Finding an old diary from a trip to Paris in 1983 is quite strange. Funnily though, a restaurant that I must have gone to quite frequently is still there although under a new name. On the corner of Rue Jaques Callot and Rue Mazarine on the Left Bank, it is now called Le Bistro Mazarine where before it was called Restaurant Mazarine. It seems to have mixed reviews now but in 1983 it was a great local restaurant when there were far less critical tourists around and before internet reviews came into being.
I was in Paris doing a six-week cooking course at La Varenne which was started in 1975 by British-American, Anne Willan, and was then in the Rue Dominique. It continued on in Paris until 1990 when it closed although courses continued at Château du Feÿ, Burgundy until 2007. The books though are great and there’s a biography of Willan coming out later this year. Here are some of my notes from the demonstrations led by French chefs and which are still great references.