My 15 Minutes with Macaron Maestro Pierre Hermé

Suspense was the flavour on my tongue as I approached the London Hilton at Park Lane for a short interview with Pierre Hermé. I knew I would have to broach – and therefore answer to – the tongue-in-cheek blog post I’d composed in July as an open letter to the pastry legend.

During my visit by invitation to his London boutique I’d taken issue with his UK area manager dictating what I could and couldn’t photograph. My letter to Hermé concluded with a statement of acquiescence: all content for my website would henceforth be subject to his approval.

Had Hermé read the blog post? If so, had this rendezvous been arranged in response to it? All I knew was that Hermé had travelled to London from Paris for Valrhona Chocolate to help promote its new book, Cooking with Chocolate. Andre Dang, the ace food PR who’d arranged this brief meeting (but not the July visit to the boutique), had said nothing about the letter to me – nor had I, to him. [Read more…]

My Open Letter to Pierre Hermé

15 July 2011

Dear Pierre Hermé,

Imagine my delight when on the first of this month I received an invitation from your public relations representative in the UK to visit your Pierre Hermé Paris boutique in London (map), sample some of your incomparable macarons and share the experience with readers of [Read more…]

Changing the perception but not the taste of Greek food

With the London launch of its Taste of Greece promotion The Greek National Tourism Organisation made it clear Tuesday 9 February 2010 was no day to be in Athens. A European capital already confronting a financial crisis was without two culinary giants who, ignoring unmistakable discrepancies in waistlines and hairlines, might be deemed the Heston Blumenthal and Pierre Hermé of modern Greek cuisine. Christoforos Peskias and Stelios Parliaros were at The Cookbook Cafe, doing cooking demos and helping to sell Greece, by which I mean they were promoting their country’s assets, not liquidating them. [Read more…]

For chocolate, a matcha made in heaven

Published in The Los Angeles Times – May 13, 2009

At a glance, the cross-cultural dessert pairing of chocolate and matcha, the prized Japanese green tea powder, may not seem the sort of combination to elicit uncontrollable cravings. Among the many terms used to evoke matcha’s elusively complex character — grassy, spinachy, watercress-like, seaweedy, earthy, floral, herbaceous, aquatic, bitter — barely a single one screams dessert.

But still, it’s quite the rage in Paris and Tokyo, where the only really big question is: Which chocolate makes the best matcha match? Read full article