Black truffles, what else?

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Traditionally, truffles are kept in a glass container with eggs. And when you cook your eggs, the flavor is already within.

December is in France the right month to find black truffles. If you have never tasted them, they are very different from white Italian truffles and are cooked with risotto, scrambled eggs, or eaten on toasted country bred with melted butter and salt. They are a delicacy and can be found wild in Lubéron and Dordogne or grown, as is the case with Baron de la Truffe’s production in Touraine. Founded in 2011, the company is based on 60 acres which were planted in 1996 with Tuber Melanosporum.Read More

All you need to know on Modern Chinese art

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Liao Xinxue’s watercolor on silk, reveals both his oriental and occidental training. He came to study in France in 1934

Why did Japanese artists such as Foujita become famous in Paris in the 1920’s and not their Chinese contemporaries ? This is the theme of Helen Szaday’s talk on December 14 th at Christie’s Paris.

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Young vocations are rewarded

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Maxime Cholley, now studying at Berklee in Boston, gave a mini jazz concert

So many young people have no idea what to do when they graduate from High School, that it is extremely gratifying and exciting to see thirty one laureates of the « Fondation Marcel Bleustein Blanchet pour la vocation », describe their ambitions and in such diverse fields as jazz and ethno musicology, archeology or special effects, motorbike pilot, ballet dancer, or amphibian studies. The special guest this year was Mohed Altrad, a Syrian entrepreneur who won the 2015 World entrepreneurship Prize, and dedicated it to his adoptive country in these words, « I did not win, France did ».Read More

40 years of great cuisine

Isabelle d'Ornano and Christiane Mazery sign their book

Isabelle d’Ornano and Christiane Mazery signing their book at Galignani’s

When I was a little girl, my grandfather’s cook made the best profiteroles au chocolat and they were filled with crème patissière, a heavy custard, not ice cream like you find today. The « snob au chocolat » was a mix of butter, chocolate and cream that cooled in the fridge for 24 hours, and was the highlight of our winter dinners !

Old recipes are what « 40 années chez Isabelle and Hubert d’Ornano » are all about. The book conceived by Christiane Mazery (a specialists of chic lifestyle and French interiors) was written by chef Gérard Gausset, who worked for 40 years for the founders of Sisley,  before he disappeared two years ago. It is a mix of charming souvenirs of a lifetime and personal family pictures.Read More

A bric à brac de luxe

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The new large Fragonard shop on 5 rue Boudreau is more colorful than ever

For many years now, every time I travel abroad, I pay a visit to Fragonard, a charming manufacture of soap and perfume based in Grasse, South of France, which has many boutiques all around Paris, and I buy all my house presents there. They carry the most refined cushions, shoe bags and linen bags with witty designs, soaps in all perfumes, after-shave called « Je suis fidèle », candles that smell like “brioche just out of the oven”, log fire or vineyard peaches, scarves and embroidered napkins.

Bags for all purposes are witty and pretty

Bags for all purposes are witty and pretty

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At Aveline, an African artist creates an earthquake

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The first room of Galerie Aveline shows a huge chalk frescoe with the woolen cloud, courtesy Galleria Continua, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins / Habana

Aveline is a mysterious antique shop located next to the Ministry of Interior on place Beauvau, a very busy place at the momnet. There are cops everywhere and it is heavily guarded. The entrance is tiny but if you dare walk in, the space (650m2 o two floors) is huge. And until January 10th, it shows « Paradis(e) », a mix of 18 th century commodes and chairs, encoignures and desks in a decor created by Galleriacontinua for Cameroon artist, Pascale Marthine Tayou.Read More

Louise Pressager, a busy bee

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Two exhibitions in a row for artist Louise Pressager, who lives and works in Malakoff, a trendy artists suburb south of Paris, where Mediathèque Pablo Neruda shows a series of her drawings called « Les Ficelles » (strings) hanging on multicolour strings until December 17. An installation of hers selected for the « Biennale de jeune création européenne » was recently shown at the Beffroi, in Montrouge.

Louise Pressager preparing her baloons at Montrouge

Louise Pressager preparing her balloons at Montrouge

The diversity and talent of this young artist, has four leading colours like a four ball pen : work and competition, family and sexuality, health and madness, death and religion. Louise always uses her father and brother in her videos, her mother usually helps with decor and costumes ; her daily work in a internet company is a fertile ground for inspiration ; her short stay at Hôpital Sainte Anne gave her an insider’s look at medicine and doctors.

Causes, uses recurrent themes of sexuality, family and suicide

“Causes”, uses recurrent themes of sexuality, family and suicide

The very simple way this exhibition is hung on strings, transforms the banal library hall of an administrative building into an artistic playground. At the opening, children were watching the short Cowboy and Indian video « L’amour cache », lying on cushions, Louise’s work colleagues had come in numbers and were proud to be, in a way, the topic of some of her drawings which are darkly humorous and intellectually brilliant. The mayor, Jacqueline Belhomme, was present and cultural maire adjoint, Fatiha Alaudat spoke about how wonderfully Louise Pressager fitted in their community of many artists. (Christian Boltanski and Annette Messager live there) and how productive she is.

Le Chantage, (blackmail) 2014, Louise Pressager

Le Chantage, (blackmail) 2014, Louise Pressager

Louise, who has shown her work for the last five years, (she will be 30 in December) has a masters in law and in political science. She used to write for singers (parolière) but her parents being both art teachers in Lorraine, she answered her calling!  When a little old lady asked her if her life was as dark as the drawings, she laughed and said « No this is my way of evacuating tensions ».

Fatihla Alaudat, in charge of culture and Jacqueline Belhomme, mayor of Malakoff with Louise Pressager

Fatiha Alaudat, in charge of culture and Jacqueline Belhomme, mayor of Malakoff with Louise Pressager

Over the years, this artist has deepened her art and dug further into her favourite themes of love, death, doctors and religion. But also power and domination, where « the individual is like a puppet or a funambulist walking on a fine rope ». Her work is not shown at Centre Pompidou yet but you can see it at 24 rue Béranger, in Malakoff, and you will be proud to have discovered a great artist. (20 mms from the Champs Elysées by subway)

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Two couturiers who collected… very well

Andy Warhol, Portraits d’Yves Saint Laurent, 1972 Fondation Pierre Bergé - Yves Saint Laurent, Paris

Andy Warhol, Portraits d’Yves Saint Laurent, 1972 Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, Paris

Visiting Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent on avenue Marceau, is always a treat. Exhibitions there are as varied as Tibetan art or David Hockney’s Ipad work, and they are very luxuriously scenographed. The new show of « Jacques Doucet-Yves Saint Laurent, Vivre pour l’art » (live for art) is bringing the space to a high point and letting us dream about a lost world of gratuitous esthetism and elegance.Read More