explore the web of culture

shop the collection

explore the web
of culture


Transatlantic Tidbits & Bites

by Tori and William

Have you ever played a game of culinary telephone across the Atlantic Ocean? Neither had we until Tori & William forged their friendship this year over a shared affinity for new wave British cooking, sage butter, glutinous breakfasts, the Vittles newsletter, and an unwavering faith in La Poste (with crossed trotters). Hailing from Northamptonshire and living in Paris, Tori recently graduated from Ecole Ducasse, but before hot-footing it to culinary school, she wrote a kind note celebrating the Fergusalice launch.

Our correspondence has evolved into the Transatlantic Tidbits & Bites Vol. 1, in which Tori orders a signature dish from a favorite neighborhood restaurant, recreates the meal at home, and shares her rendition of the recipe. Then, William attempts to complete the game of culinary telephone by cheffing up the dish based on her letter from across the pond.

Dear William,

Under the lamplight with pen in hand, I thought I'd tell you about a meal that I ate last week in Le Marais.

Paris is divided neatly into arrondissements (precariously wound in the shape of a snail). These arrondissements are further separated into quartiers or neighbourhoods, each with its own marked identity.

Le Marais (the Marsh) is one of the most well-trodden areas today, but its cultural history is oft skipped over despite its enduring heritage. Historically the Jewish quarter, you’ll find some Kosher culinary delights nestled amongst synagogues and Hebrew bookshops. The restaurants and delis in this area offer a culinary patchwork, harmoniously weaving traditional Levantine cuisine with a modern French twist. Miznon does this especially well.

Originally opened in Tel Aviv by chef Eyal Shani, Miznon has become an institution here where locals flock to enjoy the sunny Mediterranean street-food with a Parisian edge –  demonstrated by their Tarte Tatin served in a pitta bread. It is also where I enjoyed supper with my flatmate on a wintry Wednesday evening. The window is stacked with the ingredients that you'll be feasting on — fresh and seasonal, and the interior is bare and stark without being wanky. Most plates on the menu are served encased in a warm and fluffy pitta. The roast chicken variation further cemented my position as a flexitarian, making my intention of giving up meat rather shaky. The star of the show, however, is the roasted cauliflower. Simply salted, boiled, and roasted, the entirety of its flesh is tender with a charred, leafy crunch. It is clearly the most popular item as the cauliflowers emerge from the kitchen, swaddled in parchment, at a rate of knots.

In recreating the recipe, I went in search of tip-top chou-fleur. Realising the simplicity of this dish, I developed a newfound respect for the savvy restaurateurs at Miznon.

1) Give your cauliflower a good scrub in case of any residue mud in and amongst the leaves, as you will be cooking it whole.
2) Fill the largest pot you have with water and salt heavily (7-8 tablespoons). Any salt will suffice, but a good ol’ sel gris cannot be beaten.
3) Weigh the head down so it’s totally submerged. I found that the lid of my Le Creuset worked well upside down. Boil for 12-14 minutes until a fork can easily pierce right to the centre of the glorious veg.
4) Drain and steam-dry for about 15 minutes before generously dousing in olive oil.
5) Finally, roast in super hot* oven for half an hour or until the freckly florets reach a deep golden brown and the leaves are wrinkled and crisp.
6) Resist the urge to further salt as the cauliflower really takes on the flavour of its briney bath.
7) This crown reaches perfection in its simplicity, but if you can’t resist showing off a tad, a drizzling of garlicky tahini and a studding of pomegranate seeds would certainly do it.

I sincerely hope that you attempt to recreate this simple star. If you do, then I cannot wait to hear all about it, as well as any other tasty tidbits that you have to offer!

bientôt !


*Super hot = 250C or 480F