SALAD STORIES #4
Happy Saturday honeys…
For lunch, we’re eating with Agathe the awesome creator of the Café Pinson, 6 rue du Forez, 75003 Paris… A place I love, where I often go for business meetings… And exclusive informations for you, Agathe and her partner Damien are opening another Café Pinson in the 10th district, which makes me happy since it is even closer to my place! Alleluia!
The Café Pinson is probably the healthier place in the capital city, fresh and yummy food with products that are as « local » as possible, most of the food is vegan and of course everything that comes out of the adorable Chef Cameil Kaundart’s kitchen is perfectly organic… I am a fan!
To tell you the story, less than a year ago, I was going to Pinson for the first time to have lunch with Fred and Mai. We discovered the place that had only been there for a few days but was already packed with people! We had a huge crush, and it took me some time to remember the name of the little café, often calling it « Pignon » which led to some uncontrollable laughter… A few weeks ago, I was going to a business breakfast, I remembered Agathe and offered her this partnership, she accepted with pleasure, her generosity and smile made my week! Thank you Agathe!
- Hi Agathe, can you introduce yourself quickly ?
Well, before creating the Pinson I had several lives, just like cats!… I started with working into fashion and beauty products. And when I turned out 30, I had a huge burn out that ended with a nice mid-life crisis and its bunch of questions such as: what does my job mean ? And my life ?… Quite quickly my eco conscientiousness came up to the surface and with a real desire to contribute. Then I had my two children, and I started to get interested in the link between nutrition and health. And there I discovered how much when you eat better, it has consequences on your weight, your skin and even your mood… It is unbelievable (the challenge is to know how to define « better »!). I read an impressive amount of books, went to conferences, asked tons of questions to the dealers in organic grocery stores… And I made lots of experiments in my kitchen that were not always a success. Then came the idea of sharing what I had learnt, the desire to show that we can cook healthy and it still is colorful, happy, greedy. And here we are, a 3rd baby came into my life: the Pinson!
- What is your first culinary « Madeleine de Proust » ?
I sure am fond of food so I directly think of dozen of meals. But if I want to answer you precisely I’d say it is a smell: my mom’s morning coffee with milk. It was the first smell of the day. And even though I didn’t really like coffee, I loved this smell because it meant that the house was waking up, the day could begin. I still am sensitive to it and even today, what I prefer with coffee is its smell!
- You take care of yourself by eating well, when did it clicked for you ?
It happened several times. First of all: it was when I was pregnant, and when I realized I wasn’t « alone » anymore but we were two… I wanted to give us the best! Then, is was when I started to feed my daughter. It occurred to me that I had no idea of how to feed a tiny human being to make her good and healthy! It was quite crazy. And primitive. This feeling that I had to learn everything again! And indeed, I had to unlearn to learn it better! I loved that time. It was intellectually fascinating. In the meantime I discovered I was wheat and lactose intolerant. It was weird because those two products are an integral part of you daily life in France. But it piqued my curiosity and I gladly played along. I like challenges and it was actually quite fun to enter a kind of treasure hunt in the organic store to find the gem… THE product that would fit in everything and that would be gourmet as well. Since I was often disappointed, I decided to cook a little bit more. And suddenly, i was simple awesome! I discovered and rediscovered amazing savors: vegetables, seeds, cereals…
- What is your favorite ingredient, the one you put everywhere not even thinking about it ?
The tamari-joyu! I put it literally everywhere. It gives an awesome twist to salads. My children love it… Hence they eat salad and raw vegetables! I put it everywhere, rice, pasta… Except for some soup or velouté, I don’t want to impair the color of the vegetables: it would be a shame to put it into a winter squash velouté or into a Jerusalem artichoke one for instance. Herbs too. Fresh or dehydrated, I put them everywhere, tons of them. Really, with my eyes closed. Chives, thymes. I am an unreserved fan of basil. It brings lots of taste, and freshness, therefore you add less salt.
- What meal do you cook when you don’t feel so good, your comfy meal ?
When I am stressed, I tend to go toward what’s sugary… My comfy recipe (it really is): a crushed banana with what we call « poiret » (a sort of syrup from apples and pears… A pure treat). I looked up its real name (thanks to wiki!): the real term is « Liège syrup ». 100% regressive. I love it.
- What is you detox tips before and/or after the holidays?
My plan: fresh fruits in the morning (with dried fruits, cashew nuts and maple syrup, if I’m really craving for it), a real lunch (light), vegetables juice and raw vegetables for dinner. And herbal tea all day long. It is the easiest but it works. And I do it with pleasure because I only have to look up my cupboard (I’m not getting crazy because I have to put together 15 different ingredients that are nowhere to be found!). For the vegetables juice, you can take them fresh (the best) or if not, lacto-fermented. It will also work and I personally like the fermented taste. But I have to admit it is not very consensual… So if you don’t have a juice extractor or a juicer, you can make a smoothie.
- Less than a year ago you were opening the Café Pinson, 6 rue Forez, in the 3rd district, in a few days you’ll be opening the Café Pinson in the 10th district. If you’re keeping that pace, in 6 months there will be a restaurant in each district, today what is the best we can wish you for 2014 ?
Oh, thank you! Why not a book for the Pinson? A third address? I don’t lack ideas but time… So it’s not in store right now!! The main thing for me is to keep watching this « baby » grow up!.. And the most importantly, to keep having so much fun doing it. Same thing for the team: they are all so great, I wish they keep having the same fun working in this great adventure!
Juice on the picture: apple, carrot, fennel, lemon, ginger. Crackers: sesame, chia seeds, rice flour, nori seaweed. All ingredients used here are available at organic grocery stores or at Terroirs d’avenir, 8 rue du Nil, Paris 75002.