VIP Interviews

Aimée Leduc, Heroine, Murder At The Lanterne Rouge

Cara Black
On La Mom's recent ski trip, one of her copines, Aimée, tagged along, too.

But Aimée never went skiing with La Mom and her family. Instead, she kept La Mom up extremely late at night with a story that happened in 1998. A story about murder, love, lost secrets of Medieval guilds, illegal immigrants in Parisian sweatshops, dirty cops, and the French secret service. All that, and with a little vintage Chanel, Christian Louboutin, Yves Saint Laurent, and a swanky piece of real estate on the coveted Ile Saint Louis, thrown into the mix.
Needless to say, Big Cheese was a tad annoyed that La Mom and Aimée stayed up so late together every night. One morning, he whispered:

Big Cheese: So what does Aimée have that I don't?
La Mom: A vintage designer wardrobe and a scooter.
Big Cheese: Non, franchement, who is this Aimée?

Meet Aimée Leduc, a super-chic Parisienne private investigator. She's the heroine of twelve books set in Paris and written by La Mom's friend, Cara Black. Murder At The Lanterne Rouge is the latest installment in Cara's best selling Aimée Leduc series. And to that end, please get acquainted with Aimée...

Favorite French lipstick? Chanel Red

Favorite café?  Café des Arts et Métiers

Favorite vacation item? Yves Saint Laurent beaded bikini

Favorite vacation destination? Martinique

Favorite French dog? Bichon Frise

Favorite meal?  White asparagus dotted with caviar, escalopines de bar à l’émincé d’artichaut, a bottle of Vouvray

Favorite Museum?  Musée des Arts et Métiers

Favorite neighborhood? Ile Saint Louis
There's a lot more to Aimée than just designer duds and food, though. For that, you'll have to read the book! To win a free copy of Murder At The Lanterne Rouge, leave a comment. To double your chances, "Like" La Mom's Facebook page, too! The winner will be announced in the next blog post.

And don't forget to mark your calendars for June 6th when the author, Cara Black, will be speaking at the American Library in Paris and signing copies of her book.  A big félicitations to Cara who will also be receiving the Médaille de la Ville de Paris at the Hôtel de Ville on May 27th! 

La Mom has a feeling that Cara would prefer the key to Paris instead, non? Oh well, a gal's gotta start somewhere.

Amy Thomas, Author of Paris, My Sweet

Photo courtesy of Lindsey Tramuta

When you meet Amy, it’s her sweetness that strikes you first. Softly curling hair, a cute little indent in her cheek, and a gorgeous smile.  

But don’t let her looks fool you – we’re talking about one of the creative masterminds behind the digital Louis Vuitton campaign. And no, she didn’t get any free bags. Trust me, La Mom asked. Despite the lack of merchandise, leaving New York for a plum job in Paris was a pretty sweet deal.

When she wasn’t working on one of the world’s most coveted brands, she was working on one of the world’s most coveted cities. Her memoir, Paris, My Sweet, traces her years as an American in search of pastry Nirvana – with snippets of real life woven in along the way. 

What's your sweetest Paris memory? 
I don’t think I have one favorite memory, but rather two camps of collective memories. The first are those little moments out in the streets, when you’re just walking along and your senses are so highly attuned to the sounds around you. I used to love hearing the clatter of dinner being prepared in some upstairs kitchen, or children’s voices echoing in a courtyard—it was like being privy to the most beautifully intimate moments.

My other favorite moments are of Vélibing around town. I remember biking home late one night through the Marais: the streets were quiet and empty, the moon hung in the sky, and I felt as blissed out as an eight-year-old on a sugar high… just profoundly happy.

What's your favorite French sweet treat? 
This is the world’s most difficult question to answer. On a cold day, my favorite sweet treat might be chocolat chaud at Angelina or Les Deux Magots. In the morning, I might opt for a pain aux raisins from Stohrer or one of Boulangerie Julien’s ridiculously rich and decadent croissants. If I’m in Saint-Germain, La Patisserie des Reves’ “La Folie,” a doughy brioche piped full of vanilla pastry cream and rum raisin is as divine as Pierre Hermé’s gateaux individuels. But one thing I’m certain to get on every trip to Paris is a Nutella crepe from any old street vendor.

Sweetest digs you saw while in Paris (I'm assuming the Vuitton family mansion is a contender?)
Yeah, it’s hard to beat the Vuitton mansion in Asnière—c’est extraordinaire! The home is as perfect as you’d imagine: sterling silver trays are used to serve afternoon tea. Come evening, cognac is swirled in fine crystal. There are exquisite stained glass windows, a grand pool table, a classy piano… the entire Art Nouveau home has been immaculately preserved right down to the giant sculpted head of Louis himself. Otherwise, you know, the digs at Versailles aren’t too shabby.

Sweetest French kissers – Zee Frenchies or Les Américains? 
A kiss is a kiss is a kiss! If you’re standing on the bank of the Seine, or snuggling at a café in Montmartre, chances are it’s going to be a pretty magical kiss, whether eet’s from a Frenchie or Américain!

You can find the sweetest morsels in her memoir, but you can also satisfy your sweet tooth at Sweet Freak and God, I Love Paris. Amy's French adventures are over for now, but La Mom's betting Amy will be back.

Because you can take the girl out of Paris, but you can never take Paris out of the girl.

 Elaine Sciolino, Author, La Séduction

"Never be nude in front of your husband. Otherwise, he won't buy you lunch."
-Arielle Dombasle, French singer & actress

Come to think of it, the last time Big Cheese took me out for a romantic lunch was a très long time ago.

Perhaps La Mom needs to start following Arielle's advice. 

Or maybe I should re-read:

La Séduction : How The French Play The Game Of Life
 written by Elaine Sciolino.   

Elaine Sciolino's publisher sent her book to me for my summer vacation reading. I couldn't put it down.  Elaine, the longtime Paris bureau chief of the New York Times,  gives an insider's view of how seduction works in all areas of life in France, analyzing its limits as well as it's power. She reveals that seduction is much more than a game to the French: it's the key to understanding la France.

So pour yourself a coupe de champagne, sit down, relax, and let Elaine Sciolino seduce you...

Pink or blue for Carla & Nicolas? Baby Chanel in black and white. If it doesn’t exist, Karl Lagerfeld will create a wardrobe for the Elysée baby.

Favorite French meal: A generous slice of truffle on a buttered piece of crusty bread for breakfast with three-star chef Guy Savoy. (See “The Gastronomic Orgasm” chapter of “La Seduction.”)

Perfect French aperitif: Campari and soda, no ice (I’m Italian).

Ladurée or Pierre Hermé? Neither. Take a class and learn (with a lot of practice) to make scrumptious home-made macarons.

La Maison du Chocolat or Patrick Roger Chocolat? La Maison du Chocolat champagne truffles. But not very often, to keep them special.

Espresso, cafe au lait, or cafe américain? Cafe au lait for breakfast; after that, one of the green teas from Jugetsudo on the rue de Seine.

Evian or Badoit? San Pellegrino. Definitely not Perrier. As I wrote in my book, Perrier’s campy ad campaign years ago with a woman’s hand stroking an eight-ounce Perrier bottle until it exploded came close to pornography. Vulgar, not seductive.

Macarons or cupcakes?  Lemon tart.

Vin rouge or vin blanc? Whichever tastes better.

Café Costes or the bistro du coin? Definitely bistro du coin, any coin. In France, as I wrote, conversation can be as important as the meal, and that can happen in just about any  corner bistro.

Favorite French writer/singer/actor? The young Jean-Paul Belmondo

Most handsome French man? Will never tell. Seduction means keeping some secrets.

Amelie Poulain or Carrie Bradshaw? Good grief. Neither -- The young Brigitte Bardot. As I write in my book, Bardot is “the woman who has held the status of the most seductive woman in France for more than half a century...Not the Bardot of today, but the Bardot of the past.

Favorite part of France? Ars-en-Ré in summer

Favorite French language expression? “Pas mal,” because it’s a form of second degree and doesn’t really mean “not bad” but can mean “terrific!”

Marais or the Latin Quarter? My new neighborhood around the Place St. Georges and the rue des Martyrs. Very lively, few tourists; all the food merchants know you by name. 

Parc Monceau or Jardin de Tuileries? Any park bench in the garden of the Rodin Museum. 

Favorite museum in Paris? The Louvre, or more specifically, the area around the statue where Edith Wharton met her lover.

Favorite restaurant in Paris? Bistro Paul Bert

Favorite blogs?  Rue89

Le Figaro or Le Monde? Read both, as well as Le Parisien, Liberation, Elle, Marie-Claire, Vogue, Paris-Match, Marianne, L’Express, Le Point, Le Nouvel Observateur.

Philippe Besson, TV Host, Paris Dernière

How does one start their career in France as a lawyer and end up presenting one of the coolest shows on French TV?

It helps to write five books, win two book awards, and have one book made into a movie. Working on one of the most popular radio shows in France, Europe 1's La Matinale, helps too.

Please get to know the man who was able to pull this career change off, in France no less. Pas mal.

Monsieur Philippe Besson.

(If you're a frequent reader of this blog, you've already met Philippe in a previous post. He's the very French and very handsome host of the TV show Paris Dernière.  La Mom was invited to the Paris Dernière Los Angeles TV launch a couple of months ago. Since Philippe's a huge fan of LA, this interview has been expanded to include some of his favorite things in Paris and LA.)

Beverly Hills or Bel Air? Beverly Hills. I killed off one of the main characters in one of my books here because BH is definitely a good place to die. J’y ai fait mourir le personage central d’un de mes romans. Car Beverly Hills est, assurément, un endroit pour mourir.

Favorite LA restaurant? Basix on Santa Monica Boulevard. I recommend the pizza argula prisciutto. 

LA Lakers or LA Dodgers? LA Galaxy ! The French are into soccer and then there's David Beckham you know... Nous, Français, sommes très football. Et puis, David Beckham, quand même…

Favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon in LA? Have an ice cream on the terrace of the Yogurt Stop on Santa Monica Blvd or hang out at Venice Beach.Manger une glace sur la terrasse du Yogurt Stop sur Santa Monica Boulevard. Ou filer à Venice Beach. 

Favorite LA landmark? The Chateau Marmont.

How many times a week do you spot a celebrity in LA? Every time I grab a coffee at Starbucks  next to my place. A chaque fois que je prends un café au Starbucks en bas de chez moi. 

The Hollywood Reporter or Variety? Vanity Fair.

Have you ever been to the Vanity Fair Oscars Party and what was it like? NeverJamais. Hélas.

David Letterman or Jay Leno? Chelsea Lately.

Starbucks or Les Deux Magots? 
Starbucks without a doubt. The clientele are young, beautiful, and dressed down. Starbucks, sans hésiter. Les gens y sont jeunes, beaux, et habillés léger.

Paris or LA? L.A.

Favorite French writers/singer/actor? Marguerite Duras/Etienne Daho/Catherine Deneuve

Mariages Frères or Ladurée? Ladurée.

Favorite museum in Paris? Orsay.

Favorite restaurant in Paris? Joe Allen, un restaurant américain, rue Pierre Lescot.

Favorite neighborhood in Paris? Montorgueil, the young people hang out in the street, for the restaurants, the carefree feeling.  La jeunesse piétonne dans la rue, les restaurants, la nonchalance.

Left Bank or Right Bank?  I live in the 14th...J’habite le 14ème…

Favorite blogs? I'm careful about them. I'm terrorized about the comments people leave sometimes. It's borderline hate, isn't it? Je m’en méfie. Je suis terrorisé par les commentaires que les gens
laissent parfois. Ça flirte avec la haine, non ?

Who's hotter - Dominique de Villepin or Nicolas Sarkozy? Dominique de Villepin, of course. At least when you look at him, you have to look up. To look at the other one...  DdV,évidemment. Au moins, quand on le regarde, on lève les yeux. Alors que pour regarder l’autre…

Evian or Badoit? San Pellegrino.

Macarons or cupcakes? Croissants.

Espresso or café crème? Americano.

Vin rouge or vin blanc? White, with ice cubes. Blanc, avec des glaçons..

Amelie Poulain or Carrie Bradshaw? Patty Hewes (Glenn Close) dans « Damages »

Paris or Provence? Paris. I can't stand the sound of cicadas. J’ai horreur du bruit des cigales

Métro, taxi, or Vélib? Métro dans la journée. Taxi après 20h. 

Book or Kindle? Book ! The odor and texture of the paper are irreplaceable. L’odeur et la texture du papier, irremplaçable. 

Café Costes or the bistro du coin? Bouquet d’Alésia, next to my place where I go to read my morning newspapers. En bas de chez moi. Je vais y lire mes journaux le matin

iPhone or iPad? The iPhone serves a purpose. What's the iPad useful for except showing off? iPhone, ça sert à quelque chose, l’iPad ? A part se faire remarquer ? 

Le Figaro or Le Monde? Le Monde.

Check out Philippe Besson on Paris Dernière every Saturday night at 11:30 PM as he dishes on the hottest places to hang and who to hang with when visiting Paris by night.

 Olivier Giraud, Stand-Up Comedian, How To Become Parisian In One Hour
Parisian arrogance

Do you love Paris, but think Parisians are rude?
Putain, merde, fait chier...
You're right, they are!

Are you too nice and want to learn how to become arrogant, just like the French?
C'est pas vrai, c'est pas possible, c'est pas bon...

Want to learn how to act like a Parisian while shopping, in a restaurant, taxi, metro, night club, and  even between the sheets -with vocabulary and facial expressions included? Oh là là!

Then run, don't walk, to the funniest one-man show in Paris: HOW TO BECOME PARISIAN IN ONE HOUR, where you, too, can learn how to become a rude Parisian!

Olivier Giraud is the witty Parisien behind this show full of 100% French humor, but 100% in English.

La Mom and Big Cheese attended Olivier's spectacle recently and didn't stop laughing from start to finish. Neither did the +200 seat theatre filled with a large number of English-speaking tourists and Parisian locals. The jokes and body language were spot-on.  Olivier even shared his struggle to bring the show to life. In typical fashion, Parisians were down on his idea and nobody wanted to rent theatre space to him, "Who wants to hear a Frenchman making jokes about Parisians in English?" Well, apparently people do and Olivier is having the last laugh. His shows are packed every week, he's moving to a larger theatre, and he's taking his show on the road to the USA in 2012!

Let's get to know this Very Interesting Parisian un peu mieux:
 How do you become Parisian? In 5 words or less:  ARROGANT, IMPATIENT, RUDE

Favorite Parisian VIP (besides you, of course)? JEAN DUJARDIN


Favorite Parisian neighborhood? SAINT GERMAIN

Favorite Parisian park: LES BUTTES CHAUMONT

Favorite Parisian museum? LE LOUVRE

Favorite Parisian restaurant? RESTAURANT MARKET

French toast or pancakes? PANCAKES

French fries or potato squares? POTATO SQUARES

Favorite French meal: FOIE GRAS POELE

Perfect French aperitif: GLASS OF CHAMPAGNE (BRUT OR ROSE)

Ladurée or Pierre Hermé? LADUREE

Espresso, cafe au lait, or cafe américain? CAFÉ AMERICAIN

Macarons or cupcakes? MACARONS

Café Costes or the bistro du coin? BISTROT DU COIN

Favorite French writers/singer/actor? MARION COTILLARD / M / YODELICE

Most beautiful French woman? SOPHIE MARCEAU

Amélie Poulain or Carrie Bradshaw? AMELIE POULAIN

Favorite part of France? CORSICA

Favorite French language expression? C'EST PAS DE MA FAUTE              Reserve tickets here.

AFP: Heard the one about the French stand-up?

William Réjault
William Réjault, Author & Journalist

What’s the latest barometer of Parisian cool?

Having your own Wikipedia entry.

La Mom is hoping some of blogger (and writer and journalist) pal William Réjault's cool will rub off on her.

Les Moms were très flattered when William invited us to blog about La Nouvelle Star on the French national newspaper Le Figaro’s website (La Nouvelle Star is the equivalent of American Idol or The X Factor).

So why is Will’s future so bright, you gotta wear shades?

He is professionally trained as a nurse and hit blogging gold when his hospital and nursing home stories enchanted French readers. He was asked to turn his blog into a book and his first one, La Chambre d’Albert Camus, was published in 2006.

Since then, he:
-Published three other books
-Blogs and writes for Le Figaro, France’s national newspaper
-Published the first French interactive novel for iPhone
-Interviewed the hottest French celebrities for the magazines Voici and Gala
-Blogs for French singing superstar Zazie on the making of her latest album
-Is the Digital Content Editorialist for Universal Music

Whew! I think that covers it.

So on y go! Let’s get to know William better:

Favorite American food? Cheeseburger, from Lincoln (NM)
Carla Bruni or Michelle Obama? Chantal Biya, the First Lady of Cameroon – total class.
Mariages Frères or Ladurée? Mariages Frères
Le Figaro or Le Monde? Le Parisien.
Left Bank or Right Bank? Biarritz, sorry…
Favorite blogs? I like David Abiker’s blog a lot – and La Mom, of course!
Hot factor: Dominique de Villepin or Nicolas Sarkozy? Oh please, get a room. Anderson Cooper is soooo hot! (La Mom can’t argue with the guy.)
Red or white? Red.
Macarons or cupcakes? Macarons.
Espresso or café crème? Nespresso noir.
Still or sparkling? Sparkling.
Amélie Poulain or Carrie Bradshaw? They’re both completely annoying. Courtney Cox in Cougar Town.
Paris or Provence? You’re two snobby American girls! The Basque country is the most beautiful region of France.
Métro, taxi, or Vélib? Taxi after 10 PM, but métro the rest of the time.
Le Baron or Le V.I.P.? My bed, two pillows, and earplugs at 10:45 PM.
Printemps or Galeries Lafayette? Printemps.
Le ski or St. Tropez? Tokyo or Zurich.
Book or Kindle? Book.
Café Costes or the bistro du coin? Costes : they’ve got the best free magazines
iPhone or iPad? Who said we have to choose?!?

Check out William’s world at:

Don’t miss William’s new book, Le chemin qui menait vers vous, coming out in February 2011. Achetez-le!

Cara Black, Author

Black is back -- back in Paris, that is. And I'm not talking about every Parisienne's go-to color. 

It's La Mom's blog buddy Cara Black, author of the popular Aimée Leduc Paris murder mysteries. 

In honor of her reading today at Penelope's Marais English-language literary oasis,  
 The Red Wheelbarrow, here's what makes Cara's heart beat faster in Paris when she's not plotting whodunit.

Favorite French writers/singer/actor? 
Romain Gary, Fred Vargas and so many more writers but for actors the late great icon Phillipe Noiret and bad boy Vincent Cassell.
Mariages Frères or Ladurée? Ladurée.
Favorite museum in Paris? Victor Hugo museum on Place des Vosges.
Favorite restaurant in Paris? Right now it's La Marine on Canal Saint Martin.
Favorite neighborhood in Paris? Le Marais feels like home but very partial to Batignolles.
Left Bank or Right Bank? Right bank!
Favorite blogs?  La Mom, of course, Chocolate and Zucchini, the Bookslut.
Who's hotter - Dominique de Villepin or Nicolas Sarkozy? Oooh please, not them again...maybe BHL (Bernard Henri Levi) of the hair and open shirt fame? Rémi Féraud, the Mayor of the 10th arrondissement is definitely hot. 
Baby name recommendations for Carla Bruni & Daddy Sarkozy? Napoleon IV. 
Evian or Badoit? Badoit is a must.
Macarons or cupcakes? Macarons.
Espresso or café crème? Espresso serré. 
Amelie Poulain or Carrie Bradshaw? Jean Seberg in Breathless because I'm on a Goddard kick.
Paris or Provence? Paris -- then the countryside in le Drome, unspoiled and gorgeous.
Métro, taxi, or Vélib? Vélib if I'm not walking, walking, walking.
Book or Kindle? Book.
Vin rouge or vin blanc? La Veuve Clicquot Champagne.
Café Costes or the bistro du coin? Bistro du coin where I am right now.
iPhone or iPad? iPhone.
Le Figaro or Le Monde? Le Parisien.

Check out Cara's latest novel, Murder in Passy - An Aimée Leduc Investigation in Paris, out now!

Jeanne Suica, Designer

Ever wonder how Parisiennes get that cosmopolitan look? American-born, Paris-based Jeanne Suica knows.

That’s why she’s been the go-to girl for designer and vintage fashion for the past 15 years.

(And let’s face it, the woman is a walking advertisement for her services. Who wouldn’t want to look as sleek and soignée as Jeanne?)

If you have too many clothes that just don't fit your lifestyle, have inherited your grandmother's collection of couture, or are moving and need to downsize your wardrobe (tiny Parisian closets, anyone?), Jeanne can help!

Jeanne Suica Vintage and Modern Collectable Clothing can help you get the best price for your vintage and designer clothing accessories and fashion-related items. She works with a wide range of clients worldwide and also collaborates with a major auction house in valuating and searching for upcoming auctions. Based in Paris, she travels frequently for personal appointments to London and New York and also does valuations via email for clients worldwide.

So let’s get to know this Very Important Parisienne!

Favorite French writers/singer/actor? Rita Mitsuko, Mickey 3D, Jeanne Moreau, Catherine Deneuve.
Mariages Frères or Ladurée? Ladurée.
Franck & Fils or Le Bon Marche? Le Bon Marche.
Left Bank or Right Bank? Both – I find hidden treasures everywhere!
Favorite blogs? La Mom – An American Mom in Paris, who always seems to know what we really think about the French and David Lebovitz for sharing his culinary adventures and amazing knowledge of food. And don’t forget my blog:!
Who's hotter - Dominique de Villepin or Nicolas Sarkozy? Neither. Lenny Kravitz or Michael Hutchence of INXS
Evian or Badoit? Evian.
Macarons or cupcakes? Pop Tarts! (I'm an ugly Amercian and I admit it!)
Espresso or café crème? Espresso, double espresso, triple espresso and carmel macchiatos from Starbucks.
Still or sparkling? Still.
Amelie Poulain or Carrie Bradshaw? Carrie – love her and of course I want to raid her closet!
Paris or Provence? Paris. I'm a city girl.
Métro, taxi, or Vélib? Métro.
Printemps or Galeries Lafayette? Neither. Boutiques, depot-ventes, thrift shops, and flea markets.
Le ski or St. Tropez? St. Tropez one day...
Book or Kindle? Book.
Vin rouge or vin blanc? Vin rouge.
Café Costes or the bistro du coin? Bistro du coin.
iPhone or iPad? iPhone.
Le Figaro or Le Monde? The New York Times.

Discover a Jeanne’s world of vintage and designer fashion at and!

Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva

Toma Clark Haines has quite possibly the coolest job title in the world. She’s Chief Executive Diva of The Antiques Diva® & Co European Tours – working with a team of professional stylistas offering shopping tours in 6 countries – France, Italy, England, Belgium, Holland, Germany and coming soon, Spain. 

We’re going to see what puts the tic in the tock for this American expat who spends her time jet-setting around the continent. On any given day you’re as likely to find her in Paris as you are Berlin, Amsterdam, Antwerp, London or Florence… La Mom wants to know, which city she loves best?

Paris, Amsterdam, or Berlin? Toujours Paris…

Favorite Paris antique haunts? While Les Puce de Paris is a perennial favorite – and any weekend brocante catches my eye - I love nothing more than sticky beaking around Rive Gauche especially Galerie Epoca on rue de Verneuil in the 7eme.

Favorite Paris craft stores?Rougier & Ple in the 3rd arrondisment near the M: Filles du Calvaire perfect for their French craft supplies needed for making des abat jour (lamp shades) and cartonnage – two of my favorite crafting hobbies!

La Mom Tip: The Antiques Diva & Co is famous for their French Flea Market Tours – but did you know they also offer French Fabrics & Frills tours oriented for crafters visiting Paris?

Louis XV or Mid Century Modern? Both – juxtaposition of styles is what makes antiques come alive.

Favorite Parisian neighborhood? 6eme – St Germain des Pres

Favorite Parisian park? Parc Monceau

Favorite Parisian museum? Jacquemart-André Museum

Favorite Parisian restaurant? You a take the girl out of Oklahoma but you can't take Oklahoma out of the girl. As a rancher's daughter I love nothing pore than a good steak and my favorite place to go in Paris... RestaurantAOC in the 5eme arrondissement. 

Pink or blue for Carla & Nicolas? Pretty in Pink

Favorite French meal? Calories aside… Pan-fried Foie Gras with a gorgeous chilled Beaume de Venise followed by a Sole Meunière dredged in flour, pan fried in butter and served with brown butter sauce and lemon alongside a generous dollop of mashed potatoes accompanied by a white Burgundy or perhaps to shake things up a bit I might share a bottle of St Emilion Grand Cru with my husband and let this wine carry me into the cheese course. For me, it’s always fromage - never dessert. When the sweet bud bites then it’s destiny that French restos serve a piece of dark chocolate to accompany the end of meal espresso.

Perfect French aperitif? Kir Royale or simply un coup de champagne

Ladurée or Pierre Hermé? Ladurée

Espresso, café au lait, or café américain?  Un Noisette – espresso with a shot of cream

Macarons or cupcakes? Definitely Macarons

Café Costes or the bistro du coin? Depends upon time of day. In the morning the bisto du coin, but in the evening I’m a Café Costes kind of girl.

Favorite French writers/singer/actor? Simone de Beauvoir, Édith Piaf and Marcel Marceau

Amélie Poulain or Carrie Bradshaw? Neither – Julia Child

Favorite part of France? Loire Valley – love its proximity to Paris and the ability to delve into another time and world in only a couple of short hours.

Favorite French language expression?  avoir un bon fromage” – to have a cushy job


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