Food | The Reconnoisseur

Why Paris loves the scent of orange blossom in the morning

Paris is warming to a new light-as-air breakfast confection

Why Paris loves the scent of orange blossom in the morning

January 17 2010
Karen Wheeler

It was over breakfast at the hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris that I first encountered kugelhoff – an Alsatian confection made with small pieces of grape and orange skin and similar in texture to brioche. Christophe Michalak, the hotel’s award-winning pastry chef – he has previously whipped up a stir in the patisserie world with such delights as his salted caramel religieuse, peach melba macaroon and famous marshmallow love bears – had just added it to the Plaza Athénée’s breakfast menu, which is why our waiter, unprompted, brought some to the table for us to try.

All I can say is that Michalak’s light-as-air confection, which here is also dipped in orange-blossom syrup, didn’t hang around for long, and it’s probably no coincidence that since it arrived on the breakfast menu, members of the calorie-counting fashion and beauty world – more commonly seen daintily taking afternoon tea or sipping pre-dinner cocktails in the bar – can now be spotted tucking into breakfast at the Plaza Athénée. Hotels everywhere please take note: kugelhoff is just the thing to liven up that dull and predictable phenomenon known as the continental breakfast.

Plaza Athénée continental breakfast is €38.

See also

Hotels, Breakfasts, Paris