By Brian Benefield
This is the latest column in the Second Helpings series by Brian Benefield about the food Cobb County has to offer
Paris is a magical city teeming with culinary traditions that date back for centuries, and you have the opportunity to taste some bona fide French cuisine in your backyard. Douceur De France is a stone’s throw from Marietta Square and has authentic pastries and breakfast and lunch dishes being made from scratch with the utmost care. Chef Luc Beaudet knew at eleven years old while working in the kitchen with his mom that he wanted to become a pastry chef. Luc grew up in the Poitou region of France, and after completing a lengthy apprenticeship, he trained in Japan for several years. The chef then moved to the US and worked at La Madeleine; when they opened its Atlanta Market, Luc got promoted to Regional Corporate chef. His dream of owning his own pastry shop became a reality in 2000 when they opened in Marietta and have been busy ever since.
My wife and I just returned from Paris, and the food they serve at Douceur De France is precisely some of the same dishes you will find overseas. Food in Paris isn’t just a way to nourish your body. Instead, it’s a way of life, an art form, and a time to slow down and enjoy a two-hour lunch or a three-hour dinner. We usually devour lunch quickly at our desks or head to the drive-through for mediocre fast food in America. In contrast, Parisians embrace sitting down, relaxing, and welcoming the entire experience at a sidewalk cafe or boulangerie.
Order the Le Croque Monsieur, sit inside the quaint cafe, and savor the cheesy goodness of fresh Pullman bread with ham and bechamel sauce. If it’s a sunny, warm day, act like a real Parisian and grab the Jambon Beurre Fromage, a delectable sandwich with ham, swiss cheese, and butter, served on a crusty baguette. Yes, French butter on a sandwich is heavenly. Take a short walk to Marietta Square and sit by the fountain to savor this delicious yet straightforward staple of French street food. Unlike in the states, quiche is mainly served for lunch in France, and we sampled one on a food tour that had zucchini and goat cheese, served with a small side salad that was divine. You can try their version with spinach or try the quiche de jour and take a seat outside to gaze at the massive, colorful mural of Paris street life, complete with the Eiffel Tower and locals playing Petanque painted vividly on their building. Get a delicately sweet Macaron or another picture-worthy dessert to complete your meal, and don’t forget to say Au Revoir as you depart.
I think servers and bartenders in Paris are somewhat misunderstood and thought of as rude or brash to their guests. We found it to be the complete opposite of that stereotype, and if you make an effort to speak the language a bit to order a drink or a meal, you will be pleasantly surprised. Servers make a living wage in Paris and do not depend on tips for their income, so while it may seem they aren’t paying too much attention to you, it’s just a slower pace of service than we are accustomed to in the US. We learned to cling to this unhurried style at cafes and bistros and found it to be a nice change of pace from the hustle and bustle we’re familiar with at home.
We are fortunate to be able to experience authentic French cuisine in Cobb county, so stop by Douceur De France and become absorbed in the rich gastronomic traditions prepared fresh daily by chef Luc and his talented team. Bon Appetit!