03 Jun2009

Fauchon

by Marketman

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La Maison Fauchon. The venerable gourmet food shop set up by Auguste Fauchon at Place de la Madeleine in Paris has thrived in the same location for 123 years. They have since expanded to neighboring buildings and the jewel of a shop now offers over 25,000 different items on sale. From jams and preserves, to cookies, caviar, fruits, wines, oils and vinegars, this chi-chi-est of the chi-chi is a mecca for foodies the world over. Fauchon have built up their brand as only the French seem supremely positioned to do so. They manage to make even a simple mangosteen worth its weight in gold. After our first breakfast buffet, we went for a short aimless stroll in superb 60F+ weather and somehow found our way to Place Madeleine, almost like a horses returning to their stables… :)

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We reached the square, Place Madeleine, rather early in the day, so most of the shops in the area were still closed. The patisserie and take out foods section of Fauchon was already open, however. The season’s promotion was entitled “Paris on Your Lips,” hence the poster in their fantastic windows.

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Each window was bedecked with a riotous color display almost mocking the arrival of spring. Amazing how a food shop expends so much effort on their display windows. But then again, thousands of tourists and customers flock to Fauchon daily, so this is really all about business.

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In one display window were several tins of the finest caviars, along with their classic partner, russian vodka.

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Indoors, I managed to take snapshots (as inconspicuously as possible) of prepared salads laid out on recently renovated counters. The store may be 123 years old, but the interiors are cutting edge modern. The kind of place that screams “you will have to pay a minor body part’s worth of rubles in exchange for a salmon sandwich”, if you know what I mean. :) You’d think the place was selling jewelry, the interiors were THAT snazzy!

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And the cakes laid out in the windows minutes before we arrived… OMG, these were veritable works of art! A feast for the eyes, and almost certainly for one’s tastebuds as well!

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It might just be a chocolate cake, but it wasn’t just ANY chocolate cake. Fauchon, after all, has a reputation to uphold.

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Even eclairs ran the gamut from the expected, to the frou-frou, to images of Mona Lisa’s eyes somehow embedded in the icing!

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And in case you forgot about the brand, the little bright pink boxes and tins at the checkout counters will leave no doubt you are shopping at Fauchon. While prices were indeed intense, I believe it is certainly worth a once in a lifetime visit. Or at least once every five years or so. I would happily give up a dozen Diet Cokes back home in Manila for a superbly executed eclair or slice of cake every few years or so…

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The bakery also had a wonderful display of breads on offer, and if you decided to sit and have a snack, they had sandwiches, salads and other goodies on offer. Later in the day, you can go right next door and shop at the main store which has a head-spinning selection of goodies…

Fauchon
26 Place de la Madeleine
Paris

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Sanojmd says:

    Oh woow! I’m goggle-eyed! What a fabulous place! A feast for the eyes indeed! Goodies must have really cost a fortune.. Thanks MM for sneaking some shots for us..

    Jun 3, 2009 | 2:41 pm

     
  2. diday says:

    Culinary art

    Jun 3, 2009 | 2:59 pm

     
  3. Lava Bien says:

    Hi MM!

    Would you say Fauchon is better than the Bristish department store Harrod’s?

    Will probably be in Paris next year or next next, spring time more likely, less tourist and less heat than if we were to go in the summer time.

    Jun 3, 2009 | 3:07 pm

     
  4. Lex says:

    Yes, Fauchon is a different league of its own. For a foodie, you would think you died and went to heaven.

    Jun 3, 2009 | 4:02 pm

     
  5. marj says:

    The photos are so pretty it’s amazing they were taken discreetly. How do you do it MM? Camera phone? Mrs. & the Teen distracting the shopkeepers? Amazing!

    Jun 3, 2009 | 4:36 pm

     
  6. meia says:

    It looks like the pastry version of Tiffany’s!

    Jun 3, 2009 | 4:51 pm

     
  7. Mangaranon says:

    Fauchon made an expensive foray in New York a few years ago. It paid a king’s ransom to Sant Ambrose to give up its locale on Madison Avenue. A few years later, Sant Ambrose is back and is doing extremely well.

    Jun 3, 2009 | 5:16 pm

     
  8. chinachix says:

    the eclairs and the cakes look divine! not going to Paris anytime soon, but this place is on my to go list if i do…

    Jun 3, 2009 | 6:24 pm

     
  9. James says:

    What a gastronomique treat!

    Jun 3, 2009 | 7:11 pm

     
  10. Cecilia says:

    Such cool and delectable designs! … Okay, gotta find myself something sweet in the kitchen.

    Jun 3, 2009 | 7:14 pm

     
  11. mardie c",) says:

    it’s so surprising how french people can keep their build trim with so many goodies like these to tempt the palate. those eclairs look soooo good! but i dont think i’ll feel comfortable taking a bite on those eclairs with mona lisa eyes looking deep at you.

    Jun 3, 2009 | 7:27 pm

     
  12. Mila says:

    Mona Lisa eclairs! I saw on another blog that they’re making macaron eclairs too. Edible works of art, sigh. Really can’t think coherently when looking at all that sugar.

    Jun 3, 2009 | 7:33 pm

     
  13. nina says:

    There’s Fauchon Paris here (same lettering but not sure if they are the same) but I’ve never entered the shop as I thought they just sell chocolates – like other shops which sell chololates in different size and shape and by weight. Maybe I should check sometime.

    Jun 3, 2009 | 7:57 pm

     
  14. natie says:

    works of art indeed!! lovely!!

    Jun 3, 2009 | 8:19 pm

     
  15. artisan chocolatier says:

    As a bread and pastry professional, fauchon is one of those places that make my knees weak and my eyes swell.

    Jun 3, 2009 | 8:56 pm

     
  16. MAE says:

    OOH LALA! Really looks delish MM.
    I just wish we had a place where I could buy the eclairs.

    Jun 3, 2009 | 9:35 pm

     
  17. corrine says:

    Fantastic!

    yeah, where is a good place to buy eclairs in Manila? the macarons in bizu are ok. Just have one with my coffee and I’m good to go.

    Jun 3, 2009 | 9:45 pm

     
  18. aggy says:

    how fabulous!!!

    Jun 3, 2009 | 9:50 pm

     
  19. Tricia says:

    SO lovely!

    MM, I remember from one of your past Paris posts, you went to Le Maison du Chocolat? I saw one in Elements Mall while I was in HK. I got to try it, it was good! I can just imagine having it in their Paris store…Maybe someday and Fauchon too :)

    Jun 3, 2009 | 10:38 pm

     
  20. Angela says:

    I LOVE FAUCHON!!! I got hooked on it while living in Tokyo. Everything they sell is SO good–no exaggeration. My favorites were the eclairs and the pastry with the cheese and onion baked in (sorry, can’t recall what it was called).

    While we don’t have a Fauchon in Seattle, lucky for me, I have a friend who lives in France who regularly sends me jars of jam or chocolate (during winter so it doesn’t melt). She’s not a foodie, so she doesn’t get why I am so enamored of Fauchon.

    Speaking of jam. . .MM, did you get to try Christine Ferber’s jams? I think they are served in Alain Ducasse’s restaurants. They’re REALLY good.

    Jun 4, 2009 | 12:04 am

     
  21. Joni says:

    So, what did you buy from there?

    Hehehe, I was distracted by the pictures…I didn’t really read the text. :D

    How was it? Did you try at least one eclair?! My gulay, I would’ve given up diet soda anytime, just for a piece of that eclair. hehehehehe :)

    Jun 4, 2009 | 12:11 am

     
  22. Martin L. says:

    They use to have a big store and cafe here in New York on Park Ave. Sayang nga they shut it down several years ago. Now you can still get Fauchon goodies at the Food Emporium Suppermarkets The Macaroons are to die for!!

    Jun 4, 2009 | 12:56 am

     
  23. Vanessa says:

    Divine-looking eclairs, I can only imagine how scrumptious they are!

    Jun 4, 2009 | 1:00 am

     
  24. Divine G. says:

    Yeah! Their display window is so beautiful and very decorative. The display inside was unbelievable. I didn’t really know what to get. I remembered getting escargot of all things. I also bought some cookies because I love cookies. When me and my sister were taking pictures they really didn’t mind. It was picture-taking friendly place.

    Jun 4, 2009 | 1:19 am

     
  25. joanie says:

    I used to work couple of blocks away from this store (Park Avenue, NYC) and spent lots of money there. I love all there goodies especially their cookies and cheesecake…mmmm.

    Jun 4, 2009 | 1:44 am

     
  26. Lou says:

    In my next life I want to ve French ;-)

    Jun 4, 2009 | 1:49 am

     
  27. thelma says:

    which cake did you try, mm?

    Jun 4, 2009 | 2:18 am

     
  28. maddie says:

    OMG! Just I am munching on mini-crepes filled with bacon from Fauchon which a friend gave me from her recent trip to gay Pareeee! Next up would be the tins of pate from the same place. Thanks for sharing your deelightful pics!

    Jun 4, 2009 | 6:13 am

     
  29. sister says:

    Hi,
    Angela, Christine Ferber has a jam cook book and it is great! Wonderful combinations of fruit and spices, or liquers. Unfortunately most of the fruit is not available fresh in Manila but if you live near a farmers’ market in the USA or Europe you can replicate some of the recipes with seasonal produce.

    Jun 4, 2009 | 6:54 am

     
  30. sister says:

    Marketman,
    Did you walk across Place Madeleine into Hediard? Well worth a visit as well.

    Jun 4, 2009 | 6:54 am

     
  31. sister says:

    Martin,
    hwe pastries at the Fauchon on Park were terrible and contributed to the demise of that store. Apparently they were made by a contractor in Queens and not up to snuff. Can’t imagine whose making the pastries for food Emporium.

    On another note, Payard is due to close soon due to a dispute with the landlord but plans to reopen in a new location.

    Jun 4, 2009 | 6:57 am

     
  32. sister says:

    Sorry about the typos, I’m overtired having been up since 3 am rolling fondant. 66 idividual cakes made for favours and 144 more to go. Thank God I only have one daughter, I will never do this again for another wedding.

    Jun 4, 2009 | 7:00 am

     
  33. Vanessa says:

    To sister: Bon courage!

    Jun 4, 2009 | 7:34 am

     
  34. Good Life says:

    Excellent. Fauchon in Tokyo is closer than France. Nothing compares to the original site.The pictures are great!!!

    Jun 4, 2009 | 7:37 am

     
  35. betty q. says:

    Yeah, Angela: a must have cookbook Is Christine Ferber’s Jam and Jellies…also her Sweet and Savoury Tarts! Amazon.com has them…It is cherry season where you are….Sour cherry jam and apricots too! Also…Peach with Cardamom and Blueberry with a hint of lavender…just a hint! I have been making “tipid” my jams. But summer is almost here and it is jam making session with the kapitbahays again!

    Sister: with all the wedding cakes you make, maybe it is worth having a sheeter…there is a table-top model! …so your kili-kili will not complain!!! Hay….I would volunteer to give you a hand even if it meant driving 2 to 3 hours…

    Jun 4, 2009 | 8:25 am

     
  36. artisan chocolatier says:

    Sister…OMG! I’m glad I too have just one daughter (and one son) and a couple of years (I hope!) more to go before I have to make for them. Then again its all for love, right!?

    Jun 4, 2009 | 9:10 am

     
  37. Angela says:

    Hi, Sister & Betty Q.-

    I have Christine Ferber’s jam cookbook and my favorite so far is the rhubarb jam. I’ll have to try some of her tarts.

    Can you believe that I cannot find any sour cherries?? (I am looking specifically for Montmorency or Morello cherries). I’ve looked high and low, visited several farmers markets, and called the big grocery stores. Nada. My daughter LOVES maraschino cherries and I wanted to make some for her. . .I’ve made about a dozen half-pint jars of apricot jam already. Enough to last me until next year.

    Betty, remember the tofu place in Chinatown (Vancouver, BC)? What was it called? My mom is craving taho and the last time she visited, the store had closed down. Do you know where they may have relocated?

    Good Life- the Fauchon I frequented was located in the food court (bottom level) of Takashimaya in Shinjuku. It’s quite the food court. Joel Robuchon used to have a spot there :)

    Jun 4, 2009 | 9:14 am

     
  38. chrisb says:

    MM, I remember more than a decade ago going to Fauchon to buy a bottle of Krug. I had just met Olivier Krug the night before in a food and wine pairing class at the Ritz and I was eager to buy a bottle to bring home for new year. I was so young then, I didn’t even know how expensive Krug was! haha. I think I got so intimidated by the tuxedoed sommelier when he presented to me a beautifully boxed magnum that I gave him my credit card without converting the price to pesos. Let’s just say I had to do a lot of explaining when I got back home!

    Jun 4, 2009 | 9:15 am

     
  39. artisan chocolatier says:

    When one enters Fauchon Paris, all your resolutions to just look and buy just one item is forgotten.

    Imagine 5 Euros (Thats Php335.00!!) for one of them eclairs!! But how can you refuse mona lisa giving you the look..hehehehe

    Jun 4, 2009 | 9:55 am

     
  40. terrey says:

    hahahaha i asked my french colleague if he has been to this shop, he said he just walked by without even looking as indeed it is a luxury food shop. wow Mr. MM, you and your family are so blessed!

    Jun 4, 2009 | 10:01 am

     
  41. Edwin D. says:

    Going to Stella at SFO this weekend but nothing compares to this store. Simply amazing!

    Jun 4, 2009 | 11:10 am

     
  42. Crissy says:

    The banana confit and marron glace are exquisite. But honestly, if you want the same type of quality confiture, head to the artisanal shops of Rue Cler. Same products at half the price.

    Jun 4, 2009 | 12:12 pm

     
  43. SimplePleasure says:

    Oh my! it’s like heaven on earth. yum! everything looks so scrumptious, how can you choose? hahaha =)

    Jun 4, 2009 | 1:44 pm

     
  44. pecorino says:

    Fauchon is a bejewelled Faberge egg of a gourmet shop but it was there that I had an appalling service experience that I will never forget. It was quite unexpected considering the territory. I was paying for a purchase and since I spoke to the cashier in French, she gave me the amount in French. Those of you who are familiar with the language know that expressing numbers between 70 and 100 is convoluted and involves mental arithmetic. While I took a few seconds to take in what she said, she tapped her fingers on the machine and even rolled up her eyes! Never have I been treated that way in all my travels, definitely not anywhere in Asia, and certainly not in any high-end place like that! I’m still smarting from that experience. Last time I was in Paris, I didn’t even go into a Fauchon.

    Jun 4, 2009 | 3:12 pm

     
  45. sister says:

    Betty Q and Artisan Chocolatier: Yes, I did look into buying a sheeter at the last food show at Jacob Javits but the model I wanted was $3,000 so I’m doing it the hard way and after this no more fondant projects, rest assured.I did get a good fondant from Albert Ulster Imports made in Switzerland that is a dream to work with. No, I did not even consider making my own fondant.

    As for jams, it is almost sour cheery season which is only for 2 weeks in the Northeast For those of you who can’t find them in the markets you can order on the internet from Michigan farms where most of the commercial crop for jams is grown. For those lucky enough to be enjoying Philippine mangoes now try a mango and cardamom combination, it is quite good.

    Jun 4, 2009 | 5:26 pm

     
  46. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Ha ha ha Pecorino! I know what you mean…while France has a lot of romance in it…not one of my fave places. Going around Europe,hubby and I got some bad “attitude” problems in France…it was good hubby speaks German and a little of Spanish, so he communicated more in these languages. But these things happen.
    I also know what MM meant about the toilet papers..am glad they’ve improved MM. I had to “go” near the Eiffel and I was appalled at the state of the toilet considering it was such a popular tourist area. And we had to pay. The toilet papers were like newsprint …hahaha…it was an experience. Good thing I always bring a lot of handbag tissue(still do ) when I travel.
    Am glad to hear they’ve improved MM…but we walked around and it really felt romantic…especially the cafes….but till now,France is still not a fave place. To me—Monaco–unforgettable. Hope to visit again!!
    Welcome home again MM!!

    Jun 4, 2009 | 8:30 pm

     
  47. corrine says:

    sister, I have cardamom that I asked an Indian friend to buy from India. Can you share the recipe please? The mangoes as of now are not as good as in the first quarter but still okay. I’m very curious how it would taste. :)

    Jun 4, 2009 | 9:41 pm

     
  48. sister says:

    Here’s a rough recipe for mango and cardamon jam:
    For 8 c. mashed mango add 1 tbsp. or less crushed cardamom pods and 10c. sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 min.
    Cool a bit and strain through a food mill to remove any fibers and cardamon pieces. Add 1/4 c. lemon juice and 2 tbsp. dry pectic or 1 pkg. sure jell or pectin. Bring to a boil and cook 5 min and then spoon into sterilized jars. Cover and sterilize in a water bath 10 minutes. Jam will not be very thick but easily spreadable.

    Jun 4, 2009 | 10:50 pm

     
  49. Angela says:

    Sister, is there a Michigan farm you recommend for the sour cherries?

    Jun 5, 2009 | 1:02 am

     
  50. Laura says:

    I agree with marissewalangkaparis ~ we enjoyed our stay in Monaco as well. Very clean and organized country.

    Jun 5, 2009 | 11:34 am

     
  51. betty q. says:

    Angela….about that tofu place…Is it Superior you sre talikg about?…te one that makes the TAHO on site? If it is, I have to go there to check it out for you. I hjaven’t been to Chinatown for a while now. Are you looking for sour cherries for jams? If you are…there is a farm in Aldergrove. But if you pick them, it might not pass US customs on your way back home. Howewer, I can pick them for you, make the jam (if tyhat is what you want the sour cherries for) and you can bring it back in jam form!

    Jun 5, 2009 | 9:47 pm

     
  52. me says:

    i know fauchon to be expensive, but i can’t believe that they’ve gone ridiculously so from my recent visit. the only thing i could afford now was their baguette, which is incredibly price at just 1£20. i’m almost sure that baguette is covered by some form of government regulation that prohibit any shops to sell it tres tres cher.

    have you got chance to amble at poilane, that’s one shop you woulnd’t mind to be robbed as well.

    Jun 6, 2009 | 1:47 am

     
  53. corrine says:

    Thank you so much, sister! I’m excited to try the recipe.

    Jun 6, 2009 | 12:54 pm

     
  54. betty q. says:

    Corrine: You are in Pinas?…Philippine mangoes…truly da best!!!!! As I recall, they are really sweet…is there a NO SUGAR added PECTIN there. If there is, then see if you can adjust the amount of sugar. I like to have texture in my jam, so some of the fruits, I mash and some I coarsely chop so I have some chunks in it.

    Jun 6, 2009 | 4:24 pm

     
  55. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Hmmm,I will try to get a copy of Christine Ferber’s Jam and Jellies. I love jams and I recall in one of MM’s blogs when he made them form rhubarb. It brought back memories of when my dad made some rhubarb jam…ummm…nostalgic. Hope we can make some jams from our fruits. When you have breakfast at the hotels in Europe–they have a wonderful array of jams and jellies..and they taste so good…

    Jun 7, 2009 | 9:17 am

     
  56. Tony L says:

    Sorry for a late comment but I have just remembered that when I was working in Singapore in the mid ’90’s I found a branch of Fauchon in the lower ground floor of Isetan, a department store on the corner of Scotts and Orchard Road. Further along Orchard in Takashimaya there was a branch of Harrods and in the Oriental Hotel(Mandarin to us) there was a branch of Moreton’s of Chicago, the Steakhouse!

    Jun 21, 2009 | 4:26 pm

     
  57. Gregory Guy says:

    Which Fauchon did you go to? There are 2 Fauchon stores at Madeline, one specializing in gourmet food and the other store with pastries, hundred flavors of coffee, honey, spices and candies, and a vast collection of different alcohol in their lower level.

    Did you see the expensive ham they were selling? And the foie gras au truffe noir? They even had Foir Gras terrine with Sake! That store is crazy! And we were lucky enough to enter during the holidays where white truffles were in season. They would have huge jars with the lids slightly open filled with black and white truffles! Me and my friends never fail to be amazed whenever we enter, its like a totally different world.

    And it helps that we go to a culinary school in Paris so we gain new perspectives on how food can be decorated/prepared/served.

    And i know that my comment says France but I’m Pinoy studying at Le Cordon Bleu Paris. So let me know if you have any questions on cooking. I know more on theory but I’m sure with your experience I am the one who’s going to be asking most of the questions.

    Mar 25, 2010 | 6:47 am

     
  58. Marketman says:

    Gregory Guy, we almost always visit both stores when in Paris, as well as visits to Hediard, and other food purveyors in the area. Their products, displays, merchandising are so inspiring. I hope your studies go well at Le Cordon Bleu!

    Mar 25, 2010 | 7:47 am

     
 

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