Du Pain et Des Idées and some birthday celebrations
Monday, December 5, 2011

I’ve consumed so many pastries over the past few weeks that it was about time to start cutting down the sugar intake. I made a visit to Du Pain et Des Idées after class one day. It’s a boulangerie in the 10th arrondissement that sells the best bread I’ve tasted so far in Paris. Their pain des amis (bread of friends) is a nutty, flavourful, extra-crusty, naturally-leavened loaf of goodness.

Owner and baker, Christophe Vasseur, didn’t start baking bread until he was 30. This is almost unheard of in a country where bakers start apprenticing at 15. It really is never too late to do anything. At 30, he left his corporate life to pursue his passion for bread. After apprenticing for 3 years, he opened his own shop in 2002 and in 2008, he was named the best baker of the year. Very inspiring!

There is almost always a line up at Du Pain et Des Idées. But don't worry, it moves quickly. Inside the store, it's warm, brightly-lit, rustic feeling. Service is very friendly.

Christophe Vasseur was named best bread baker of 2008 by gourmet food magazine, Gault & Millau.

Aside from their famous bread, they're also known for these pinwheels they call escargots. It's a buttery, flaky pastry rolled with different flavours and ingredients. This one is pistachio and chocolate.

This one had candied figs and walnuts.

This one had lemon cream and nougatine.

This pink one has praline (candied pecans). I'm not sure why, but they like to die their candied pecans pink in this country. You can find it in most grocery stores.

These are their mini-pavés, savoury small bites of bread with different ingredients wrapped inside.

On another topic, we had a birthday dinner on Friday last week. Weebites, prepared a korean food night at her apartment for me and CG, who’s birthday was a day before mine.

Once again, way too much food. This time, it was almost like a meat buffet.

YK made some very tasty pork balls.

Here's the giant platter of bulgogi made by my korean friend, Weebites. Thanks to her for always hosting our dinner parties.

Here's the percy pig birthday cake (carrot cake) made by LN. I was very impressed, this was made on the oven function in a microwave oven! Baking at home is very difficult in Paris due to a lack of proper ovens in most Parisian homes.

Here's the Tiramisu made by LN and Weebites. I was actually going to make Tiramisu for the dinner but I was talked out of it. No wonder!

Well? Let me know what you think. Write me a comment below!