Citizens of Humanity, Hélène Darroze, and the Paris Oven Mitt

This is a match made in fashion and gastronomy heaven!

One of my favorite brands, Citizens of Humanity, has created a monthly video series called “Just Like You.”  Each video features a different, international personality discussing their respective passions, professions, personal stories, and thoughts on life.  One of my favorite videos in the series spotlights French chef Hélène Darroze.

chef Hélène Darroze michelin restaurant paris the connaught london ruff house moscow moscou

Though she is now the fourth generation of a family of chefs, Hélène Darroze first earned a business degree and joined Alain Ducasse’s team at the prestigious Louis XV restaurant in Monaco – but in the office.  Ducasse finally persuade her to return to the kitchen, and the rest is history. She returned to her family’s Michelin-starred restaurant, and then went on to open her own restaurant in Paris, where she won her first Michelin star in 2001, and then a second star in 2003. In 2008, she was named the new chef of The Connaught hotel in London after its nine month £70 million restoration and renovation program, where she earned them another two stars. On top of this all, other accolades include becoming a chevalier (knight) in the French Legion of Honor in 2012 and being the inspiration for the character Colette in Pixar’s 2007 film Ratatouille. Two cities, two restaurants, two children: she can do it all!

chef Hélène Darroze the connaught london mayfair chef Hélène Darroze paris 75006 michelin

chef Hélène Darroze paris 75006 chef Hélène Darroze at the connaught mayfair london michelin

Hélène Darroze dish

What is exceptional about Hélène Darroze’s cooking is her loyalty to her roots and the flavors of southwestern France, particularly from the Landes region where she was raised.  Her culinary style has been dubbed  “haute rustique,” as it combines the sophistication of French cuisine with traditional cooking methods and hearty ingredients. Darroze says she is very influenced by her heritage, where art de vivre cuisine and food is so important. This unique emphasis has no doubt contributed to her international success.

Salle à manger at Hélène Darroze paris restaurant the connaught hotel mayfair london michelin

Salle à manger at the Hélène Darroze restaurant in Paris

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught mayfair london michelin

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught

It’s no wonder that Citizens of Humanity selected such a dynamic and passionate person for their series. I fell in love with this clever combination to showcase their partnership, a jean oven mitt! And x marks the spot, or the Hélène Darroze restaurant in Paris. You can purchase the mitt online here.

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All proceeds from the Hélène Darroze x Citizens of Humanity Oven Mitt will benefit Afghanistan Libre, an organization that provides assistance in constructing and running primary and secondary schools for girls.

Visit Hélène Darroze in Paris

4, rue d’Assas, 75006

 Hélène Darroze at The Connaught in London

The Connaught, Carlos Place, Mayfair, London, W1K 2AL

or at the Raff House in Moscow

Malaya Nikitskaya street, 25

Cupcake Camp Paris 2012 Charity Event: A Success!

For all cupcake lovers in France: there is a mecca of incredible cupcake bakers in Paris.

I found many of them at the Cupcake Camp Paris 2012 charity event and was lucky enough to try their baked goods! The event was a Halloween-themed fundraiser, where the best cupcake bakers in the city came together to make over 2000 cupcakes. Entry to the event was free, and all of the proceeds from the cupcake sales, raffle tickets, and other purchases went to Make-A-Wish France.

Cupcake Camp Charity Event Le Comptoir General 80, Quai de Jemmapes

Cupcake Camp Charity Event

I was astonished at the fact that this incredible space existed near the Canal Saint Martin, let alone that you could rent it out for an event like this.  The line to get in was massive; I counted about one hundred people down the block – and I arrived halfway through the two-hour event!  There were countless varieties, styles, and flavors of cupcakes that were displayed at Le Comptoir Général.

Cupcake Camp Charity Event 80, quai de Jemmapes 75010 Paris Make-a-wish France

Cupcakes!

Upon entering, I didn’t know where to begin; there was so much to see! We ended up going for a counter-clockwise approach to scope out our options, and then we went to find the witch that would sell us our tickets.  (She was actually dressed up in a very convincing witch costume.) “Il faut trouver la sorcière!” the vendors would tell us.

Cupcake Camp Charity Event 2012 80 Quai de Jemmapes 75010 Paris Le Comptoir General

Cupcake Camp Paris 2012

So many cupcakes!

Cupcake Camp Paris 2012

Scottish Cupcakes!

Cupcake Camp 2012 Paris Charity

Cupcake Camp Paris 2012 Quai de jemmapes Paris 75010

Halloween Pumpkin Cupcakes

After much thought and reflection, Kat decided on the speculoos cupcake, while I went with the spicy chocolate, Dia de los Muertos themed cupcake.  Both were amazing! At the end of the event, there were still a few cupcakes left, so we got the “Bartender’s Chocolate Delight,” which was quite tasty.

Cupcake Camp 2012 Paris Dia de los Muertos Cupcakes

Dia de los Muertos Cupcakes

Cupcake Camp 2012 Paris quai de jemmapes 75010

Our picks of the bunch 🙂

Cupcake Camp Charity Event 80, quai de Jemmapes 75010 Paris Make-a-wish France
Yummy!

Everyone left happy and full. A few lucky people went home with some of the amazing prizes and baskets that were raffled off, like an original Kasia Dietz bag. Click here for more pictures of Cupcake Camp Paris 2012. Can’t wait for next year’s event!

Cupcake Camp 2012 Paris PatriciaParisienne 80 quai de jemmapes 75010 le comptoir general

PatriciaParisienne and two copines

We were truly impressed with the number of cupcake companies here in Paris. Below are some of the sponsors and participants in this year’s Cupcake Camp.

Cupcake Camp 2012 Paris le comptoir general 80 quai de jemmapes 75010

Cupcake Camp Paris 2012

Bryan Pirolli – Lola’s Cookies – Paris Insights – Fairy Cooker – Faismoicroquer.com – Cake, Cook and Co. – LaVieMaraisienne – The Kale Project – NOGLU – Mimi’s Cupcakes – Sugar Daze – Ô Chateau – Beauty Cakes – CAKE & BAKE accessories – Once Upon a Cake – Paris Pastry App ~ David Lebovitz – COlunching – Sweetly Cakes – Bleekcup’s – Context Travel – La Cuisine Paris – Cupcake Lovers in Paris – Wrist Flick – Carolive’s Cupcakes – Excuse My French

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For those looking for a cool place to grab a drink with friends or for an amazing Sunday brunch in Paris, Le Comptoir General is the place to go.  The beers are cheap, the location is incredible, plus the glass roof makes you feel like you’re outside enjoying summer in a beer garden. Allez-y!

 Le Comptoir Général

80, quai de Jemmapes

75010