Monday munchies: Wood ice cream & fashionistas


Monday kicked off early with a mad dash to get my Friday freebie (I’m sure you’ll hear about it later). After rubgy tackling some other freebie finders 😉 it was off on the RER to Maison & objet situated North of Paris at Parc d’expositions. While half of Paris last week were oogling at the boys on the catwalks another half were oogling the latest fashion in homeware design. Maison & objet is THE trade salon for everything from carpets to knives. I had already spent most of Friday wandering around the 7 halls in search of the perfect plate. Monday was less wandering and more seeing some amazing chefs collaborate with some equally amazing designers/photographers/architects in order to create some brilliant dishes. Paris des chefs an event hosted by Maison & Objet and Omnivore (the food guide tendance) brought together some interesting foodie/design teams.


Thorsten Schmidt, a Danish chef fascinated with using Danish oak, created an oak shavings ice cream. Basic recipe: create a plastic sealed pouch containing cream with wood shavings. Infuse in waterbath at 70°c for 24 hours. Use the cream as the base for a standard egg yolk based ice cream. Hey presto! Wood ice cream.

He was collaborating with wood specialised furniture/product designer Eric Benqué who made a bowl and fork out of a thin piece of oak. He soaked it in warm water, cut some precise slots, stuck it in the oven and voilà a homemade wooden plate.


Another one of my favourite (although the others were great too: Pierre Gagnaire, Michel Troisgros…) duo was Inaki Aizpitarte and Anne Xiradakis. I had seen Anne’s work when she organised an exhibition/tea room. Her tableware are not only beautiful objects but also change the way you serve a dish. She created a collection for Guy Savoy where the design of the plate made the server present it with two hands adding more of a ritual. Inaki who had this tormented artist presence to him (dishy!) made some tantalising dishes using Anne’s tableware: capaccio de foie gras with heritage carrots, beetroots and radishes. It looked like a modern painting. A tofu ‘blancmange’ infused with lemongrass, ginger, white fish, garlic and onions served with a puree of purple potatoes, crispy potato cubes and marinated mussels….I’m off to book my table at Inaki’s restaurant: Le Chateaubriand.

All this food (and champagne – not a good thing at lunchtime :P) was not  helping my waistline, so it was crash back to earth with Felipe Oliveira Baptista‘s haute couture Spring 2009 show at Palais du Tokyo.

Felipe Oliveira Baptista a Portugese Paris based fashion designer has been racking up the fashion awards for his beautifully tailored/structured haute couture wear the last couple of years. Being part of the official ” Paris haute couture” week is an achievement in itself  and especially tough for a small brand when you’re not part of the big hitters.

I spent most of the show worrying that one of those giantesque girls were going to trip up and snap an ankle in their 5 inch heels. Unlike some of the fashionistas who did a runner as soon as the last model had done her round, I sauntered down the stairs and into the fresh air thinking of where I could get a bowl of wood chip ice cream.


2 Responses

  1. […] of the highlights of the afternoon was Mads Reflund (pictured left), part of the Danish pack of chefs revolutionising the culinary scandanavian scene. He takes his inspiration from nature: using local […]

  2. […] There was a culinary performance by L.A. Chef Roberto Cortez who collaborated with several designers to enhance the dining experience. A bit like Paris Chefs at Maison & Objet. […]

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