Tell us about you and your company.
I’m originally from Australia and moved to France 7 years ago when I met my husband and we live in the 6th arrondissement with our 3 children and sausage dog Noisette. I offer private tours around my favourite neighbourhoods and markets in Paris and host cooking classes in my home where I teach guests the secret to a perfect soufflé and how to bake fluffy macarons. I also write specialty guides about Paris, write a weekly newsletter on Substack and occasionally do private writing commissions and fun collaborations. I’ve also got a children’s book coming out at the end of the year that I’m really excited about.
You also work with David Lebovitz, a very well-known blogger and cookbook author. Do you have any funny or interesting stories you can share about your work with him?
Years ago David was the first person I told I was pregnant as we were recipe testing his book, Drinking French, and I had to explain why I could no longer whip up cocktails at 10am. Then when my son was a baby he’d come to work with me and crawl around on the floor during David’s Instagram lives. I’d be chasing after him on my hands and knees as quietly as possible, then recipe testing with him in one arm, dancing around trying to get him to sleep so we could crack on with work. Luckily David took it all in his stride!
Why do you think that taking a market tour is a valuable and unique experience for people visiting Paris?
The market is at the very heart of French cooking and even after visiting regularly for over seven years I’m still inspired and delighted each time and continue to discover new food, techniques and recipes while I’m there. That said it can be overwhelming and stall holders can be brusque so going with a guide helps you have the very best experience possible, rather than worrying about whether you have the right change, if you said the wrong thing, are you allowed to touch the produce etc. I take all the apprehension out of it so people can relax and simply enjoy.
What was a memorable experience that you had with your clients?
There’s nothing better than seeing the look on people’s faces when they pull their gorgeous soufflés out of the oven.
What was something that surprised you about Paris after moving there?
I really thought I would just magically speak French after I moved to Paris. Turns out it takes years and years of hard work.
What is one of your go-to restaurants in Paris that you go back to again and again?
Le Relais de l’Entrecôte. It’s consistently good, I love the Vacherin du Relais dessert and the service is super quick so we can get in and out before the kids have a meltdown. Arrive 15 minutes before they open and don’t feel silly if you’re the first in line, trust me you’ll be glad you arrived early by the time they open.
What has been your most memorable meal in France?
I once dined at Arpege and when chef Alain Passard came out to say hello I excitedly told my boyfriend it was the best night ever. He smiled knowingly and then at the end of the meal quietly proposed. I’ve got the bill filed away somewhere to frame, but I can’t bear to know the price of the meal so I’ve never looked at it.
Something you wish people knew before going to Paris.
Always, ALWAYS say bonjour. To everyone. Throw it around like confetti.
We love that your Substack newsletter A Week in Paris shares a little bit of real life in Paris. What do you think people have been most surprised about?
How many different cheeses we really eat each week. My children are such cheese snobs.
What’s the best way to get in touch?
For bookings and Paris related questions I’m best on email email@example.com and I try my hardest to keep up with Instagram DMs. Guides plus tour and cooking info is on my website www.therealemilyinparis.com and my favourite place to share is on Substack.