News for the week of February 25

Our next book club selection for March 20 at Schuler's is Billie, a story about a unique friendship between two young people. The book was the  number one best seller in France by French author Anna Gavalda.  For more information please contact Marijke Wiersema.

And speaking of books. . . 

Steve's pick this week is the wonderful 111 Places in Paris that you shouldn't miss (2017) by Sybil Canac, Renée Grimaud and Katia Thomas. Two examples of this well-laid out and informative book are the Chocolate museum in the 10th arr. and the Chen Zen fountain in the 13th. Both are on our list for our next trip in April.

Oh, and the book is available at the Grand Rapids Pubic Library, main branch.

Culinary treat: steak frites

From Clothilde Dusoulier of chocolate and zucchini blog fame, here's a little something to whet your appetite on your next trip to Paris:

"The epitome of the bistro dish, this simple pairing of a grilled steak (with various optional sauces) and fries is elevated to serious heights when the meat is well selected and carefully matured, and the potatoes are fresh, hand-cut and double-fried.

Order your steak cooked to your liking, from saignant (i.e. rare) to à point to bien cuit (i.e. well done). French chefs typically prefer to serve it saignant, as it is considered the optimal stage at which to enjoy the flavor of the meat.

I am personally all about the excellent steak frites served at Bouillon in Pigalle, right in my neighborhood!"

How well do you know Paris?

Today we look at the 9th arrondissement.

1. Where does the name Nouvelle Athènes quarter come from?

A. Paris's first Olympic pool was built there in 1932.
B. From its proximity to a theatre called "The New Athens."
C. From the architecture of the apartment buildings, inspired by the ancient Greek repertoire.

2. In what metro station was François Truffaut's film Le Dernier Métro partially shot?

A. Anvers.
B. Pigalle.
C. Blanche.

3. Why is place Blanche so named?

A. Facing directly south, it is always very bright.
B. It used to be crossed by plasterers' carts.
C. Its real name is Blanche de-Castille, but was shortened in usage.

4. What Parisian speciality first appeared in 1909, simultaneously on the rue de Mogador and the rue de la Chausée-d'Antin?

A. Roasted chestnuts.
B. The jambon-beurre sandwich.
C. One-way traffic.

5. What was the name of the first wax museum, which opened to the public at the end of the 18th century on the boulevard du Temple?

A. The Cave of Thieves.
B. The Illusory.
C. The Human Menagerie.

Answers to last week's quiz on the 8th arrondissement: 1. A, racetrack; 2. there is no consensus so all are correct; 3. B, wheeled urinals; 4. A & B, there is no bell tower and it is oriented south toward the rue Royale; 5. A, Venetian beach.

Job posting

Office Team, a Robert Half company, is working with a company in Grand Rapids who has an employment opportunity for someone who is fluent in French. If you know of anyone who might be interested, please contact Lauren Naveaux, OfficeTeam Division Director, at, 616.774.9500 or by fax  616.454.4508.

Travel in France

Culinary curiosities: poulet de Bresse


Consider this bird. Isn’t it spectacularly ugly? See its blue legs, its lead ring (on the right leg near the body)? It’s a poulet de Bresse, famous for its delicate flavor, and it came to mind again recently when reading that famed chef Paul Bocuse had died in January. He was known for creating many delectable dishes, Volaille de Bresse en Vessie being one of them. This particular bird was cooked by Anne-Lise Whitescarver, cherished member of Alliance Française, to celebrate the Christmas of 2016, and it’s thanks to David Whitescarver that we have this photo to share. I wonder how many of us have eaten a poulet from the plains of Bresse….