Paris and The Little Paris Kitchen
What inspired you to move to Paris?
A love of food and pastry in particular inspired me to give up my fashion PR job in London and move to Paris. I enrolled at La Sorbonne to learn french and Le Cordon Bleu to study pâtisserie – the rest, as they say, is history.
How do you keep your kitchen so organised?
As you might have noticed, my kitchen is small but perfectly formed! The key is to keep things really well organised so I make the most of the walls, storing food on shelves (some a little too high to reach which is where a step ladder comes in very handy). I also bought an island from Ikea which doubles up as an extra work surface for rolling out pastry, and as a storage space for all my pastry ingredients. I also use the outside of my kitchen window to store vegetables and potted herbs.
What tips for keeping tidy in the kitchen?
Do away with any non-essential utensils; you don’t need a ton of knives, just a good chef’s knife, a paring knife and a bread knife fit in this category. If you wash up as you go, not only do you not have to finish your dinner and do a ton of dishes, but you can reuse your pots and pans as you go.
What is your favourite type of cuisine?
As well as French cuisine, I love Malay-Chinese food.
What is your favourite ingredient to work with?
I love cheese, in all its forms.
Is your restaurant still open?
My home restaurant is no longer open.
Do you actually live in that small studio?
I do indeed. This is not a set, it’s my life!
How big is your apartment?
Are those all your things or were they styled for the show?
Pretty much everything you see is mine. We had to rearrange things a little during filming to make room for the crew, but on the whole, what you see is a peek into my little Parisian home.
Where can I get nibbed/pearl sugar for chouquettes in the uk?
You can buy some online from Amazon.Or if you are in Paris, head to G.Detou on Rue Tiquetonne for an excellent selection of pastry ingredients.
What mandoline do you use?
I use this Japanese mandoline. Make sure to use a the hand guard and take your time when using the mandoline.
Where is your stove/oven from?
It’s actually a vintage item, but you can buy two ring mini stoves.
What lipstick do you wear?
At the moment Cherry Lushby Tom Ford and Schiap by Nars. Russian Red by Mac is an old time favourite too.
Where did you get your bracelet from?
I bought it a little shop, Virginie Monroe on rue Charonne in the 11th. Unfortunately they don’t stock my bracelet anymore but they have lots of other lovely jewellery.
Where do you buy your dresses?
A selection of second hand and high street.
Some of them from here:
32, Rue de Rosiers
Free ‘P’ Star
8 rue Ste-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie
1, Rue de la Verrerie
Vide grenier (literally means emptying ones attic) is the French version of a car boot sale (minus the car). I love hunting and haggling for a bargain.
There’s a handy iPhone app: Brocabrac which lists all the vide grenier and antique markets in France. It’s updated on a weekly basis and you can search by city or French region. For the moment it is only available in French.
How are you not a heffalump living in the land of croissants and cheese?
I have the pleasure of living next to one of Paris’s best parks for jogging, Les Buttes Chaumont, so I try and keep fit to compensate for my cheese consumption. I also love yoga. I don’t tend to eat processed foods, they are just empty calories.
Where did you learn to cook?
My family always cooked a lot so I learned to love food from a young age. I then moved to Paris and trained at Le Cordon Bleu to learn the more technical aspects of pâtisserie.
How do I become a TV chef?
There is no easy way into the world of television. Learn as much as you can about a subject you are passionate about, start a blog, try and meet people in the industry, put yourself out there.
I emailed/tweeted/facebooked you but I haven’t received a response. How do I contact you?
I try to respond to as many emails/tweets/facebook comments as possible but it’s not always. If you want to contact me in regards to business, please click on the contact page for further information.