If I had any control over clockwork, I’d rewind my life to the five times I’ve been to Paris or hit hyperspeed to some future trip where I’m there again. Even hearing the name of the French capital sparks an express trip in my head – a memory carousel of patisserie windows, park strolls, hours lost in galleries, and pausing mid-step when the pixellated colour-burst of Invader wall tiles randomly hit my view.
Even with my supersized enthusiasm, I know I’m just one tiny part of a huge Paris-struck fanbase. So with Bastille Day now here, I thought I’d ask Sydney chefs about their highlights and recommendations from their time in this legendary city.
So below, you’ll find Q&As with Hanz Gueco (who is now working in Paris at Saturne after his time at Cafe Paci, Pei Modern and scoring a Highly Commended at 2014’s Electrolux Appetite For Excellence awards), Peter Doyle (est.’s executive chef, winner of the Legend Award at the latest Good Food Awards and, according to Hanz, “he loves Paris/France more then anyone I know”), and Mike Eggert (who took out Hot Talent at Time Out‘s food awards, along with his Pinbone co-head chef, Jemma Whiteman, and got to demonstrate how damn strong Pinbone’s culinary game is at Omnivore in Paris earlier this year).
I also talked to my friend and former colleague Lauren Lou Bate, a Sydneysider who has been living in the 17th arrondissement for the last six years. She runs a lovely blog called Folies du Bonheur and has an Instagram feed that’s essential to follow if you crave a long-distance Paris fix. Lauren is pretty much responsible for singling out the best recommendations I experienced on my last trip to the city (she managed to even let me know about a zine fair that was on, after all!), so there’s no one I’d trust more with being switched on about what’s happening in the 20 arrondissements.
And right at the end – just in case you need any extra reason to crowbar open your own bank account and buy tickets to Paris – I’ve added a list of recommendations I’ve forwarded, over the years, to friends that happened to be first-time Paris visitors (here, it’s featured without my hyper-excited “can’t believe you’re going!!” email subject headers and longform gushing about the city – well, OK, there’s still gonna be a little bit of Paris gushing in this blog post; I’m sure you can handle it!).
Happy Bastille Day (and daydreaming about France).
You’ve worked in Sweden and Japan. What lured you to working in Paris?
I was always inspired by restaurants like L’Arpege and Pierre Gagnaire where there’s a lot of little bumps and bruises in their cuisine, not everything’s ‘perfect’. Purees aren’t silky smooth and there are some things that are not meant to please everybody. It’s a cuisine that feels really alive, a little dangerous and something I’ve always been attracted to. It’s like listening to a Nicki Minaj song and everything is pitch perfect, but it’s overproduced to the point where it sounds a little sterile. Then you listen to a great Bob Dylan record and you’ll find all these little mistakes. It’s less about making every little thing perfect but more about telling a bigger story. And even though I might not have the wherewithal to work at these places, it’s great to be in a city that feels the rippling affect of their influences.
Did you come to Paris with a “hit list” of places to try? What’s on your list and where have you been?
Not places, but dishes. There are certain dishes I’ve had before in other restaurants around the world but would love to try the originals. The Egg and the Twelve Flavour Tomato at L’Arpege and the Gargouillou at Bras (outside Paris). Then there are dishes that I’ve always wanted to see what the fuss was about, like the Caneton à la Presse at La Tour d’Argent or the famous Foie Gras and Raw Mushroom Tart at L’Astrance.
Are you also trying to hit all the super-classic French dishes, too? Or are you more interested in really modern approaches (like the French-Japanese wave, the influx of American influences)?
All the super classic stuff is new to me. I started cooking in the generation when things like creme caramels and floating islands started to fall out of vogue, so I’m a little embarrassed to say I’m trying a lot of these dishes for the first time. They’re just great – we just came from this time where dessert had to have as many different textures as humanly possible. I’m betting the next trend is going to go back to dishes with one or two really articulate textures.
Can you talk about what you’re doing in Paris? Is there anything you’re itching to do in a Paris kitchen that you think you just wouldn’t get to in Sydney?
The places I’ve been working at put a huge importance on heat and how best to transfer it to the products. They have these very interesting ways of cooking meats and fish that involve a lot of turning, and shifting around, so the heat penetrates the meat slowly and evenly. I call it ‘MacGyver cooking’, ’cause they use whatever they can find like spoons and tongs to prop up large cuts of meat to cook them without the aid of an oven or sous-vide. I’m usually the first person to be skeptical about these type of things, but the results are bulletproof. There’s something almost artisanal about that style of cooking.
How are you battling through the amazing sweets in Paris? Anything you’d keep defying your dentist to try?
If I get into something, I’ll get really far deep into it until I can’t even look at it anymore. When I first got here, I was obsessed with anything that had rose praline in it: croissants, brioche, tarts, meringue – I had to try it all. I justified it in my mind that it was ‘educational’, but really it was just pure gluttony. I’m currently going through a Tarte Tropézienne phase and if I see one, I’ll have to stop and go get it. My body can’t wait till I get to the salad phase.
Are you overwhelmed by all the culinary history in Paris – or is it part of the magic?
France is like a gastronomic time capsule, a living memory of its food history. It’s the original copy of how things are “meant to be”. For a chef, it must be the ultimate blessing and curse.
When friends tell you’re they’re visiting, where do you take them?
Given enough notice, I would get a reservation at Septime. Given enough money, I would go to a Alain Ducasse restaurant. Given time and money, I’d try L’Astrance. Barring all that, it’s a bit touristy, but I really like Le Comptoir on a Sunday (the day they do a la carte). And if you really want a classic French bistro meal, then Bistrot Paul Bert or the lunch menu at Aux Lyonnais don’t disappoint.
What’s happening with you next?
I don’t know, I’ve been so career-focused over the last couple years, I’m just enjoying being young and in a new city at the moment. Lately, I’ve been daydreaming about what it would feel like to run a kitchen here. It would be nice.
You can follow Hanz Gueco’s Paris adventures on Instagram. (Discover what his post-Tropezienne obsession is – and see if he makes it to the salad phase!)
Do you remember your first trip to Paris? What were the dining highlights?
Absolutely: March, early spring, 1979. No leaves on the trees when we arrived – but all green by the time we left 12 days later, beautiful. We had spent the previous eight months travelling around the provinces of France, as I was there to uncover the new movement in cuisine, Nouvelle Cuisine. This chef-driven movement was happening in the provinces more than Paris, so I concentrated on dining, visiting and working in the restaurants of Michel Guérard, Alain Chapel, Paul Bocuse, Pierre and Jean Troisgros, Georges Blanc, Roger Vergé, et al. Paris was more about a cultural experience, as the restaurants were more traditional.
Hanz Gueco told me that you love Paris/France more than anyone he knows. What is it about Paris that you find so appealing?
The more you learn about a place you love, the more there is to know. Paris is a great walking city encased in history. I’m fascinated on so many levels. If you are in interested in the Camino de Santiago, you can still trace where the pilgrims began their journey on the Right Bank past Saint-Jacques Tower, up Rue Saint-Jacques and out of Paris. If you look carefully, there is so much history to see in that short walk. If you’re fascinated by 1920s Paris, you can spend days in Montparnasse and surrounds. The list goes on forever. There is always something to discover and learn from.
Can you talk about how your experiences in Paris may have influenced your menu or your approach at est.?
When I’m in Paris, dining is a primary reason for visiting. You visit every restaurant hoping to be inspired, so you can take that experience back to est. and work on ideas you have absorbed. Paris dining has certainly had a revival in the past four or five years.
You’ve just come back from Paris. What were the culinary standouts?
Dining highlights included Passage 53 (a perfectly balanced meal, very refined dishes), Akrame, David Toutain, Clover, Josephine (Chez Dumonet) and Terroir Parisien. All restaurants delivered on different levels. Christophe Adam does a great éclair flavoured with pineapple and passionfruit and Sadaharu Aoki’s millefeuilles are as good as ever.
Do you have a favourite area of Paris?
Definitely the 6th arrondissement and 5th arrondissement where we often stay, but I’m drawn to all areas depending on what I’m interested in on any particular trip. Paris is always changing while it remains the same, which is one of the attractions. There is so much to explore.
And which places would you like to visit when you plan your next trip?
We are going on a bike tour of the Loire with friends next visit, so we will spend time in Paris and I’ll try and catch up on what I missed this time and what I’ve read about before we get there next time. We missed the newly renovated Picasso museum, so that is on the list. There is never any end to Paris (as anyone who is under its influence knows).
You can see how Peter Doyle translates his French influences at est., where he is executive head chef. Also, here’s a cute pic that Hanz Gueco took when they had lunch together at Le Servan. You can follow Peter Doyle on Instagram, too.
Do you have favourite places in your neighbourhood – or places that are part of your daily ritual (eg a local fave for coffee, bread, sweets, etc)?
Yes! I have both, actually! In my ‘quartier’ – Les Batignolles – my favourite places would include:
-L’Etabli, the wine bar at the bottom of my building, literally. It’s run by the loveliest Corsican man called Thomas, and they serve amazing produce that he sources from farmers in the region and stocks natural wines, which I like because they are slightly bubbly – pétillant.
–Chez Gladines, a ‘cheap-and-cheerful’ place with food inspired by the Basque region. They do monster salads, hand-cut potato chips with a Roquefort blue cheese sauce and the most delicious ‘moelleux au chocolat‘ that has ‘piment d’Espelette’ (chilli from the region) in it.
-My daily ritual place is, hands down, Fondation Café, a place run by Chris, from Sydney, that I go to on my way to work for a takeaway ‘crémè’. Not very Parisian, but some things never change.
-Another place I’m usually at during lunch is Miznon, an Israeli place that serves fantastic pita sandwiches and whole roasted sweet potatoes and cauliflower.
-When it comes to treats, I head straight to Aux Merveilleux de Fred, which is famous for its merveilleux – a cream and meringue stack covered in shaved chocolate!
What are some of your recent favourites, when it comes to eating out or picking up a treat?
A new favourite would have to be Hero, a Korean place opened by the Candelaria/Mary Celeste/Glass group. It’s the perfect mix of beautiful design, tasty food and great service.
Also Ober Mamma, an Italian place opened recently. It is DELICIOUS, all the food is from Italy, the interiors are stunning and the staff members are all lovely.
Over the last few years, some places have popped up in Paris that have an Australian connection (such as Holybelly). Can you talk about the ones you like frequenting?
Fondation, which I previously mentioned, is probably where I head to the most. I get along with the owner and it’s a really relaxed place – no Wi-Fi or power outlets means no people sitting around on their laptops, which creates a really social, fun environment.
Holybelly is the BEST breakfast place. Sarah and Nico worked at Market Lane in Melbourne before returning to France and brought back with them the relaxed café culture and great dishes. Not to mention great coffee.
There’s also a new place called Honor, which has opened behind the Élysées Palace in a cute little courtyard, run by an Australian couple that are really nice and make great coffee. Australians, or Frenchies that have spent a decent time in Australia, have really pushed along the third-wave coffee scene in the city.
What are some “essential” places that you like to take Australians visiting Paris?
Obviously I take them to none of the Aussie places! Except for the good coffee!
With visitors, I like to go to Café Constant. It has well-cooked, traditional French food for a good price. If they are foodies, I recommend Septime, Le Dauphin, Frenchie Wine Bar and always Du Pain et des Idées for the pastries.
What are the places you hope to check out next? (Or are there places you’ve always wanted to go to and not quite been to yet)?
Dersou, a French restaurant with a Japanese influence.
Verjus, it’s a bit of an institution, the food is supposed to be incredible, and I’ve been a few times to their new sister location Ellsworth and love it.
Siseng, I’ve seen its bao burger on Instagram and it looks delicious!
Rosemary, a brand-new gastro-pub not far from work.
Atao, because this place is one of Wes Anderson’s favourites, and it’s around the corner from my apartment!
How did you find cooking at Omnivore in Paris earlier this year with your Pinbone co-conspirator Jemma Whiteman? Was it a bit scary presenting food in a city that has so much culinary history?
Yes, we were completely shitting balls. This is considered the home of cooking – France, and maybe China, in our opinion, are the two oldest and most complete professional culinary histories. It was so intimidating to be two very unknown and simple chefs from Sydney cooking and demonstrating what we know and do. It’s like trying to impress Levins with your knowledge of comics or music. He smiles politely but you know he is laughing at you on the inside.
What did you guys prepare for Omnivore? Was it like what you make in Sydney or did you tailor it for Paris?
We kept it Pinbone-style. We used some techniques from our menu at home – like our peanut custard and a specific dressing that Jem makes for raw seafood dishes. But we also shopped the local markets for fish and fruit and veg. We wanted to make sure we showed Paris what we did in Australia and who we were. Then, selfishly, we wanted to use some ingredients we don’t get in Australia (live scallops, wild European mushrooms, etc).
What were the highlights (and were there any lowlights)?
The lowlight was doing our Omnivore dinner with some dude, I can’t even remember his name now. He wasn’t into it and didn’t want to be there (had a “headache”), he left his sous chef to do his dinner for him. His sous chef was a legend who stepped up and carried the torch. The other downer was when Brussels Air lost Jemma’s bag, with all our knives and key ingredients in it, and they took over a month to get it back to her. It did make for some fun last-minute sourcing of ingredients in the Paris markets, though.
The highlights – we didn’t have a bad meal or bad wine the entire time. We love the Omnivore family! They have a great vibe and are amazing hosts. We partied and celebrated with young, fun people that really care about the industry of food and beverage.
Luc Dubanchet, the founder of Omnivore, put on a spread at his house and everybody emptied top-shelf booze from deep in the cellars and we ate like kings – that was a perfect night!
The true highlight was being able to cook in Paris. It was a true honour and privilege, something we can not thank the Omnivore family enough for. We also had the opportunity to present our food and philosophy on stage the same day as some of the world’s best chefs (Thierry Marx, Sebastien Bras, Alexandre Gauthier); that isn’t name-dropping, it’s more star-strucking (not a word). We felt so out of place and terrified before the presentation. We joked that the locals would use our demonstration as the intermission – but on the day, every seat was full and all the chefs (from around the world who were there for Omnivore, and local chefs from Paris) came in to watch us. They genuinely had an interest to see who we were, what we did, and why we had been flown over from Australia. That was a life highlight!
Did you hang out with Pierre Sang Boyer, the Paris chef who took part in Sydney’s Omnivore event with you last year?
Of course! He is a friend now from the Sydney event. He is a nut case and we love him because of it. We had what seemed like a never-ending long lunch at his place which interrupted a private cooking class he was meant to be conducting. He didn’t care at all. He just made me and Jem help with the class for a little bit and then encouraged the class to drink with us. Like I said, a crack pot, and a generous and lovely human.
We ate at Pierre’s place, but nothing off the menu. While he frantically ran around searching cellars and ageing rooms, we had foie gras with a weird fermented raspberry sauce they make (great dish). Aged Galician pork leg was some rare pig off a small farm – like prosciutto and jamon, but different and amazing. And some French high-end wagyu-style beef, super fatty and really good.
Plus loads of cheese! We had to walk down the street to the corner. His friend has a cheese shop just down from the restaurant. He made them put together like a $400 platter of random French cheeses, all amazing, all showing off how good French cheese was. He sat there and watched us lose our shit over how great their cheese is.
What were your favourite places to try?
Really impressed with Clamato – the vibe was so super chilled and cool; there were mad hipsters and an amazing natural wine list with great staff. Fried calamari was great, as was a steamed periwinkle dish with mullet roe aioli. Le Baratin was just perfect. It’s run by an old-school husband-and-wife team, both in their ’60s. He is the somm and she is the chef. The room is filled with all the chefs from Paris (it’s like 10 William St on a Monday night – if Danny Peps was heaps old and had breasts, ha ha). A gigantic shucked oyster served with a single shaving of eshallot and half a coriander leaf was simple and perfect; the plate-sized veal sweetbread shut me down, killed me, but was so good. Bones is the coolest place in Paris, hands down. They had only one aged whole roasted duck and gave it to us; the whole roasted guinea fowl again, they got three, and kept one for us; it was simplicity, generosity, friendship and exceptional technical cooking all at once. La Cave Michel is a stand-up ‘don’t give a fuck’ little wine bar with a chef that smokes while he cooks (and looks like Darren Robertson when he was younger). He seemed to pick up women faster than he put together dishes, but the wine list rocks and the food was awesome.
No. I think between our research and help from the locals, we nailed Paris. Other cities were hits and misses, but Paris at the moment is just pumping. They are doing food that we love, with wine we love and a great casual vibe, what more could you want? The locals were super-friendly and helpful and there were so many chef friends to party with.
Has any of your Paris experience inspired your Pinbone menu?
Absolutely and instantly; not so much dishes, but definitely portion sizes and styles – we are putting dishes together differently now. Paris doesn’t really buy into the Nordic movement and it’s refreshing. They don’t slap you in the face with edible ants or foraged this-and-that, which needs an hour-long explanation of the people who pick it from the land, etc. The food does all the talking – it’s simple and delicious. They still have amazing produce and some of it is wild and foraged and just as unique, it just seems they are doing food that is delicious first and foremost.
And if you head back, what are the places you most want to eat/drink at?
First stop or most likely daily stop would be a wine on the canal with James Henry, a great guy to drink with. And then: Clown Bar, Clamato, Bistrot Paul Bert, Le Servan. And there could be 20 more. I would literally go back to every place we went to.
Sadly, it was announced today that Pinbone will be closing in its current Woollahra location. I hope it gets a great second life in a new venue soon, because the restaurant is awesome. So fast-track your plans to dine at Pinbone and get there before August 2 to (easily) understand why Paris was won over by Mike Eggert and crew.
I’ve had an unending crush on Paris since grade seven – when a classroom projection of a dusky Notre Dame cathedral left even the cool kids in a hush. Our French teacher told us the people who started to build this architectural icon would never see it completed in their lifetime – and that fact-drop blew my young 12-year-old mind. (The idea of a timeline that stretched beyond the latest season of 90210 was hard to contemplate, let alone the long-delayed glory of seeing those famous Gothic towers go up nearly a century after the foundation stone was laid in 1163.)
The city has been constantly resparking my interest ever since – and while I have no idea when I next will be picking up my bags from Charles de Gaulle airport, I’ve been building a bank of places I’d love to visit when I’m among those arrondissements again. (My current wish list includes Les Déserteurs, Restaurant A.T, Le Servan, Bloom, Aki Boulanger and the cute-sounding Le Tricycle, but I’m sure it’ll expand heavily by the time I have enough euros to visit Paris.)
When friends tell me they are going the French capital for the first time, I email them a variation of this list. So here you go – at least this version won’t make your inbox bulge.
Du Pain et des Idées
Clear your list of favourite bakeries and save a top ranking for this awesome establishment. You’ll have to squeeze all of your limbs to fit inside this cosy, queue-filled boulangerie, but it’ll be worth it. The banana pain au chocolat is the business, but there’s no way you’ll want to order only one thing when you’re there! Take your pastries and find a spot by Canal Saint-Martin nearby to enjoy them.
L’As Du Fallafel
One of the greatest ways to eat in Paris – and it will only cost you a handful of euros (and maybe the odd laundry disaster, if you don’t use your serviette as a fast-enough shield against ingredient collapse). This is the place that pretty much destroys all “best falafel” lists. The location is a bonus: the Marais is designed to reward any walking route you take through its streets and corners.
A flat-out charmer. I can’t think of another place that manages to be so understated yet hits every note so soundly. Everything here – the food, the service, the atmosphere – is powered by elegance, confidence and a real buzz. Staff members seem to be from all corners of the world and appear to be so ultra-charged to be here (as will you)! Book as soon as you can.
La Grand Epicerie at Le Bon Marche department store
The most amazing food hall I’ve ever stepped inside. Even the sugar aisle is next level. Stock up on food souvenirs and chocolate and pick up some takeaway goodies for a picnic in the park. (The Luxembourg Gardens are not too far away.) I also love the department store, even though the first time I went, I could only (literally) afford a spoon. I remember seeing a cool Martin Parr fashion photography exhibition there once (completely with frenzied lightbulbs going off, to emulate the feel of a catwalk) and, on another visit, Sofia Coppola styled the windows with 1 billion parties’ worth of balloons.
Like you can go to Paris and not make a sugar-charged pilgrimage to a store by ‘the Picasso of pastry’. His macarons are famously great (including the iconic Ispahan flavour constructed from lychee, rose and raspberry). There are many outlets, but the rue de Vaugirard and rue Bonaparte boutiques have the widest sweet-tooth-wowing range.
My list of all-time greatest things a friend has done must include the time Tom McMullan turned up on my doorstep with Sadaharu Aoki’s colour-coded chocolates as a gift. These pralines look like rainbow-striped xylophone keys and are as vibrant and multi-note-resonant in flavour. I remember circling the store and thinking I’d bought everything I wanted – only to do two extra laps and checkout sessions in 10 minutes. The genmaicha eclair is one of many Japanese-inspired treats worth walking away with.
By the way, if you’re on a short trip and don’t have time to hit Pierre Hermé and Sadaharu Aoki separately, go to Galeries Lafayette. There’s a Pierre Hermé in the basement – weirdly, near the women’s apparel and shoes. And then go up to Lafayette Gourmet – which has lots of stands for great French food shops, such as Aoki and Jean-Paul Hevin. Then head up to the rooftop and check out a pretty sweet and sun-dazed view over Paris. So many birds with one stone!
If you feel a little overdosed on French sweets and cheese and need something lighter and less likely to curb your life expectancy, try Nanashi. It’s run by a former Rose Bakery chef and feels like a Japanese version of Bread & Circus. (I “brainwashed” Arthur Street Kitchen’s Hetty McKinnon into going here and she loved its fresh-cut flavours.)
I remember that grand luck of scoring one of the last tables in this popular Marais spot and just being so charmed by the crisp Breton-style buckwheat crepes, where the flavours are so direct and unadorned – and something to deeply savour. The fanbase for this place is so huge that there are even multiple outlets in Japan.
I had one of the best lunches of my life at La Gazzetta – and it cost under 30 euros. The vegetarian options, like everything else on the menu, are inspired. Since my last visit, head chef Petter Nilsson had left, but according to Le Fooding, this neo-bistro continues its streak of greatness.
Other places I’ve enjoyed: Eric Kayser boulangeries (I still remember an insanely good raisin tapenade and goat’s cheese baguette I had); Candelaria for ace tacos and its cool speak-easy bar; Le Mary Celeste is run by the same people, and definitely has more sitting room than the ultra-cosy Candelaria (it also serves a knockout cauliflower dish); Pierre Sang for its surprises (and a kim-chi egg dish that I still linger over); Verjus for an inventive vego-friendly menu and its charming, half-hidden location; Frenchie To Go ‘cos we didn’t have time for the proper “grown-up” Frenchie, but its fast-food American-style spin-off is a lot of fun … And so very much more.
As for non-foodie things to do … I love all the galleries, big and small (eg the European Photography museum, Fondation Cartier, Fondation Henri-Cartier Bresson, finding unexpected shows while flicking through Pariscope and of course, walking through the pop-coloured tunnels of the Pompidou).
There’s Merci to help decorate your imaginary house (the only affordable kind in Sydney right now!) and Shakespeare And Company for wistful bookworm reasons (and to eavesdrop on English conversations).
My favourite landmarks are Sainte-Chapelle (the way the light breaks through the jewel-coloured glass is freeze-frame stunning), the Marc Chagall ceiling at the Opera Garnier, the Promenade Plantée, the very awesome Arab Institute building by Jean Nouvel, pretty much every Paris park you can walk through and I love how the architecture museum is like an all-in-one tour of the buildings of France.
If you’re going to do the Eiffel Tower, I think the best thing is to go in mid-late afternoon, so it’s still daylight when you’re going up and by the time you make it down, it’s all dark outside and Paris starts to light up, so you score a 2-in-1 experience. You can prebook your tickets and it will save you a lot of grief when you get there, but it is a major attraction, so you still have to queue in between the levels anyway (and then queue again to head all the way down), so leave a lot of time (and bring along many podcasts and a phone with ample battery power left), if you’re going to go.
Which brings me to one downside of Paris – there are often massive lines for many of the big attractions and museums, so if you can pre-order any tickets or buy special fares that prevent queuing or give you priority access, it can be worth it. Or go at non-peak times if possible (like heading to the Pompidou in the evening). Exhibitions that are about to close often have the craziest lines, ‘cos everyone in Paris decides that they need to see it right then! Bring a good book or some interesting apps on your phone, ‘cos you are likely to have to wait for something …
And lastly – if you’ve made it this far! – here are some references that you might find handy: Paris By Mouth, Time Out Paris, Le Fooding, David Lebovitz’s Paris, Chocolate & Zucchini’s Paris Resources, The Paris Kitchen, Thrillist: Paris. The app and book, Where Chefs Eat, is an excellent culinary compass that extends beyond the French capital, too.
Happy trails – and a massive merci beaucoup to Hanz, Peter, Mike and Lauren for so very kindly sharing their Paris highlights here.