FvF Friends Dinner In Paris
A healthy serving of fresh ideas: Home dining with friends, Paris
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Journal > FvF Friends Dinner In Paris

In a tasteful Parisian apartment, FvF joined Dean and Juliana Di Simone, along with members of the FvF community, for a home-cooked meal in collaboration with onefinestay.

Dean’s a former guest, long-time friend, former agency lead at the award-winning Tender Creative, and co-founder of product design platform OTHR. His wife Juliana is a fashion model, and together they spearheaded the US launch of Tokyobike: an independent brand selling sleek, silky rides imbued with the concepts of form, function and design.

We ran into the couple while they were vacationing in France, and thought that bringing a group of friends together for a home-cooked meal, made from fresh local produce, would be a great way to catch up and share ideas. Our FvF Friends LA Dinner had a been a huge success: drawing creative people from a wide range of industries—so we thought we should do it again, just on a smaller scale. As in LA, we choose a curated space from onefinestay, who hand-pick homes for their character, design and location.

Our apartment was a classical French Renaissance affair amid the murmuring markets, delis and cafes of Paris’s 9th arrondissement. The inside was sprawling and artistic, with a judicious helping of bookshelves and furniture. Juliana, Dean and FvF, represented by two of the founders Frederik Frede and Timmi Seifert, met with friends Nina-Sophie Scheller from Hamburg, Miles & Miles photographers Stefaan duPont and Sarah Murphy, and Paris-based FvF contributor Victoria Paterno; it was bound to be a creative meal. After warm greetings, a ride in a tiny, jangling elevator, and a tour of the home, our stomachs were beginning to grumble in unison. Our menu was loose, so we set off down sloping, tree-lined streets in search of fresh ingredients and culinary inspiration.

Our first stop was Causses: an organic deli on Rue Notre Dame de Lorette, where we bought cured meat, strong cheese, and a selection of fresh herbs, fruit and baguettes—these would form our French antipasto.

Next was a visit to Rose Bakery for a slice of their mouth watering Lemon Polenta Cake. We thought about buying some fish, but decided to consult the onefinestay app, that has local recommendations from hosts in the area. We read about a butcher nearby called Boucherie Poitevine, and sallied forth for some plump Cornish hens. These would serve as an excellent main course: one that demanded fine wine—we were in France after all! We made our way to La Cave Des Martyrs for a few bottles of Saint Emilion, and to nearby Rap for the requisite bottle of Italian olive oil. The sights and smells of our walk were rich, so we took a break, and some strong coffee, at one of FvF’s favourite local cafes, KB South Pigalle, while the hum of Paris drifted by.

Back in the apartment the atmosphere was exuberant. Everyone pitched in: setting the table, helping in the kitchen, or pouring out wine—all while listening to the latest FvF mixtape. The meal was served on a large flat table, in a dining room of white walls and polished parquet floors.

We began with a light antipasto of cheeses, chorizo, and bread. Our salad was made from rocket, radishes, apples and parmesan and the main course was Cornish hen, garnished with garlic and basted with lemon juice. This was served beside roasted potatoes and pan-fried mushrooms; lightly sautéd in butter and rosemary.

Antipasto

Ingredients

  • Gorgonzola Quatro Rose

  • Beaufort

  • Brie de Melun

  • Epoisses

  • Demi Chaource

  • Saucisse Fine

  • Saucisson Sec de Boeuf

  • Chorizo

  • Saucisson au Couteau Emmanuel Chavassieux

Apple & Radish Salad

Ingredients

  • Rocket & frisee

  • Radishes

  • 1 Apple

  • 1 Lemon

  • Parmesan cheese

  • Olive oil

  • Salt and pepper

Method

1. Rinse the greens in cold water, and drain to keep them crisp.

2. Cut the radishes into hearty chunks while slicing the apples into thin wedges.

3. Cut the parmesan into large, thin slices and place in a salad bowl for mixing.

4. Squeeze half a lemon over the bowl and add olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Pan-fried Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • Mushrooms

  • Butter

  • Salt and pepper

Method

1. Clean the mushrooms with a soft vegetable brush and remove any dirt or soft spots from the skin.

2. Rinse the mushrooms in cold water and either cut to size or break with your hands

3. Melt 1/4 stick of butter in a pan over a low heat

4. Lightly sauté the mushrooms in melted butter, adding salt and pepper to taste

5. Serve with a few sprigs of rosemary

Cornish Hens

Ingredients

  • Cornish hens (one per person)

  • Rosemary

  • Olive oil

  • Lemons

  • Garlic

  • Salt and pepper

Method

1. Rinse the hens and ensure that they have been completely de-feathered

2. Mince 2 cloves of garlic per hen in a small bowl

3. Mince 1 sprig of rosemary per hen into the same bowl

4. Add olive oil, lemon, salt, and pepper to the bowl and mix

5. With bare hands, apply the above mix generously to the skin of each hen, massaging the oils into the skin

7. Quarter 2 cloves of garlic per hen, and combine with a handful of rosemary sprigs and stuff the hens with the garlic and herbs. You can also add whatever is left from the lemon/olive oil mix, which will help them remain juicy

8. Add salt and pepper to the skin to taste

8. Roast hens at approximately 190 degrees C for about an hour and serve

Roasted Potatoes

Ingredients

  • Potatos

  • Olive oil

  • Rosemary

  • Salt and Pepper

Method

1. Rinse in cold water and lightly brush the potatoes to remove any excess dirt or soft spots

2. Quarter the potatoes and place on a roasting tray leaving the skin of the potatoes in tact

3. Drizzle olive oil across the tops of the potatoes and add salt and pepper to taste

4. Generously pack the tray with rosemary

5. Roast at 375 degrees F for 35-45 minutes, flipping the potatoes as they brown

6. Serve roasted potatoes and rosemary with a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and a final drizzle of olive oil

Special thanks to onefinestay for once again sourcing an amazing apartment, and for all their help in recommending where to shop in the local area. We look forward to collaborating again in the future. Also a very special thanks to the many creative people of Paris, a city that inspires us for the great things that can happen when friends come together.

For further reading – our original portrait of Dean Di Simone, more of our previous Paris stories, and all of our FvF Cooks series.

Photos: Miles & Miles
Text: Jack Mahoney