BITS & PIECES | Valentina Duracinsky: BITS & PIECES

April 7, 2015


Candelaria Paris Eiffel Tower Valentina Paris France

Tonight I am home, after a hard day at work. Changing jobs again soon, going back to my old job, enjoying the last few days at beautiful, delicious, fantastic Candelaria. This week they made fish tacos with an amazing chipotle sauce. I swear, I'm hooked on that sauce.

Working at Candelaria has made me want to cook more, experiment with flavors and try new things. Carlos, one of the cooks, served me a bit of the new dessert – a sort of lemon crumble – because according to him, it is crucial to always know what you are serving and how things taste every day*. I love all lemon desserts. While some lemon zest on top didn't seem out of the ordinary, I was intrigued seeing him add a bit of black pepper. No surprise, it turned out to be quite delicious indeed. It's always amazing to see the new items on the menu and how they are made. I've talked quite a bit with Carlos, and I can tell you one thing for sure – a lot of work and thought goes into everything they serve there. The flavors, the presentation, everything. And I sure love it all.

*I shall always remember that. As well as Laura's fantastic advice that I now also apply at home: if you're leaving a room, scan it quickly to see if you can take anything with you to the next room. How many times have I left my shoes in the living room and gone back and forth leaving both my room and the living room looking messy? Very good advice!

Valentina St Germain Cocktail
Valentina Flowers Valentina Coolin Paris Valentina Kirkwood Valentina Be Frassy

Their new cocktail menu is stunning, too. They have a cocktail called "Orange is the New Black". I like telling people about how the writer of the TV show (and book!) went to Smith College, just like me. Then there's an avocado cocktail. Enough said. Go try it. The one cocktail with gin also has olive oil, which reminds me of the strange pairings at Pierre Hermé. Have you ever tried the vanilla & olive oil macaron? It's a must! 

Luckily all the work I have for tonight I can do sitting down. I am tired... So I've made myself a cocktail. Maybe it already exists and has a name but I wouldn't know. I made a whiskey sour and added some St Germain and some muddled cucumber. It was fantastic (I just finished it. Damn.)

After I spent a week in Dublin with one of my closest friends, Louise, it's been lovely to hang out with her some more here. She is moving back to Paris now, so I will get to see her way more often. Louise has such a unique and friendly personality. She is very impulsive which means we talk a lot about crazy ideas and spend some time daydreaming about crazy plans. Our latest one was a long trip far away... For now, I think we will both focus on work, but I do hope that works out at some point. Nothing makes me happier than traveling.

Valentina Le Mary Celeste

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