Fine Living | Diary of a Somebody

Hélène Darroze

The star chef receives a stream of visitors – among them the black truffle man

Hélène Darroze

March 25 2011
Hélène Darroze

Day: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Again an early start, and the girls are still sleeping, so all quiet. I have my usual boiled egg and ham – always with Poilâne bread; it is so delicious (and Apollonia Poilâne is a very dear friend of mine).

After breakfast I head straight to the restaurant to meet with my team. The girls pop in on their way to school to say hello. Charlotte can never resist one of the macaroons from the bonbon trolley! Then I took part in a fun photo shoot for a French magazine, for people who have been inspirations for film characters. As I was involved in the creation of the Disney movie Ratatouille (the character of Colette was actually modelled on me), they wanted to shoot me in my kitchen.

After lunch I had a visit from one of my favourite suppliers: the black truffle man. He visits every week and I am able to choose from his basket my favourite truffles. Today he has more than 10 kilos with him, but sadly, as it is the end of the season, the quality is not the best and so I only take about 600g. I then create a recipe for that night’s menu, with Jerusalem artichoke, boiled egg and Parmiggiano Reggiano, all covered in shavings of black truffle. I then spent some time with Kirk Whittle, my chef pâtissier. He is a true genius and created an amazing chocolate and pear pudding; chocolate is always my weakness.

I have a very good relationship with Elle magazine here in Paris. In the afternoon they came to visit to film a little segment for their website. It was about how to take simple ingredients that would be in your fridge and turn them into a Michelin-star dish when you get home. I love this kind of challenge, as not everything has to be about black truffles!

I ended the day devising a menu for a friend who is hosting a special dinner in June to raise money for her foundation, which focuses on the sustainability of fish. This is something that all chefs have to take very seriously these days. It is a late night in the restaurant, so, as always, I find I am very happy that it is only a five-minute walk home along Rue d’Assas.

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