Friday, January 28, 2011

JNSQ Friday Feature - David Lebovitz Paris Proust Files interview + give away!!

I'm going to do my best for you this week, to not gush. It's very difficult, to say the least. When the first man of blogging himself, accepted to be the next Paris Proust profile, I think I had a mini-stroke. Or maybe that was just my brain on DL-Crack?

David is one of those people who I think a lot of us expats find particularly inspiring. Following your dream and becoming a world-class dessert chef is impressive enough, but then he has to go and move to PARIS, of all places, to become this amazing recipe inventor, writer, blogger, tour-giver, I mean... where will it end? The man has more gifts than fucking Santa Clause.

When I read his book, The Sweet Life in Paris, I really felt like he had written it for me. I was nodding and laughing the whole time through his descriptions of typically French things, and personalities. I actually wished I'd read it years ago before moving here. It definitely would've saved my sanity, and probably several pairs of heels from street garnishes.

What I liked best about this book is what makes me want to live in Paris for the rest of my days: David writes all the ways the Parisians can drive someone to the utter BRINK of insanity, but, instead of hating them for that, he develops a kind of tender adoration for their quirks that I can really relate to.

I have a very romantic attachment to this burg, and I think David shares that feeling in his book. In fact, I think those that are on the verge of giving up on this town might want to pick it up as a sort of, disgust panacea. It'll cure what ails you and remind you that this place is made from pure magic... even if its inhabitants are black-wearing, frowny-faced, closet linebackers. (I still love them, it's okay, I used to wear sweatshirts and jeans to work -- nobody's perfect.)

And let's not forget, all the AMAZING recipes, some truly wonderful dishes and desserts in there that have made this book on my top ten favorite's list!

If you take away just 1 thing from this article I hope it's that:
This book is a real treasure, and you should pick it up immediately if not sooner and get to know this wonderfully funny, insightful, intelligent guy.

Can't wait to share this amazing book with our lucky give away winners!

I'll draw 2 random winners next Friday from those who:

RT this article on twitter, or Comment below to share your favorite french dessert!

If you just can't wait to win, pick up your copy on Amazon :) Thanks again to David for doing this interview!





Virtues: What do you like most about yourself or your writing that you
think you can say without sounding too conceited? What makes you so
flippin' amazing? (You know this is what people mean when they ask
'what are your strengths', don't look so shocked.)

DL: I’m become more flexible since moving abroad. Things things that used to bother me don’t anymore and I’ve become more relaxed about things going not as planned, because I’m now used to it.


Faults: What do you like LEAST about yourself or your writing that you
think you can say without sounding too pathetic?

DL: I wish I could master those darned French verbs. And I make a certain amount of typos on my blog, which irks me a little, but then I realize that the nature of blogging is that you’re not necessarily creating a masterpiece; it’s meant to be a more casual, temporal way of communicating and I, and readers, need to overlook various glitches and errors. That said, it still drives me bat-you-know-what when I find one..


Chief characteristic: Define yourself or your writing in 1 word that I
can repeat to other people when I talk about you behind your back, ie:
He/She is so _______.

DL: elusive.


Men: Is there anything about Parisian men that doesn't make you roll
your eyes?

DL: They walk right into you as if you’re not even there.


Women: What about the Parisian women?

DL: They walk right into you as if you’re not even there.


Emotions: What about Paris brings out the 16yr old drama-queen in you:
happy, sad, mad, excited, love, hate; what brings out these
emo-spaz-attacks? What do you love/hate most about Parisians?

DL: They walk right into you as if you’re not even there.


Places: In what Parisian hood would you love to live in? We all have
our favorites! Why is it yours, what makes it all that?

DL: I like the 10th. It’s a great intersection between lots of cultures, which as an American, I’m used to. I like the various nationalities that share that arrondissement and while there’s a lot of very French parts of it, the other qualities I find equally interesting.


Wishes: What typical French characteristic do you wish you possessed?

DL: The ability to stay up very late at a party. The French are such great socializers, but I konk out around 1am.


Motto: What's your motto when in France? How do you minimize the
hardships of life abroad?

DL: If you want to be comfortable, stay home.

67 comments:

  1. It's truuuuue! They DO walk right into you as if you are not even there!!!!

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  2. BTW my fave french dessert choice is limited (raging lactose intolerance) but REAL chocolate mousse has no cream/butter in it, and that's my fave! (hard to find though...all those cheaters out there putting cream in it)

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  3. My new favorite French dessert is crème de marrons - it can be hit or miss, but when you find someone who *really* knows how to make it, it will blow you away!!

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  4. My favorite French dessert is crème brulée. It wasn't until last year I figured out how to make it. While living in the US in the mid-west no less you didn't see it that often except at a very fancy restaurant. Now I love that you can go the Bistro and just have one whenever you want. Or for a lot less I can make enough for four people and each it all myself ;)

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  5. I can never stay up late either! It's a big joke with the inlaws. "Oh it's 10pm, better get off to bed Andromeda! Haha!" Whatever, I can make it to at least midnight! Sometimes . . .

    Does tiramisu made by Italian immigrants in France count? If not, then saint honoré. Cream puffs + cake, two desserts in one!

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  6. Great interview and they DO walk right past you at times !

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  7. Great job with the interview!
    I can relate to the, "If you want to be comfortable stay home" comment. Part of the whole experience abroad is being a bit uncomfortable and thus on your toes. It keeps one from sleepwalking through the whole experience and missing something.
    Cheers,
    Priscilla

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  8. Great interview!! I already have a copy of his book so no need to include me in the giveaway, but just wanted to drop a note!

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  9. I admit I have a crush on David, and having been in Paris recently, visited a few of his recommended eateries....fab experience!!! In an effort to blend as much as possible and not be the Ugly American, I refrained from licking my plate. Love his humor, books and blog!

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  10. David's last comment about his motto couldn't be closer to the truth. The world outside my apartment door is ridiculously daunting and scary sometimes, but I guess that's why they say living abroad is an adventure!

    Great interview!!

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  11. Nice interview -- brings out his sweet snarkiness.

    Favorite dessert: ile flottante. Favorite patisserie: St.-Honore

    Susan

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  12. Creme brulee is my favorite, but I just made the goat cheese souffles from David's blog, and they were fabulous.

    Nice interview!

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  13. Wow, 1 a.m. is late? I guess I'm done for if I ever head to Paris.

    My favorite French dessert is sugar pie. Hm... though maybe that's Canadian French and not France French. All right then, macaroons. Gluten-free and yummy to boot!

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  14. I love Paris, all of its traffic choked wonderfullness and rude Frenchpeopleness :-) My favourite French dessert, or maybe it not a dessert, is the Normandy tart. I love love love it, after tasting it in a friend's place in Carnac. I wish they sold it here in Canada :-(

    And I adore David Lebovitz, he's the only guy I would leave my husband for ;-) David, I am not a stalker, honest!

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  15. I love David & his recipes. I also love pear - frangipane tart

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  16. i made pears in caramel sauce from jacques pepin's cookbook; it was exquisite. does it count? i love david lebovitz's blog, and his recipes!

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  17. My favorite is Dulce de Leche Brownies. Never met a brownie I didn't like!

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  18. Hey everyone, thanks for all the comments & sweet ideas to get a sugar high ... my mouth is watering already! Have a great weekend! xx S

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  19. HA - I think we're all a little bit obsessed with David Lebovitz. He's like the original Paris expat. Bravo, Shannon, David ... and shout out to my man Proust! I'm currently eating granola and peanut butter - it's my own version of the Proust Madeleine if you will ...
    Bisous !!

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  20. Wow, I love me some DL ,) Thanks for the great interview!

    My favourite French dessert would have to be.. The Tarte au chocolat.

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  21. My favorite French dessert would be a mille feuille with chocolate and praliné and anything from the LaDurée or Pierre Hermé dessert menus.

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  22. I will have to buy his book. Hope it is available in the U.S.

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  23. Creme Brulee...hands down.

    And yes, lucky you! I hope to meet him sometime!

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  24. my fave dessert is creme brulee.love the caramelized top!

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  25. Almost like a dessert...Bostock is my favorite and I can't seem to get enough of it lately!

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  26. Oh my gosh, I would love to get my hands on a copy of that book!! So far my favorite French dessert is Michel Rostangs Double Chocolate Mousse Cake. But there are still so many more to try!!!

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  27. Favourite French sweet? Oh my...perhaps the Canele! Also partial to the madeleine, the financier, and of course...SORBET.

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  28. Lovely interview!

    I love French macarons—who doesn't? Is there a more charming way to end a meal than with a light and slightly chewy mini dessert burger. I've always been curious about Pierre Herme’s Ketchup Macarons which David shares the recipe for on his site: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2009/02/ketchup-cookies/

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  29. Tweeted it. And my favorite dessert would be ... Napolean, maybe? Something crispy with wonderful cream... Yeah, I'll take any variation of that.

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  30. Lovely interview!

    My favorite French dessert is the French yogurt cake. So consummately French: elegant and effortless. Always impresses, too.

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  31. i love the perfect buttery crepe!

    terrific interview :)

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  32. My new favorite French dessert is Michel Rostang's double chocolate mousse cake, I die!!

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  33. DL rocks!! Always informative, funny and gracious. For those looking for this book, Amazon has had it for at least two years. He's written another cookbook since.

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  34. I have such a blog crush on DL! My favourite French dessert is flan, with nice thick skin and a good wobble.

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  35. Favorite dessert? No question, hands down, Le Kitchen Galerie's wasabi white chocolate.

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  36. Hi, it's my first time here :) You have a great blog, wish I would have found it when I lived in Paris. Your interview with David is great! His book sounds fantastic and one everyone who lives or has lived in France should read.
    My favorite French dessert is tarte aux fraises,simple yet classy and so freaking good! I could easily eat my weight in them.

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  37. My favorite is simple pain au chocolat, warm preferably!

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  38. I can completely relate to not being able to stay up with my French friends. I went to a wedding 2 summers ago and I crashed at 2 AM, but most everybody else was still going strong. Favorite dessert(s) - Tarte tatin or a crepe with Nutella and bananas.

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  39. Very impressed that the 'elusive' David shares his thoughts! Well done!

    As for the book, I love reading (and living) 'The Sweet Life in Paris'.

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  40. Wow man, this is such a fab response! So glad you all liked the interview, v. nice of DL to do that huh?

    Thanks for all the kind words!

    Only a few more days til we pick the winners, spread the word!

    xx S

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  41. Great job on this series, Shannon. it's been really fun to read all the different perspectives on Paris. and, don't think I'm gonna forget to comment on my favorite dessert for a chance to win! :) Fondant au chocolat!

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  42. Such a FUN interview and captures David's character so well!
    merci
    carolg

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  43. Great interview :)

    Favourite dessert has to be raspberry mille feuilles like this one I made last summer! http://www.flickr.com/photos/pipparimmer/5029998349/in/set-72157625638092819/

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  44. It's hard to choose - though I do enjoy a good Cherry Clafoutis! Love David, his writing, and (of course) his recipes!

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  45. Awesome interview! I'm a HUGE DL fan, so I'm so jealous you got the chance to interview him! :) My favorite French dessert is by far crème brulée - I love anything involving cream and vanilla, but when you top it with browned, crispy sugar, then it's to die for in my book! :)

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  46. Thanks for sharing!! I've never met a French dessert I didn't like, but I have to choose pain au chocolate as my favorite.

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  47. I always love creme brulee, but I think one of my favorite French desserts was at Laduree in Paris and was a pastry called a bostock. It doesn't sound very French in origin, but the orange, almond, brioche-type pastry was definitely good!

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  48. My favourite French Dessert is the classic Creme Brulee. Huge fan since I was a child and continue to be so even today and I make it for my baby at home.

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  49. I love reading David's blog and now I found yours!!! I am passing this on to my Franco-phile sister!! Thank you!

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  50. I survived on Nutella crepes when I was there at the age of 16. I'd love to go back someday!

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  51. thanks for the great interview!

    and... crème brûlée, hands down:)

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  52. Great interview! It's amazing how many of us come back to the classic creme brulee! So, just to be different and to go for the sentimental choice, I'll say "Gateau Basque" and "Gateau Reine de Saba"--we were in France for each of my parents' birthdays at different times and these were their birthday cakes.

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  53. It's hard to pick just one fav french pastry! But since I live in Montreal I think I'm more spoiled than most. Here it's hard to find the Kouign Amann which for years I thought was spelled "Queen" Amann... no wonder I couldn't find a recipe for it!

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  54. flaky and gooey tarte tatin with vanilla ice cream!! or a kouign amman :)

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  55. Crème brulee! Cant wait for this book.

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  56. wow, Creme Brulée has def taken the lead as fave french dessert, I'm inclined to agree. I get it almost every time I think "should I?" after dinner in a restaurant.

    2 more days until I announce the winners!

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  57. mmm, a well-made Napoleon is my all time favorite French dessert but they're so hard to find freshly made. I skimmed this book at the bookstore and made a mental note to gift it to myself soon - it would be such a joy to receive it from you instead!

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  58. I would have to say when it comes to dessert, as much as Creme Brulée is a main favorite here,I always have the scene from Amelie in my head, where she cracks the top with her spoon and that is a little bliss. I too feel that way myself, hence I've always loved it from the start!

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  59. Favorite: ile flottante. Only wish I could find it where I live.

    Carole

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  60. My favorite French dessert is a Crepe Suzette. The combination of the caramelized sauce and the perfect crepe is something made in heaven! I live in Tokyo, and the ubiquitous "Japanese crepes" are everywhere, but there is a wonderful little shop to get REAL beautiful crepes off a sidestreet in Harajuku.
    * if you're ever in Tokyo and want to eat something other than Japanese food----I highly recommend Le Bretagne:
    http://www.le-bretagne.com/e/top.html

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  61. Clafoutis. Hands down. Any time of day.

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  62. Rich, buttery croissants!!!! Yum :)

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  63. Millefeuille from Jacques Genin. mmmmmmmmm

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  64. The best France sweet is a Crepe Suzette. A combination with the caramelized spices along with the excellent crepe is something stated in bliss! My home is Seattle, and the common "Japanese crepes" are everywhere, there is however an excellent small shop to get True lovely crepes away a sidestreet throughout Harajuku.

    POE Orbs
    FFXIV Gold

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