Damn Tasty – Low Carb in Paris

TALKING SHIT

Damn Tasty - Low Carb in Paris

16 FEBRUARY 2017

After seven months of gorging myself with amazing French food, I find myself at a crossroads. I love food in all forms, but some things might not be especially good for me or my figure. I’ve always been or at least looked somewhat athletic. I played basketball all my life, competitively from third grade to my senior year in high school. Even after high school, I still at least looked the part, that is until I turned 35.

Parc Floral de Paris (Low Carb in Paris) - Cooking Shit in Paris
Parc Floral de Paris

I'm Getting Old

I just turned the big 3-5 this past year. I was determined to spend my thirty-fifth birthday in the city I’ve just recently determined was my adoptive home, Paris, and I fucking did it. However, a Gemini’s Paris was not how I pictured it. The Seine was flooded, which in a way was fucking awesome, but it encroached on my initial fantasies of a Parisian June. Sub 60 degree temps also made things kinda shitty, but I was in Paris, so it all didn’t really matter. My special day was topped off with dinner at my fav classic French restaurant in Paris, Auberge Pyrénées Cévennes, and my first “professional” chef’s knife. A beautiful Zwilling J.A. Henckels Professional “S” chef and paring knife set. Game Changer. If you have a shitty or so-so knife throw that shit away. I didn’t know that something so simple could make such a huge difference. Having a good knife is definitely worth the extra cash. I’ve got the best friends in the world. Anyway, I’m getting a bit off topic. I’m 35 now, eating shit tons of bread, drinking copious amounts of beer and wine and eating many different types of pastries, my metabolism is nowhere near as potent as it used to be. So I have gained about 15 lbs (6.8kg) in the last 7-8 months. SOMETHING’S GOT TO GIVE…

Auberge Pyrenées Cévennes - 106 Rue de la Folie Méricourt 75011 Paris (Low Carb in Paris) - Cooking Shit in Paris
Auberge Pyrenées Cévennes - 106 Rue de la Folie Méricourt 75011 Paris

Low Carb it Is

In an effort to get back down to my fighting weight I’ve decided to go low carb. Which means no bread (holy fuck, no bread, in the land of all things good bread, it’s blasphemy I know), no potatoes (freedom fries?) and no sugar. I know it sounds impossible, considering my circumstances, but in all actuality, it hasn’t been so bad. Cauliflower is an admirable potato replacement. Stevia isn’t so bad. I love meat. Almond flour can make due in a pinch. And water is life. Also, the internet is teaming with some amazing low carb recipes. It’s only been one month and without exercise, I’ve already lost 7lbs (3.2kg). I no longer have to suck in my disgusting gut. Of course, I cheat at times, I’m only human right??? Right? Living a low carb lifestyle is about restraint and compromise. Sure, your fried chicken won’t be as good, but damnit if you have the will and proper ingredients it will still be damn tasty.

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Basque-ing in the Glow

TALKING SHIT

Basque-ing in the Glow

05 JANUARY 2017

As much as I love everything French, Basque cuisine and culture are quickly beginning to steal my heart. It has been 3 short years in the making. In total, I’ve spent what amounts to over a year in Paris and France, in contrast, I have barely spent a full two weeks in Basque Country. However, I just can’t get enough of what this magical place has on offer. There is one special tiny city nestled neatly between the Atlantic Ocean and some mountains (not sure which ones, just some mountains). This city is called San Sebastian, and it is by far my favorite city in Basque Country. Like I said, I haven’t spent that much time here so you can just tell me to fuck off if you think you know better than me, and this is all subject to opinion anyway. However, if you like food, beer, wine, beautiful beaches and some of the nicest people in the world then you will definitely love San Sebastian or Donostia in Euskara, we’ll get to that later.

San Sebastian from Monte Igueldo - Cooking Shit in Paris
A View of San Sebastian from Monte Igueldo

What the fuck is Basque Country?

If you haven’t noticed I use Wikipedia a lot, so according to Wiki Basque Country is “the name given to the home of the Basque people in the western Pyrenees that straddles the border between France and Spain on the Atlantic coast.” I know, that’s a shitty definition that really doesn’t mean much, especially if you are unfamiliar with this region. It’s simply an amazingly beautiful place, with great food and drink and some of the best people in the world. They even put up with my non-French/Spanish speaking ass. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a complete idiot, but I will not be having any extensive conversations in French/Spanish anytime soon. I’m learning, but my knowledge is currently limited to food items. I’m actually pretty good at the market. O yeah, not only do many of the residents here speak French, Spanish, and English fairly well, they have their own language called Euskara. What the fuck??? I know, it’s crazy. What’s even more interesting is that Euskara, or Basque Language, is not related in any way to any other European languages. It is what’s called a language isolate, and only in this small part of the world is this language spoken. And that is part of the charm of this place.

Sidreria Beharri - Narrika Kalea, 22, 20003 - Cooking Shit in Paris
Sidreria Beharri - Narrika Kalea, 22, 20003, Donostia

It welcomes you with its gorgeous backdrop, the people grab hold of you with their generosity and love of sharing their culture and the victuals makes you never want to leave. It truly is an amazing place and one of my favorite places in the world. This is why I decided to make this San Sebastian series. I had to share this jewel with those that haven't had the pleasure to visit. So look out for articles coming soon about restaurants, bars, attractions and recipes from the Basque Country.

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How do you classify yourself?

TALKING SHIT

How do you classify yourself?

22 APRIL 2016

I was asked a question this week while speaking about cooking with some friends over Jamaican oxtails. By the way, it is ridiculous how fucking expensive ox-tails have gotten. The fuck. Anyway, I was asked, "How do you classify yourself, do you call yourself an amateur chef/cook?" I cook at least four days a week, even when in Paris. Most weeks I cook almost every day. Some days I cook twice and sometimes thrice. Not to mention the late night baking experiments I have recently begun to undertake. I am NO amateur. I'm simply a home chef. Well versed in comfort food, BBQ and tasty shit.

A view of Germany from Basel Switzerland - Cooking Shit in Paris
A view of Germany via Switzerland, in the Autumn

Since my first visit to Paris in 2012, I've slowly started to come out of my cooking comfort zone. Trying new techniques, using ingredients I have never thought to use and going down new culinary tracks. There is something to be said about the impact of cultural stimulation on some people. For me, being able to witness new cultures and new ways to do things has stimulated me in many creative ways. From the major differences to the minor, it has helped turn me into a much better chef.

As I mentioned earlier I have been trying some new shit the last 4 years. Number one, I now know how to cook the perfect rice. I'll bring that up at a later date. After three tries I now know how to make kick-ass lemon bars. (This recipe for lemons bars from I Am Baker is awesome. They really are the best lemons bars as the title suggests.) Soft pretzels (Thanks Cook with Jack) are my new jimmy jam. I use them as buns for tuna salad, good shit. I've also used saffron for the first time a couple weeks ago. Very exciting, I know.

That brings us to this blog. In the near future, I will share those new experiences that I will be having in Europe in about 40 days. Hopefully, you'll like it if not that's ok too.

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