Based in Toronto and New York City

, Nancy Matsumoto is a writer and editor who covers sustainable agriculture, food, sake, arts and culture.

Archival posts from my former blog, Walking and Talking

Francois Payard Can Dish it up Cold, Too



Who says muggy, ugly weather can't have it's silver lining? Yesterday it was these cute little ice cream sandwiches in the French manner from irrepressible patissier Francois Payard. They are to the soggy chocolate wafer-wrapped specimens of old what the short rib and foie gras burger is to the Big Mac: artisanal sorbets and glaces sandwiched between springy, candy-colored macaron shells. My favorite:the passion fruit (far right), which has a refreshing astringency, though the pistachio-raspberry version gets the silver.



Guests lapped these frozen bonbons up in the bright new outpost of  FBP bakery at Columbus Circle (1775 Broadway at 58th St.), along with champagne and FP's newest brain-freeze wave: haute soft serve ice cream, the vanilla enlivened by three different types of vanilla beans, and the chocolate made with Valrhona. For now, this treat is only available on the Upper West Side (there are also FBP locations in Soho and Battery Park City, and an FP chocolate bar in the Plaza Hotel Food Hall).

The best news, at least to this wary new arrival on the Upper East Side, is the October opening of FP Patisserie, a resurrection of sorts for his former flagship patisserie in ladies-who-lunch territory, on Lexington Avenue between 74th and 75th Streets. It will include Payard's full array of cakes, desserts and chocolates, a dine-in bar for everything from coffee and tea to beer and wine, plus a lunch and brunch menu. "Everyone is going big, but I'm going small," says the master baker, of the 40-seat venue, which has been a hit concept for him in Las Vegas. For once, we can be happy that what happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas.




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Six Sauces and You're Set: a Preview of "Hiroko's American Kitchen"