The Paris Neighborhood CookbookDanyel Couet’s Guide to the City’s Ethnic Cuisines

Lusciously photographed by David Loftus, The Paris Neighborhood Cookbook reveals the gastronomic secrets of the City of Light, a place where food and cultural diversity is at the center of Parisian life.

Chef Danyel Couet’s life-long love affair with simple French food began in his paternal grandmother’s Parisian kitchen. Here onions gave sweetness to the best of all onion soups, while lentils, asparagus and flavorful sausages were all treated equally lovingly. And the fries! There were no better fries than Grandma’s! But of course the gastro polis of Paris offers much more than just the dishes cooked in Grandma’s kitchen. After innumerable outings in Paris’s many ethnic quarters, he has developed a love for couscous, strudel, and Peking duck that is just as strong as that for boeuf bourguignon and mousse au chocolat. Through eight neighborhoods and just as many kitchens, via markets, shops and restaurants-and approximately 90 recipes-Couet takes you with him to his Paris.

Danyel Couet is currently head chef at Michelin-starred restaurant Fredsgatan 12 in Stockholm, Sweden. He is also one of the restaurateurs behind the restaurants Grill, Kungsholmen, Restaurangen and La Cave Rouge. He has worked in Paris and in several other cities in Europe and has also won numerous international prizes, as well as a silver medal in the “food Olympics,” the Bocuse d’Or.
David Loftus is one of the world’s most well regarded food and travel photographers. He regularly works with Jamie Oliver and has worked with Martha Stewart, Conde Nast Traveler, Food Illustrated, Australian Vogue and numerous others.

“Most of us will never have the opportunity to explore the City of Lights as widely or know it as intimately as does award-winning restaurateur Danyel Couet, but losing yourself in this enchanting book is the next best thing. Here, Couet reveals the gastronomic secrets of Paris’s ethnic neighborhoods through a tantalizing collection of recipes and photographs. The recipes are invitingly brief, and many of them—for example, the fragrant Punjabi Lentil Curry and the paprika and cumin-tinged Quick Couscous—are wonderfully simple. But the truth is, this is one of those books you needn’t even cook from to thoroughly enjoy.”
—Fine Cooking


“Veteran restaurateur Couet and food photographer David Loftus team for a tour-in-recipes of the City of Light, its neighborhoods, and all the culinary nooks and crannies they hide. Couet acknowledges the quaint bistros and brasseries indelibly linked to the city, providing classics like Pommes Frites, Quiche Lorraine and an easy but luscious appetizer of baked goat cheese and honey. Couet argues that genuine Paris comes through in the city’s many ethnic neighborhoods. The spicy lamb sausage called Merguez takes home cooks to the city’s Arab Quarter; a simple but exotic salad of pineapple, coconut and pomegranate spiked with lime juice and a habanero chile transports readers to Paris’ African neighborhood; and the Asian Quarter can be sampled in a crisp Green Tea and Cilantro Martini. Loftus expertly supplements Couet’s rustic dishes with color and black and white photos. For many, the culinary cornerstone of the book will be Couet’s take on Parisian markets and street food, in which he offers tips on creating a menu for an impromptu picnic: a trio of marinated olives, pickled sardines, wine-cooked artichokes and stuffed camembert among them. Readers who have never set foot in the French capitol will feel like they’ve just returned home after taking in this multifaceted cookbook.”
—Publishers Weekly 

“Paris, like all great metropolises, is a city of neighborhoods where newly arrived immigrants congregate together to preserve native traditions and establish systems of support with alien cultures. Within many of Paris’ fabled arrondissements, enclaves of distinctly non-French cooking hold sway. Couet has collected typical ethnic recipes from these local markets, cafés, and resaurants. From the Marais, centuries-old host to a sizable Jewish community, come carrot kugel and potato blini. The Fifth Arrondissement’s Greeks prepare fried squid. The Avenue d’Ivry is noted for its Vietnamese spring rolls. The Arab community near the Barbés Metro stop offers duck tagine. East Africans roast chicken rubbed with exotic spices, but the cooking methodology is still verifiably French. Couet also includes examples of provincial French cooking from some of the city’s bistros and brasseries. The book brims with photographs of food and of Paris’ streets and parks.
— Mark Knoblauch, Booklist

“Enjoy real-life Paris in your own kitchen… Award-winning European chef/restaurateur, Danyel Couet, has a love of those neighborhoods and the rich variety of foods found from one enclave to another.  In The Paris Neighborhood Cookbook, he opens our taste buds as he leads us to discover Paris.  In this rewarding book, Couet explores the markets and street food of Paris, and the classic bistros offering perfect but simple French cuisine.  Strolling through all the hidden byways of Paris, he takes us into the ethnic quarters – African, Arab, Jewish, Greek Indian, and Asian.  The result of his wanderings is a rich collection of more than ninety recipes that remind us that Paris is more than movie set, and always a city for the best food… Loving simplicity, Couet offers recipes that can be made at home with guaranteed success… Couet offers recipes that will please all tastes and open new vistas, each done with simplicity and ease.  With the clicking camera of David Loftus, shooting recipe dishes as well as street scenes, merchants and markets, the reader easily accompanies Couet around Paris.  He explores the Marais, today housing young and hip artists as well as the long-established Jewish community.  The recipes he offers from this source reflect the Jewish diaspora.  They carry the influences of both the Middle East and Middle Europe, such as a Grilled Vegetable Salad (Mechouia) from the Middle East or Potato Blinis from the European immigrants.  He explores the African markets in La Goutte d’Or and offers recipes such as Sea Bass with Spices from Cameroon, Roasted Chicken with Coconut, Cilantro, and Chili.  Venturing into the Greek Quarter in the area around Saint-Michel, he offers such recipes as Grilled Eggplant Dip, Calamari with Black Aioli, Lamb Meatballs with Feta Cheese, Sheep’s Yogurt with Black Olives. In the area of La Chapelle, he finds the influence of its Indian residents and offers recipes such as Grapefruit Chutney, Pickled Cauliflower New Delhi Style, Fast Chicken Curry, a Lassi of Coconut and Lime.   From the Asian Quarters of Le Treizième he offers recipes such as Vietnamese Spring Rolls, Soy Eggs Peking Style, Shrimp Dumplings with Chili and Cilantro, Coconut and Lime Parfait with Strawberries…Ah, but Paris is Paris is Paris, famed for its long-established trend of bistro eating, for its markets and for foods that can be eaten if a spontaneous thought of a picnic occurs… Couet loves the simplicity and ease of classic bistro and offers recipes for classic foods, made with his trademark simplicity, dishes such as Roast Lamb with Goat Cheese and Bean Salad from Provence, Coquille St-Jacques Gratinées, Onion Soup au Gratin with Thyme, an impeccable Tuna Salad à la Niçoise, a Chocolate Mousse, a Vanilla Flan, or dessert Crêpes with Lemon Syrup. To pack on a picnic, try the Parisian delights of Pickled Sardines, Wine-cooked Artichokes, a Filled Camembert, a Luxury baguette (Ficelle Gourmande).”

Pavé  de bœuf jollof

Roasted sirloin steak with tomato, cinnamon, and chili

Bricks à l’œuf et au thon, Sauce Harissa

Baked tuna with potatoes, eggs, and capers, Harissa dressing

Parfait au coco et au citron vert

Coconut and lime parfait with strawberries



Pavé  de bœuf jollof

Roasted sirloin steak with tomato, cinnamon, and chili

(African Quarter)

 1¾ lb sirloin steak, with the fat

2 tbsp palm oil

5 plum tomatoes, finely chopped

1 tbsp tomato purée

3 small onions, segmented

2 c chicken stock

2 tbsp dried shrimp, available in Asian stores

1¾ c African rice (or regular rice if African rice is not available)

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp dried thyme

1 cinnamon stick, crushed

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp turmeric

3½ oz butter

2 green chilies, seeded and finely chopped



1. Heat half of the palm oil in a pan and add the tomatoes, tomato purée, and onions. Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Add the chickens stock and simmer for 30–40 minutes. Add the shrimp and simmer for 5 more minutes.


2. Wash the rice well and place it in a pan with 1¼ c of the stock and 1½ c of water. Boil for 3 minutes, covered, over high heat. Turn off the heat and let the rice finish cooking in the pan.


3. Rub the sirloin with the garlic, thyme, cinnamon, chili powder, and turmeric. Warm the rest of the palm oil in a pan and brown the beef well.


4. Add a little more stock to the rice and blend in the butter and chopped chili shortly before serving. Add salt to taste, and, if desired, more stock so the consistency is light and creamy.


5. Slice the beef and serve with the rice.



Bricks à l’œuf et au thon, Sauce Harissa

Baked tuna with potatoes, eggs, and capers, Harissa dressing

(Jewish Quarter)



7 oz fresh tuna

4 eggs

2 sheets of brick dough (a type of filo dough)

2 onions, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

¼ c parsley

1 tbsp capers

3 potatoes, boiled and sliced

1¼ c olive oil, for frying

salt and black pepper



1. Cook the onion and garlic over low heat until soft with 1 tbsp olive oil and ½ cup water, until the water has boiled away. Cool.


2. Add the parsley and capers. Add salt and pepper to taste.


3. Separate the brick sheets into 4 half-moons. Distribute the onion mixture and the sliced potatoes among the half-moons.


4. Slice the tuna into 4 equally sized pieces and place on top of the onion mixture. Break an egg over each. Fold together the sides and roll the bricks together.


5. Warm a frying pan with the oil and fry the bricks until they are golden-brown all the way around. Drain on paper towels. Serve with tomato salad and harissa dressing (see below).



Sauce Harissa

Harissa dressing



1 tbsp harissa

1 tsp cumin

½ tsp caraway

½ tsp coriander

1 garlic clove, crushed

½ tsp salt

½ c lemon juice

2 tbsp olive oil


Whip together all the ingredients to make a smooth dressing.



Parfait au coco et au citron vert

Coconut and lime parfait with strawberries

(Asian Quarter)



⅔ c coconut liqueur

3 limes, juice and grated peel

7 oz sugar

8 egg yolks

3 c whipping cream

16 strawberries, sliced

confectioners’ sugar

Coconut Chips

1 coconut


1. Mix coconut liqueur, lime juice, and 5½ oz sugar in a stainless steel bowl. Add the egg yolks and whip to a stiff foam over a double boiler. Remove from heat and continue whipping until the mixture had cooled to room temperature.


2. Whip the cream lightly so that it flows thickly and add it to the egg mixture. Distribute the parfait among four 3½ inch ramekins. Freeze.


3. Crush the coconut and remove the flesh. Slice thinly and place it on a tray. Dry it in the oven at 325°F (160°C) for about 7 minutes until the chips are golden-brown.


4. Mix 1½ oz sugar and 2 tbsp grated lime peel. Roll the parfaits in the mixture before serving them. Powder the strawberries with the rest of the mixture and place them on the parfaits. Top with coconut chips and powder with confectioners’ sugar.


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