proud of the wine on their property. They are really looking for excellence,” he said.

High Heels

Paris women finally allowed to wear trousers

High Heels

Women in Paris can finally wear trousers without fear of criminal prosecution after the government said a more than 200-year-old ban no longer had any legal effect.

Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, France’s minister of women’s rights, said in a statement that the ban, imposed on November 17, 1800, was incompatible with modern French values and laws.

The municipal order required women to seek permission from local police if they wanted to “dress like a man” by wearing trousers. It was modified in 1892 & 1909 to allow women to wear trousers if they were holding a bicycle handlebar or the reins of a horse” but had officially remained on the books.

Parisian women had demanded the right to wear trousers during the French Revolution when working-class revolutionaries were known as “sans-culottes” for wearing trousers instead of the silk-knee breeches favoured by the bourgeoisie.

Women’s dress continues to stir political passions in France, with Cecile Duflot, the Green housing minister, criticised last May for wearing jeans to the first cabinet meeting of Socialist President Francois Hollande’s new government. She was later subjected to jeers and wolf-whistles while wearing a floral summer dress in the National Assembly.

A number of women also broke parliamentary protocol by wearing jeans during an extended debate at the weekend over France’s planned legalisation of gay marriage.

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie France

Tourists Flock to ‘France’s Favorite Village’

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie France

The medieval village of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie is set to receive an influx of visitors after the historic settlement was voted “France’s Favorite Village” by a TV show in June.

Originally established in the 13th century, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie has survived several wars and invasions over the years, and attracts more than 400,000 visitors annually.

Many international tourists travel to France to tour the village, which lies on a rocky outcropping overlooking the Lot River in the southwest.
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Pierre Herme cookbook Pastries

Pierre Hermé’s New Cookbook ‘Pastries’

Pierre Herme cookbook Pastries

French pastry chef Pierre Hermé is set to release a cookbook filled with some of the recipes and pastries that have made his name a powerful brand around the world.

Pierre Hermé gives readers a hundred recipes that reinvent classic French cakes and desserts into innovative new flavor combinations, like croissants filled with rose-scented almond paste and a raspberry and lychee compote.

The Saint Honoré cake is reinvented with green tea, chestnuts and passionfruit, while a ‘foie gras’ crème brûlée is adorned with caramelized mango.
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Nicolas sarkozy Anna wintour

Anna Wintour receives the Legion of Honor

Nicolas sarkozy Anna wintour

Anna Wintour, Editor of U.S. Vogue Anna Wintour was awarded a Legion d’Honneur award by French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris on July 6

Wearing brand-new Chanel Couture that had walked the night before, Anna accepted her pin in front of a crowd that included Bernard Arnault, Karl Lagerfeld, Stefano Pilati, Donatella Versace, Tommy Hilfiger, Alber Elbaz, Franca Sozzani, and Riccardo Tisci.

Wintour was awarded a Chevalier (Knight) of the Order, which was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 and signifies the highest order of decoration in France.
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Belle dOpium ad

French houses honored at French fragrance awards

Belle dOpium ad

The French fragrance foundation awarded its annual prizes exclusively to local brands last week.

Its main awards for best fragrance of the year went to Yves Saint Laurent’s Belle d’Opium, in women’s perfumes and Bleu de Chanel in the men’s category.

All other winning brands, including Lancôme, Hermès, or Biotherm, also hail from France.
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