Friday, May 17, 2019

Bordeaux Cité du Vin - Next Chapter?

by Paige Donner

There's a lot to love about the Cité du Vin in Bordeaux. 

1. The structure :  Divine

Cité du Vin Bordeaux photo by Paige Donner copyright 2019 SAM_0029

Photo by Paige Donner ©


2. The infrastructure : modern, lots of digital technology, full of bells and whistles. 

Cité du Vin Bordeaux photo by Paige Donner copyright 2019 SAM_0072

Photo by Paige Donner ©

[caption id="attachment_662" align="alignnone" width="2816"]Cité du Vin Bordeaux photo by Paige Donner copyright 2019 SAM_0038 Cité du Vin Bordeaux, Photo by Paige Donner ©[/caption][caption id="attachment_664" align="alignnone" width="2816"]Cité du Vin Bordeaux photo by Paige Donner copyright 2019 SAM_0046 Cité du Vin Bordeaux, Photo by Paige Donner © FoodWine.photographyCité du Vin Bordeaux photo by Paige Donner copyright 2019 SAM_0056 Cité du Vin Bordeaux, Photo by Paige Donner ©[/caption]

But the elephant in the room is the programming. 

Cité du Vin Bordeaux, Photo by Paige Donner ©


When it comes to the Programming of this first-of-its-kind World of Wine cultural center, there is much to be desired.  I would consider it a work-in-progress. A Work In Progress of which we are only on its first chapter. 


Digital vs. Human & Tactile

I was privileged to visit this now-iconic structure during its construction phase (see blog archives on LocalFoodAndWine ) and eagerly watched its evolution.  This was during the same phase and time period that my groundbreaking article on Wine & Climate Change was published in the New York Times

When the forces behind the Cité du Vin assured me that the focus of this Wine Culture and Educational Center would not be solely on Bordeaux but would, rather, embrace all wine regions of the world, it seemed as though the role this structure was willing to play in the world of wine was commensurate with Bordeaux's stature as one of the epicenters  - historically, culturally, commercially - of the Wine World. 

BUT... transferring this experience of wine culture and civilizations into a thoroughly digitized experience is not exactly measuring up to people's hopes and expectations. 


For Example: At this week's Vinexpo Bordeaux, all ticket holders to Vinexpo could visit the Cité du Vin with complimentary entry. Informal canvassing of both visitors to Bordeaux and local residents yielded these sorts of answers: ***********************************************  Read More on

Listen to Paige's podcast, Paris GOODfood+wine on Soundcloud, Stitcher and iHeart Radio. 

Contact Paige @

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Veuillez dîner au Château d'Yquem à Sauternes?

by Paige Donner

When the gold-enclosed invitation first arrived, my initial thought was, 'I need to frame this.' 

It's a dreams-do-come-true moment when you find yourself sitting down to dinner at the mythic Château d'Yquem in Bordeaux's Sauternes region in the company of about 400 other invited black-tie guests.

Chateau Yquem May 13 2019 copyright SAM_0127

photo by Paige Donner copyright 2019 

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photo by Paige Donner copyright 2019 

Chateau Yquem May 13 2019 copyright SAM_0118

photo by Paige Donner copyright 2019 

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photo by Paige Donner copyright 2019 

Chateau Yquem May 13 2019 copyright SAM_0114

photo by Paige Donner copyright 2019 

Half of us were invited as international press by the Conseils Grand Cru Classé 1855 and by M. Bernard Arnault, Chairman of LVMH,  the owner of the château. The other half of the guests were the member châteaus of the 1855 Grand Cru Classé federation, which are considered the top most historic and exceptional wine estates in Bordeaux. Of course, it was Napoléon III who initiated the classification of these grand wine estates back in 1855, hence the name, Conseils Grand Cru Classé 1855.

In this classification, only Yquem carries the distinction for Sautternes-Barsac as Premier Cru Supérieur

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photos by Paige Donner copyright 2019 

At the podium in this exquisite glass structure set amidst these prized, sweet vines, M. Arnault, back-lit by the setting golden honey-tinged sunlight, regaled his guests with several anecdotes from the rich, 400 year history of this property. Chateau Yquem May 13 2019 copyright SAM_0129Perhaps it was in honor of the guest seated just to his right, the US Ambassador to France, Jamie McCourt.

Chateau Yquem May 13 2019 copyright SAM_0162photo by Paige Donner copyright 2019 

In any event we all were entertained by the story found in Thomas Jefferson's, the United States' third President and the 2nd US Ambassador to France, journals from his 18th c. meanderings in Bordeaux. It was then that he wrote to then President George Washington of this exquisite elixir he had discovered in Sauternes at a Château named Yquem. He sent the esteemed General a few sample bottles of this sweet wine. Once Washington had tasted it, he sent Jefferson back down on a diplomatic mission to Bordeaux to order 30 cases of this Grand Vin at which time Jefferson said, 'I'm ordering 30 cases for General Washington and you can add, please, an additional 12 cases for myself." That was the 1784 vintage.

This would have been a full 65 years or so before the 1855 classification. Which goes to show you that our American Founding Fathers can and did have good taste in fine French wine. 

When Jefferson fell in love with these wines, the estate was headed by a woman, coincidentally (or perhaps not so coincidentally, given the Jeffersonian reputation). In any case, Françoise Joséphine de Sauvage, was a young widow by 1788 and found herself in the position of having to manage an estate that at one point during the Middle Ages belonged to the King of England (who was simultaneously the Duke of Aquitaine). She further broke ground, literally and figuratively, when in 1826 she built a new wine cellar. This, it is said, is what transformed the estate into a business and helped create its international reputation. 



Seated at the table / present at the dinner with M. Arnault and the 'Ambassadrice' were a who's who of French business: Martin Bouygues (Bouygues), Xavier Niel (founder-owner of Free), Former Economy Minister Thierry Breton (CEO of Atos), the new Mayor of Bordeaux Nicolas Florian  (who just stepped in to fill Alain Juppé 's former post as he heads to take his position with the French Supreme Court in Paris),  le designer Philippe Starck, the owner of Château Lafite Eric de Rothschild, and the exceptionally gracious, humble, kind and unassuming CEO of Groupe Roederer Frédéric Rouzaud, the wine glass maker Maximilian Riedel, and the new head of Vinexpo and former Moet-Hennessy man Christophe Navarre (Vinexpo-Global)… 

Groundbreaking however from Monday evening, in terms of the direction of viticulture, was Arnault's announcement  that he intends to take his landmark Bordelais châteaus certified organic and, 'as a way to continue their 400 year history of excellence," he stated that they would be taking their vineyards towards bio-dynamic cultivation even in the coming years. He stated that this is the direction that vineyard cultivation needs to go in and that the grand châteaus such as theirs, and those who were represented there that evening, must set the example. 

For many decades now the most famous organic and bio-dynamic vineyard of the Grand Cru Classé 1855 estates is Pontet-Canet in Pauillac. As of 2016 it was still the only bio-dynamic vineyard in the Médoc. 

Chateau Yquem May 13 2019 copyright SAM_0113

photo by Paige Donner copyright 2019 

According to Pierre Lurton, the managing director of Château d'Yquem  (105 ha) in Sauternes and Château Cheval Blanc in Pomerol (38 ha), they have been practicing organic viticulture for "several years now," and they no longer use insecticide, herbicides or chemicals on their vines. He noted that it takes 3 years once you start the application process for organic certification. He also pointed out that in Pomerol in 2018 they were hit hard by mildew and the loss of the harvest was significant. He concedes, however, that bio-dynamic cultivation is the future and the path forward.

Chateau Yquem May 13 2019 copyright SAM_0126

photo by Paige Donner copyright 2019 

Notable on the Right Bank is Château Fonroque which Alain Moueix began converting into biodynamic vineyards in 2002. The first AB (the certified organic) label was carried by their 2006 bottles and ECOCERT (biodynamic) adherent since 2005. He was always a forerunner in this field and even as recently as only a decade ago, was still considered an outlier. 

So this announcement by the CEO of LVMH, which controls in total about 70 wine and spirits estates or brands around the world including California, China as well as France, is a huge step forward in terms of recognizing the 'bastard child' that has been biodynamic vineyard cultivation practices these past decades, at least in 'Big Wine'. It is also worth noting that LVMH is the number one Luxury Group in the world. 

Honestly, listening to M. Arnault sing the praises of organic and bio-dynamic cultivation felt a lot like a religious experience.

Especially if nature and the future well-being of the Earth is something you believe in. 

What is Biodynamic farming? In Rudolf Steiner's words: What is Biodynamics? A Way to Heal and Revitalize the Earth.  That is the title of his series of lectures published in 1924 on this topic. He has since been hailed as the champion-in-chief of biodynamic farming practices. 

What is Biodynamics? A Way to Heal and Revitalize the Earth. 


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photo by Paige Donner copyright 2019 

The dinner itself, was, of course, extraordinary. The beautiful and precise organization was carried off by the unparalleled Potel & Chabot and our chef for the evening was Arnaud Donckele, a 3-star Michelin chef from La Vague d'Or à Cheval Blanc St. Tropez

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photos by Paige Donner copyright 2019 

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photos by Paige Donner copyright 2019 


Another one of the fun things at these dinners is that the wines you get to taste during dinner depends on with whom you are seated. I had the great good fortune to be seated with Philippe Blanc of Château Beycheville in St. Julien and also Christian Seely of Château Pichon Longueville Baron (Second Grand Cru Classé 1855)  in Pauillac, Haut-Médoc.  Served were the 2009s (sublime!) and also 2005 and 1999. All sublime and truly hinted of the experience of having died and gone to heaven. 

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photo by Paige Donner copyright 2019 

For Yquem, they served the 2001 from a Double Magnum. 

And that is the end of our Yquem fairytale... for now.  

Chateau Yquem May 13 2019 copyright SAM_0167

photo by Paige Donner copyright 2019 


route-des-vins-sauternes-barsac comparisonsfrom dico du vin carte-du-chateau-d-yquem

Poster Yann Arthus-Bertrand GCC 1855



Listen to Paige's podcast, Paris GOODfood+wine on Spotify, iHeart Radio, Soundcloud, Stitcher, TuneIn Radio and iTunes. 

Paige tasting in the cellars of Chateau Lafleur Pomerol May 2015 photo copyright Paige Donner IMG_2053 (2)

To contact Paige, find her @parisfoodwine , on Instagram @PaigeFoodWine and on her website


Saturday, March 23, 2019

45: CBD Edibles, Andy Hayler Restaurant Critic, Food Waste in Paris PGf+w

by Paige Donner

Today's episode of Paris GOODfood+wine from this springtime in Paris is an interview with renowned Restaurant Critic, Andy Hayler, a quick tutoial on CBD Edibles, and a short report on Food Waste In Paris. 



To start the show off today, I present a CBD Tutorial with a footnote on CBD Edibles


The short video that you'll find in the show notes here takes you through a quick explainer as to how cannabidiol, or CBD, works organically and systemically with the human body's own endo-cannabidiol system.

Succinctly put, we have receptors throughout our bodies that bind instantly with cannabidiol, or CBD, healing properties to bring about homeostasis.

The benefits can be felt and seen in instances of body inflammation and brain inflammation and stress. Some disorders where it has notably had positive effects is on Immune Dysfunction, Thyroid, Chronic Infection, Psoriosis and Digestion.

For Brain Inflammation, beneficial effects have been seen to alleviate Migraine, Anxiety, Depression, ADHD, Insomnia and even Epilepsy. It's also a known pain reliever as well as promotes detoxification. I highly encourage you to watch this short video explaining, in layman's terms, cannabidiol's beneficial effects on the human body .

As you already know, if you listened to my last show, I have just released a cookbook, Le CBD Café Cookbook, that infuses quick'n'easy recipes with CBD oil. The CBD Edibles market in the US and even globally is exploding. So my cookbook, Le CBD Café Cookbook, is a way for you to jump on the beneficial and non-narcotic CBD train and incorporate this holistic food supplement, as it has been designated by the US FDA, into your and your family's and even your pets' daily healthy meals.

You can find the video link in our show notes for Episode 45 of Paris GOODfood+wine.




Restaurant Critic Andy Hayler 

OK, so now we're going to turn to our feature interview for our March 2019 episode of Paris GOODfood+wine which is with Restaurant Critic Extraordinaire, Andy Hayler.

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Mr Hayler, a UK resident, has dined in every 3 Michelin star restaurant in the world. Each year he updates his tally to keep up with the newly crowned restaurants and chefs. He is one of the earliest restaurant critics to have migrated his restaurant reviews online, which was all the way back in the mid 90s.

Please note that I do apologize for the audio quality of this interview. There were two factors playing into that, 1. Is that it was a recorded telephone interview and 2. is because I was sitting outside at a café on Place de L'Alma in midday traffic ( whose noises in the background I tried to diminish in post audio production, but which still come through).

np_20150715_jsblog-fd7_935118But despite that, Mr. Hayler's commentary is enticingly intriguing especially when he dishes on our interview theme of "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" of being a restaurant critic.

You can find Mr. Hayler's reviews at where he has 1595 restaurant reviews posted. The restaurants are from all around the world.



Food Waste

And now, before I let you go from this short time we spent together each month, I wanted to touch on the subject of food waste.

Re-fed screenshot Food Waste Solvable Episode 45 Paris GOODfood+wine

In the U.S., we waste 63 million tons of food annually, at a cost of $218 billion. All of this wasted food consumes 20 percent of freshwater, fertilizer, cropland, and landfill space in America. The problem is enormous, but provides vast opportunities for ingenuity, creativity, and imagination in designing solutions, creating a flourishing food waste innovation scene.

Food waste innovators create real benefits by reducing natural resource use, cutting greenhouse gas emissions, providing food to the hungry, and offering cost savings to consumers and businesses.

That excerpt is from the ReFed website. You can find the link here below. Click on Episode 45 of Paris GOODfood+wine.

For innovative IoT Solutions to your food perishables transport and Cold Chain logistics issues contact us at

For Action Roadmaps, go to Re-Fed's download page:

When it comes to Food Waste in Paris, there are two relatively recent developments worth noting:

A new bio-waste recycling initiative in Paris began in 2017 with 3,200 food waste bins being distributed .

120,000 residents in the capital's 2nd and 12th arrondissements were given the opporutnity to more conveniently compost their biodegradables. Meaning they could put their carrot peels, egg shells and tea bags into a brown recycling bin instead of the ordinary bin.

Parisians are already accustomed to sorting their trash into 3 separate bins: 1. for glass, 1 for plastics, wrappings, cartons and paper packaging and 1 for everything else. So this adds a 4th bin for compostable biodegradables.

Now, is this useful and is it necessary or even helpful?

Well, according to a 2017 article in the local press,

Parisians Waste More Food Than Anyone Else in France


The article states:

Parisians are guilty of wasting nearly a third more food than anywhere else in France and it's costing them dear.

Each Parisian wastes nearly 26kg of still packaged and edible food every year.

That figure represents nearly three times the waste seen elsewhere France.

So why are Parisians chucking away so much food? Is it because the capital's famously image conscious residents are looking after their waistlines more than elsewhere in France?

Not quite. Experts say it seems to be down to their love of eating out.

Apparently, if people living in the French capital consumed more sensibly and threw away less of the food, they would save around €400 per household per year.

City Hall in Paris doesn't need convincing.

Facing 59,000 tonnes of annual waste in Paris, and having launched a campaign against the phenomenon 2015

You can listen to this podcast on Parisians wasteful eating habits by going to and clicking on Episode 45 of Paris GOODfood+wine.


Now, shifting our focus onto solutions, turning to the digital sphere, there's a mobile app called

Too Good To Go – It's a Food App used by Les Halles businesses.

The Too Good To Go mobile app allows restaurants at Les Halles to sell their unsold articles at the end of the day.

Designed in 2015, Too Good To Go saves restaurants and grocery stores from having to toss many unsold perishables into the garbage bin. The app puts restaurants in touch with consumers so that the unsold items can be sold for a discounted price.

The app is synced by geolocation, so you can find the participating storekeepers in your area and order your 'surprise basket' then pick it up directly at the store at the indicated collection time.

Participants include restaurants,bakeries,delicatessens and supermarkets,


Read the full article in French or English by finding the link on our show notes at Episode 45 Paris GOODfood+wine, on

OK, that's all for now The sun is back out today tomorrow is officially springtime in Paris, and it's time to take my dog for a walk along the Seine.


À tres bientot!


Music for this episode is "Rogue" by Noisy Oyster, provided by

Intro/Outro Show music "Groovy Jazz" by

Show Notes: & Ché 

Contact Host-Producer, Paige Donner @

© Paige Donner 2019


Listen to Paris GOOD food + wine on :





All photos (where noted) copyright 2018  Paige Donner

iTunes – Paris GOODfood+wine / 

Media Engagements, speaking and collaborations: contact

Monday, March 18, 2019

Alain Passard's Vegetable Garden Party

by Paige Donner (All photos © 2019)

Ever wondered what the (not 'a', but 'the') famous French chef's vegetable gardens look like? You know the chef I mean, the one whose 3-Michelin starred Parisian all-vegetable restaurant became world-famous precisely because of the chef's skill with, and quality of, his vegetables.

Of course I am referring to Chef Alain Passard and his one-of-a-kind Arpége.

************** READ FULL POST WITH PICTURES ON **************  

In an era when many 3-Michelin star chefs find it challenging to make their prestige restaurants profitable, and so open up bistros and branded niche foods in multiple locations and dozens of countries, this chef has chosen to remain with one, and one only, iconic, landmark dining legend. 

"Je suis bien chez moi," he declares, when asked. "I like being in my own kitchens. I like being 'at home' where everything is familiar. I don't feel the need to go elsewhere, or open up a global empire of restaurants...". 

In other words, he seems pretty happy.

************** READ FULL POST WITH PICTURES ON **************

Certainly one of the brilliant components to his success is his recognition of his raw materials, in this case vegetables. They must be treated, he advises, with jewel-like reverence and care. 

"The gardener is as important as the chef, " said Alain Passard at lunch last week, "At least until harvest time and up until the vegetables arrive in my kitchens." 

************** READ FULL POST WITH PICTURES ON **************  

Alain Passard & Oenoteam Chateau Normandy March 11 2019 photo by Paige Donner Copyright IMG_9544 Lunch, before it has met with Chef Passard's formidable skill[/caption]

This lovingly restored Château in Normandy is not the only gardens he cultivates and possesses. He started on this quest for the perfect herbs and vegetables several decades ago with his first vegetables cultivated on his land in Sarthe. Up here in Normandy, about an hour and 15 minutes from Paris, is, however, the space where he has room to receive guests.  On March 11th, thanks to Oenoteam, a Libourne (Bordeaux) based team of enologists, some 30 of us had the privilege and delight to be Chef Passard's guests for lunch. 

No meat passed our lips that day at lunch. Though we dined on boeuf bourguignon (in a blind tasting anyone would have sworn to it) and a miniature hamburger-slider - each dish based on the magic of a beetroot under the care, cultivation, guidance and manipulation of Chef Passard's creativity and skillful tool sets. 

Wines were provided by Oenoteam, whose wine consulting includes over 200 clients in both the Left and Right banks of Bordeaux, as well as clients in Southwest France, the Loire and other prestige regions of France. The team is: Stéphane Toutoundji, Thomas Duclos, Julien Belle and Marie-Laure Badet Murat. Their philosophy is to allow wines their own expression, rather than to impose a style onto a wine.  Oenoteam. 

Alain Passard & Oenoteam Chateau Normandy March 11 2019 photo by Paige Donner Copyright IMG_9542


It's not always easy to pair wines with vegetables and all-vegetable meals. But each of the choices here, including a 2015 Pomerol, were right on the mark. 

As a parting shot, the chef challenged us all to return with a wine for him to pair with Asparagus. : ) 

For groups interested in booking the chef's Château Normandy for a private gathering of their own, contact the Chef's team @

And, local's TIP: (Find it on his website)

Bring home a piece of Arpège…

Every morning, our gardeners harvest vegetables & fruits that are then served at the restaurant. And every morning, they pick a little more, and fill wooden baskets with the jewels of our soil, just for you…

Subscribe to our newsletter, and you'll receive all our weekly offers of Baskets & Treats, to pick up from the restaurant or to be delivered at your doorstep !



MORE PHOTOS ON FoodWine.Photography


All sculptures pictured here are by the Chef Alain Passard. 

Listen to the Paris GOODfood+wine podcast. Chef Passard was featured in our first season. 


Find it HERE:

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Episode 44: Paris Restaurants, Le CBD Café Cookbook & Wines of The World by Barrère Capdeville

by Paige Donner

Today's episode of Paris GOODfood+wine from this early February springtime in Paris is all about restaurants and wines...and a brand new Cookbook


The first segment features a longtime colleague of mine named Heidi Ellison who, after we worked together at the International Herald Tribune in the early 90's (since re-branded the International New York Times), went on to found Paris Update. Her Best Restaurants List for 2019 published recently on her site and these are the restaurants she'll be telling us about in our first interview.

Paris Update dot com

Several of her picks coincide with mine which you can read about on where I review restaurants, hotels and attractions for USA Today on their 10BEST travel media brand.

Barrere Capdeville screenshot for podcast

Then we switch to the world of wine. And I do mean the world of wine because as a departure from our regular wine discussions here on Paris GOODfood+wine ,which focus mainly on French wines, we speak with Florent Barrère, a native Bordelais, whose business, Barrère Capdeville, is importing and selling high-end wines from regions like Australia, Germany, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Chile here in France to a predominantly French consumer. We discuss this ambitious yet successful business he founded 10 years ago following the outstanding day of wine tasting he hosted at the Plaza Athénée here in Paris last week.


I also have a big announcement: My first cookbook just published. It's called Le CBD Café Cookbook.


Le CBD Café Cookbook Cover websize by Paige Donner on Amazon

Click HERE to find LE CBD Café Cookbook on Amazon

In it you'll find over 50 recipes that all incorporate hemp-derived CBD oil. Note, in the US, the FDA has classified hemp-derived cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, as a food supplement since there are no known narcotic effects but there is a plethora of reported health benefits.

Le CBD Café Cookbook screenshot Amazon

Recipes in Le CBD Café Cookbook are for delicious meals and snacks like Strawberry Dark Chocolate Banana CBD Smoothie, Apple Sausage Dutch Baby, Buttered Wild Mushrooms on Toast, Fish and Shrimp Ceviche with Popcorn, Texas Pulled Pork with Cayenne BBQ Sauce, Classic Italian Meatballs, French Boeuf Bourguignon Slow Cooked, Steak with Creamy Garlic Parmesan Sauce and Sweet Potato Pie with Cinnamon Roll Crust. And not to forget our furry friends, the last chapter, chapter 12, is devoted to homemade treats for your cat and dog.

The book is out now and available on Amazon. We're giving away 5 digital copies this month of the cookbook. To qualify, share the link to this show on your social media such as Twitter and Instagram, and in your review of the show on Soundcloud or iTunes, mention Le CBD Café Cookbook.

So, all aboard now as I take you on another meandering stroll through culinary Paris.

Le CBD Café Cookbook

Barrère & Capdeville



© Paige Donner 2019


Listen to Paris GOOD food + wine on :





Monday, December 17, 2018

Episode 42: The Feast Is In The First Bite - Chefs Ludo Lefebvre & Nina Métayer

by Paige Donner

logo PGF+W with blk title title and Paige Donner 1500x1500

Click on the Above Picture or HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

The feast is in the first bite. I came across this phrase recently listening to a science program on the radio about how human taste buds function. It was scientifically explained that in fact with each subsequent bite of food, there is a diminishing sensory enjoyment insofar as the taste explosion in your mouth. So in this season of joyful excess, we can reassure ourselves that the feast is indeed in the first bite.


  • Nina Métayer, Executive Pastry Chef, Café Pouchkine: Start Time - 7' 30 seconds

Nina Metayer Experience-Vignettelarge

  • Chef Ludo Lefebvre of Trois Mec, Los Angeles: Start Time - 25' 49 seconds

Ludo Lefebvre 20150214_quote_banner



As I sit here at my desk in my office in the Marais recording this, I realize that this 2018 holiday season here in Paris will go down in history as the Yellow Christmas.

This month of Saturday protests of the GiletsJaunes, the Yellow Vests, here in Paris have marked the season with closed shops and whole shopping districts such as the Champs Elysées, Saint Germain des Prés, and even here, in the normally bustling Marais, shuttering their doors and boarding their windows.

Even as I write this, a parade of protesters are marching in the street just below my window.

But perhaps the timing is truly right on message, because when many of us can celebrate a time of plenty and abundance, with joyful family members, lots of good things to eat and drink, and happy times all around, it's important to remember that for an ever-growing segment of the French population, indeed the world's population, this is not necessarily the case. Not during the holidays, and not during the rest of the year.

This is what we have come to call the Working Poor. People who don't sit idly by or accept handouts but in fact put in full work weeks and still cannot make ends meet for themselves or their children or their elderly dependents.

This holiday show, then, is dedicated to all those mothers and fathers and adult children of elderly parents whose desperation has brought them to the streets of Paris these past weekends to demonstrate and protest in what can only be called a desperate cry for help.

As we raise our glasses and forks in good cheer this year, let's generously remember all those who may be less fortunate than ourselves.


Episode 42 cover photo dhristmas

Another theme of this show is traditions.

As an avid listener of US Public Radio, I heard interview excerpts and snippets following the Thanksgiving holiday of people in the US who eschew the traditional holiday meal of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and what we call "the works."

And while there is no obligation to respect the traditions of your own country or your adoptive country, I do feel that there is great value in upholding traditions and that this can offer a kind of anchor to our ever-increasingly fragmented society.

Culinary traditions are a big part of culture. They play an important role in cultural identity. That's something I've learned quite well here in France.

To this effect, I interviewed one of France's top young pastry chefs for this show. Here in France, the Christmas Cake, le bûche de Nöel, plays a central role in the traditional holiday Christmas meal.

Nina Metayer visual-401x281-2

One of the themes for Chef Nina's 2018 bûche de Nöel: 

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* MORE PHOTOS OF Nina Métayer's Christmas Cakes on Instagram @PaigeFoodWine *

As such, the country's talented pastry chefs put great thought, creativity and love into their cake designs, often planning them a year in advance, as we hear Nina Métayer, of Café Pouchkine, explain to us. She's been singled out as one of the Top Under 30 culinary stars to watch by the French media. She is the Executive Pastry Chef of Café Pouchkine, which is owned by a Franco-Russian family.

The next talent we hear from for this Christmas and holidays 2018 show, is a Los Angeles based French chef; Ludo Lefebvre. He tells us how his childhood memories of the Family Christmas meal here in France are even more vivid than his memories of what toys Santa brought him. His main talking point is that very French sense of the Art de Vivre.


He emphasizes that enjoying a holiday meal is mostly about spending time with friends and family, where any sense of hurry or watching the clock is thrown out the window in favor of spending quality time with one another.

He has shot to fame with his fabulously successful Trois Mec restaurant and also his cooking shows Ludo Bites America and now Ludo à la Maison. As you'll hear in this telephone interview, Chef Ludo hails from Burgundy and has strong and fond memories of the traditional family Christmas meals he enjoyed as a child.


One more interesting tidbit to pass on for this holiday season, is that for the first time ever, Americans are spending more on eating out than on their groceries. So, to this effect, in the show notes, you'll find links to Holiday Meal Kits that can be delivered both here in Paris and also in the US. Note that in keeping with American traditions, the link for that meal kit includes a honeybaked ham, and the link to the Paris meal kits includes delivery of fresh oysters by Maison Rostang.

Wishing all of you, listeners and friends and family, a peaceful, joyous holiday season, full of love and good cheer. May food be the fabric of our harmonious coming together and the commonality that binds us as human beings, each one of us a child of God.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and Joyous Blessings this Holiday Season


Café Pouchkine Paris & Pastry Chef Nina Métayer, Executive Pastry Chef

Chef Ludo Lefebvre

Holiday Meal Kits Delivered

USA – Cracker Barrel

Paris - Maison Rostang Oyster Kit recommended by Marie Claire,1246215.asp

Americans Spending More On Eating Out Than Groceries

AND truth be told French chansons (#music) are some of my favorites. Here is some French holiday listening pleasure:

And Garou: Joyeux Noel

Music by Jingle Punks thanks to Youtube Audio Library, Free of Rights. 
Deck The Halls
We Wish You A Merry Christmas

Paris GOODfood+wine intro and outro music by BenSound, Groovy Jazz. 

Production, Hosting and Sound Editing by Paige Donner

Merci Beaucoup to all who helped make this show possible!

Wishing you and all of Earth's Children Peace, Love & Joy this season and for 2019


BOOK your wine tasting with Paris Food And Wine !  In Paris, we take you on a 2+ hour wine and food pairing tasting romp through the heart of the city, visiting wine bars, cheese and wine shops, with generous gulps and nibbles all the way!  GREAT HOLIDAY GIFT!   Contact Paige directly for bookings  Or on the website:

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All photos (where noted) copyright 2018  Paige Donner

iTunes – Paris GOODfood+wine / 

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