food

{favourite five : owner of ladurée, elisabeth holder}

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No winter evening’s rendezvous on the Champs-Elysées, with its glittering shoppes and glistening holiday lights is complete without a stop at our most favourite “fabricant de douceurs & gourmandises”: Ladurée, in all its gilded grandeur.

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In the early 1900s, Pierre Desfontaines, cousin of Ladurée‘s founder, Louis Ernest Ladurée, took two almond meringue cookies and joinied them with a divine ganache filling, creating the macaron as we know it.

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Prior to that, macarons were simply cookies, which were first brought to France by Catherine di Medici and her pastry chefs in 1533.

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These little round cakes, which made their onscreen debut in the film, Marie Antoinette, are crisp on the outside, smooth and soft in the middle, and are made every morning by Ladurée’s pastry chefs who measure precisely, the required amounts of almonds, eggs and sugar, and a touch of magic . . .

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Ladurée, which began as a tea room near the Place de la Concorde in 1862, has since expanded within Paris, then to other parts of the world, including England, Monaco, Japan, Luxembourg, Italy, the Arab Emirates, and its most recent location, in New York’s Upper East Side, where we met Ladurée’s owner, Elisabeth Holder, who is also the sister of the Chairman of the company.

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The NYC shop, located just down the street from Dior and Chloé, is a jewel box of pastel green, displaying traditional decorative accents, busts, mirrors and classical paintings, showcasing chocolates, crystallized flower petals and of course macarons, all imported from Paris each day.

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Elisabeth, who began her career working in the fashion industry for the likes of Hermès, moved to New York recently to run the affairs of the newest Ladurée boutique.

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Elisabeth has said that “The macaron is a grand classique of the pastry arts — it’s not an accessory. It’s an experience of pleasure.” And so, during our meeting with her, we just had to ask for her:


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{top five favourite macarons}

01 | Fleur D’Oranger — I love it because it reminds of Morocco.

02 | Petale de Rose — This is one of my favourites because it is a traditional flavour for candles, cakes and tea. Also, it is special because it is associated with Marie Antoinette!

03 | Cassis Violette — This macaron is so delicate! When you bite it you first feel the black currant and then the delicate flavour of the violette.

04 | Caramel à la fleur de sel — This one is just tasty and that is why I love it!

05 | Chocolat — Such a classical flavour for a macaron!

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. . . and if you weren’t already convinced of our love affair with the delectable sweet, see here and here, and here, and of course here . . . and don’t miss here

 

{images :one // two // three // four // five // six // seven // eight // nine; quote via here}

 
Laily Mesbah
Contributor, New York City

Laily lives in NYC and began contributing to This is Glamorous in 2011 - interviewing designers for a popular series called Favourite Five. Her background ranges from studying documentary photography at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan to founding Project Flora, a company that works with florists, event planners, and socially-conscious brides and grooms to resell flowers after events, donating a part of the proceeds to charity. She currently runs a digital media and marketing company servicing an array of clients, including Flower Girl NYC and Lushlife Nailworks. Her new column, La Fête, explores trends in the world of event design and planning.
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