David Lebovitz’s Sweet and Savory Tour of Paris

Author of The Sweet Life in Paris shares his favorite places to eat in the City of Light.

David Lebovitz’s Sweet and Savory Tour of Paris

Photo by Brian Doben

“People can either be over-the-top romantic about Paris, or they think life is ridiculous here,” says David Lebovitz. “I try to strike a middle ground.” Lebovitz, an American, worked for 13 years in the pastry department at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, then moved to Paris to launch a second career as a writer, blogger, and occasional culinary tour guide. The author of six self-referential cookbooks, Lebovitz most recently published The Sweet Life in Paris, a collection of recipes and stories about life in his adopted city.

During a day off from my tour of duty with Arnaud Delmontel (read “Time to Rise“), I wandered through Paris with Lebovitz to pick up some foodie tips. We met at Du Pain et des Idées, an artisan boulangerie founded by Christophe Vasseur, a fashion executive turned baker.

For bread, Lebovitz’s other favorite boulangeries include Eric Kayser and La Boulangerie par Véronique Mauclerc.

As we walked and talked, Lebovitz insisted we stop for an afternoon snack of chouquettes, palm-size cream puffs covered with sugar and baked until brown. We picked up 10 of them, studded with chocolate chips, at the pâtisserie Aux Péchés Normands.

When I asked Lebovitz about the most pleasing pastry he’s had lately, he mentioned Alsatian kugelhopf, a semisweet confection somewhere between a cake and a bread, spiked with rum and almonds. It’s available at Vandermeersch. “The only problem is that they just make them on weekends, so I have to wait all week to get one,” he said. And his favorite morning pastry? The bostock, a disk of light almond cake topped with crackly almonds, which Lebovitz picks up at Ladurée.

>> Next: The AFAR Guide to Paris

Samuel Fromartz is a veteran journalist who focuses on the intersection of the food, farming and the environment. He is a co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Food & Environment Reporting Network. In Search of the Perfect Loaf: A Home Baker’s Odyssey (Viking 2014) is his second book, recounting a personal obsession with craft baking. It was shortlisted for the Art of Eating book prize for 2015 and won the award for Literary Food Writing from the IACP.
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