The Parisianer


Hi Jennie!

Sometime last year, Arjun and I went for an exhibition titled The Parisianer at Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. The illustrations were all about what Paris meant to the artists, created in a format to mimic the cover of The New Yorker.

A while ago, they published all these illustrations into a book and I really wanted to share some of them with you. The images convey a mix of emotions and what it’s like to live in Paris. Some of them can be puzzling to  people who’ve never lived in Paris, but that’s what makes it so special.

I flip through it when I want to daydream about being back in my apartment in Montmartre.

IMG_1508 Tiny, tiny apartments. It’s only music here, but I’ve heard a lot more than that. ;)IMG_1510

Canal. I spent so much time there. We should have picniced here together.


Jouy to Paris.


All the times we went out of our way to eat Asian food. Saigon Sandwich is the best!


This one reminded me of Strasbourg Saint-Denis and République. :(


IMG_1515Reminded me of the time we were at that café at Ecole Militaire before the dinner party we catered for the tall Russian lady. You told me how coffee at the bar is quicker and cheaper!



Apéro time, but the ambience reminds me of our dinner series. :)

Let’s go back, Jennie!!!


Tropical fruits and head cheese


I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to write back to you. I see a thousand things a day that I want to show you, but the photo memory on my phone is usually full so I can only take mental pictures. : ) I went to my neighborhood farmers’ market on Friday (in honor of Friday Lunches, of course) and took pics of the most curious things I could find! As you can imagine, there are tons of exotic fruits in Colombia but there are also some vegetables that can only be found here in the Andes mountain range.

There’s something called a “tree tomato” (tomate de árbol) that looks like a strangely elongated tomato, but they treat it like a fruit and make juice out of it. I wouldn’t say that it has an amazing flavor on its own, but it’s interestingly acidic and ever so slightly sweet. They come in a bunch of different colors, like the reddish purple below.

Tomate de árbol

Tomate de árbol

I bought these red things at the market, and have yet to figure out what they are. They look like mini red potatoes but taste like radish.



Speaking of roots, these parsnip-looking things are amazing for mashing with salted butter, milk, Parmesan cheese and a hint of freshly-ground black pepper. I serve it with boeuf bourgignon and braised short rib.



Just a happy bunch of fruits/vegetables thrown together for no reason: pineapple, acorn squash and limes.

Piña, calabaza y limón

Piña, calabaza y limón

THESE are the mother of all tart fruits: lulo and curuba. Curuba is like a banana-shaped passion fruit, and lulo has a fuzzy skin like a peach but a more citrus-like interior. In the coastal region of Colombia they make a drink called “lulada”, which has chunks of the fruit and a fair amount of sugar. It’s very tangy!! I think these would make the best caipirinhas ever.

Lulos y curubas

Lulos y curubas

Some freshly-popped peas, bright red tomatoes (unusual for Colombia, actually, so I bought way too many out of sheer excitement) and fashion magazines. Hmm.

Arvejas, tomates y revistas de moda

Arvejas, tomates y revistas de moda

Finally, the most unexpected thing of all: head cheese (bottom right, amidst a jumble of random groceries, eggs and artisanal guava jelly)! Since I didn’t even like the head cheese at Le Chateaubriand, I figured that this wouldn’t float my boat so I didn’t try it …but I was impressed that it’s enough of a staple that they have it at a tiny farmers’ market.

Queso de cabeza

Queso de cabeza

I wish you were here to try all these things with me, Shaheen!! I’ll send you photos of the Rio market when I’m there next week!







Pink Salad

pink salad

Dear Jennie,

Winters in London brings with it all sorts of beautiful bitters that kinda compensate for the frozen toes and fingers. There’s a lovely little market that I visit. They’ve got lots of independent businesses working out of an industrial estate. It’s sorta like a I’m-too-cool-for-the-masses market that’s on at the same time at Maltby Street.

Here I found Italian red tardivo radicchio  and the blush pink radicchio that comes from Verona. I decided I had to make something simple to let these two shine, yet something that would also capture winter. I added some grapefruit segments steeped in rosemary syrup in the fridge from another project. And for a little sweetness, a ripe William pear. All of this came together with a red wine vinaigrette and some lime zest. Perfect little lunch.



PS: Another pink food I pickled recently.

Word of Mouth

“You ladies have phenomenal culinary skills and are just amazing!!! Thanks again for a superb lunch!” – Daniel Crafford, HEC Paris MBA

“Brilliant food today… Even after 3 hours I can’t get over it. Thanks a lot!!!” – Anumeha Sinha, HEC Paris MBA

“Great lunch yesterday! Thanks for putting it on and saving us from the dangers of canteen food. Already looking forward to the next one.” – Nela Banovic, HEC Paris MBA/Yale University

 “Looking forward to the next happy Friday!” – Manuel Lara Ruíz, HEC Paris/IESE Barcelona

“This is such a great concept! Wish you were in Mumbai.” – Madhuvanti Mohan

“So, what about expanding to dinners?” Shrey Sanger, London School of Economics

“Missing you guys – can you please extend Friday Lunches into big cities around the world?” – Nina Blasberg, HEC Paris Grand École

“Thank you so much for doing these Friday Lunches! They are absolutely delicious and are a welcome break to the “food” at the Restaurant Universitaire. You guys are awesome and my friends and I really appreciate all the hard work you put into these events.” – Carolyn Chomcy, HEC Paris Masters student

La Limonade

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