The mere mention of French food conjures up images of fine dining with white table cloths and indulgent dishes with no shortage of butter. Traditional French cuisine boasts some of my all time favorites on the menu; confit de canard , gigot d’agneau , blanquette de veau, and French onion soup to name a mouthwatering few.
But a more progressive take on French food is being served up in Paris in recent years and winning over the taste buds of the city’s most discerning diners. Young chefs with influences from abroad are reinventing traditional plates in new ways, and repurposing typical French ingredients for new concoctions. Their hip bistros once popping up in the edgier east of Paris, are now culinary landmarks for foodies and make Paris’s 11th arrondissement the epicenter of Modern French Cuisine. Modern French Cuisine is all about veering away from conventional cooking, and so the new rules are more like ideas and tendencies the capital’s innovative chefs are adopting...
• More spice — Typically, the French shy away from spices in their cooking, especially if they’re hot. But adding a bit of an exotic touch with unexpected flavors from abroad in marinades and sauces is one of modern French cuisine’s big draws.
• Vegetarian delights — Most traditional French plates are heavy meat dishes, but Paris’s best chefs today shop the freshest produce at the city’s morning markets and build ultra satisfying recipes around seasonal vegetables much to the vegetarian’s delight.
• Less butter, more oil — The generous use of butter in French cooking has traditionally made it heavy and rich, but many chefs opt for olive and other oils instead now to create lighter dishes that let the flavor of the other ingredients shine.
• Perfect Pairings — Wine is still very much the perfect accompaniment to bring out the flavor of different French dishes and vice versa. Nowadays Paris’s best eateries for modern french cuisine focus on natural and organic wines exclusively for optimal taste and quality.
• Casual is Cool — It doesn’t take white table cloths and high price tags to get a great meal in Paris. My spots for modern french cuisine are casual no fuss dining experiences where the emphasis is on the food, not the fancy!
If you make it to Paris and want to try some of my favorite spots for this new era of French cooking, book a table at Septime, Le Servan, Le Dauphin, or Au Passage and you won’t be disappointed!