Summers for me are almost exclusively a Provençal affair. With temperatures soaring into the 80s and 90s, I bunker down in the cool stone kitchen of my hilltop farmhouse in Vaison-la-Romaine, to test recipes, cook from my bountiful summer vegetable garden and prepare for my late summer cooking classes.
So for those of you travelling to Paris this summer looking for gastronomic inspiration, I leave you in the capable hands of my good friend and co-conspirator on the fifth edition of The Food Lover’s Guide to Paris, Emily Buchanan.
Patisserie Perfection: Boris Lumé
[Guest post by Emily Buchanan]
If the original Belle Époque exterior of this immaculate Montmartre patisserie (a classified historical monument, built in 1900) is not enough to draw you in, then the rows of Boris Lumé’s signature finger-shaped tarts, glistening in the glass vitrine, surely will. The pastries here have as much charm as the décor, with its off-white and duck-shell blue wall tiles, butterfly-themed tile frieze, and original heavenly ceiling fitted out with a crystal chandelier – this is what dreams of Parisian pastry shops are made of.
Pastry chef, baker and owner Boris Lumé opened his first shop with his Japanese wife Mihona (also a baker) on the leafy rue Caulaincourt in the 18th arrondissement in 2013, after time spent under the tutelage of the likes of Joël Robuchon in Tokyo, and Cyril Lignac and Meilleur Ouvrier de France Frederic Lalos (of Le Quartier du Pain) in Paris.
His selection of tarts and viennoiseries (breakfast pastries) is small, but finely tuned – each creation a small work of art, but without pretension. His tarte citron doesn't have many rivals with its irresistibly crisp base, thick pillowy lemon cream that has just the right balance of acidity, sweetness and creaminess, hiding a thin layer of soft cake-like hazelnut biscuit.
Among the lineup is an excellent version of the classic Paris-Brest, a light choux casing filled with praline cream and punctuated with a crispy praline crunch. Other offerings include tarts with seasonal fruit toppings such as strawberry or fig, and a less traditional matcha and black sesame tart with red fruits, a nod to Mihona’s Japanese origins.
I love their homely tartelettes, soft pastry casings filled with dark acidic cherries (griottes) and an earthy pistachio cream.
The viennoiseries are without fault: buttery, light and perfectly flaky. The baguette tradition has a flavorful crumb, although I prefer my baguette a little more bien cuite – well baked – with a crunchier crust. I’d rather go for their near-perfect, nutty pain d’épeautre (spelt loaf), and I can hardly pass by this shop without grabbing a loaf.
If you’ve been searching for the perfect Parisian pastry shop, you may well have just found it.
Patisserie Boris Lumé | 48 rue Caulaincourt | Paris 18 | +33 1 46 06 96 71 | Métro: Lamarck-Caulaincourt | Open Tuesday-Sunday 7:45am-8:30pm, Sunday 7:45am-7pm. Closed Monday |