Journalist, cookbook author, cooking teacher, former restaurant critic for the International Herald Tribune, Patricia Wells‘s name has long been synonymous with good food. In 1984, she published her travel book, The Food Lover’s Guide to Paris, which was quickly recognized as an authoritative volume for gourmet travelers. Now she has updated and refreshed the book for the digital age, creating a new travel app that reveals Paris’s best addresses in the swipe of an i-Phone, i-Pad, or i-Touch screen.
The app offers reviews for over 350 of the city’s best food spots (including restaurants, cafes, bakeries, pastry shops, wine bars, and markets), a clickable map, an unparalleled glossary of French culinary terms, and more. As Patricia says in her introduction: “Visitors will find old favorites as well as new inspirations, covering every category from spots for quick bites to crêperies, sushi and dumpling treasures, as well as Michelin three-star haute cuisine restaurants.”
I’m delighted to welcome Patricia…
The app features more than 300 culinary addresses in Paris. How did you winnow them down from the city’s copious selection?
I began, of course, with addresses I already knew and loved, revisited and rewrote, then also spent extensive time visiting new spots and whether or not to include them in the app.
The last updated edition of the Food Lover’s Guide to Paris came out in 1999. How has the Paris dining scene changed since then?
The Paris dining scene has changed dramatically. More chefs moving to out of the way neighborhoods, very small restaurants, simple menus or just set menus. Also happy to see so many places now open seven days a week.
One of the benefits of an app is that it can be updated regularly. Do you have plans to add new addresses as you discover them?
For the moment we plan to make any necessary changes on addresses that already exist in the app (any errors, change in hours, chef, style, etc.) I have already made extensive changes, with photos, commentary, etc. As to adding new addresses to the current app we have not made any final decisions.
What is your favorite food neighborhood in Paris?
Well, I live in the Sixth and Seventh [arrondissements] so totally love everything there, the merchants at the Raspail market on Tuesday, Friday, Sunday, Quatrehomme cheese, Poilâne bread, Pâtisserie des Rêves brioche, Henri Le Roux’s caramels au beurre salé, and Eric Kayser’s pain aux fromages. I also love the Président Wilson market on Wednesdays and Saturday.
Many thanks, Patricia!