For many visitors, the joy of Parisian food is to be experienced in one of the many great restaurants in Paris. Paris is well served by multi-starred Michelin restaurants and some of the finest chefs in the world ply their trade in the city, making it a centre for haute cuisine. Paris also has a tradition of fine brasserie restaurants, which are a little less formal and, of course, bistros which serve simple, good food. The secret to all this cooking begins not in the kitchen but in the great food markets of Paris. A market tour in Paris will expose you to all of this fabulous produce and teach you about the origins of the food on your plate.
At Le Foodist, we understand the importance of the best ingredients in fine cuisine and that is why our 'Travel and Chef' cooking course starts with a market tour in Paris. Here we teach our students how to select the best produce from what is on offer, looking for ingredients that are fresh and in season. The results of our market tour in Paris then inform the menus that our students create and form a sound basis for the dishes we cook.
Markets are much like restaurants. They have different specialities and attract different customers, giving each its own distinct personality. Marché Bastille for example is one of the biggest in the city and a great source of local cheeses, free range chickens and fish. Marché Mouffetard meanwhile is picturesque enough to be included on any market tour of Paris. Described by Hemmingway as a 'wonderful, narrow crowded market street' it is still a good place for charcuterie, patés, seafood, cheeses and excellent patisserie.
Marché Monge is set on a square adjacent to Marché Mouffetard and has many producers and fewer tourists than that market. For a great setting, the market at Saxe-Breteuil faces the Eiffel Tower and is good for fruit, oysters and goat's cheese. The market at Rue Montorgueil meanwhile, is great for cheese, fruit and vegetables and patisserie. Wherever your market tour of Paris takes you, you are sure to find some fantastic produce and maybe even some bargains. It is good to taste as you go and as you relax in a nearby cafe you might just have found your favourite.