Sexy Glace Glazed ice cream at David Lebovitz signing

When David Lebovitz has a book signing, I’m lucky enough to be able to hop on a metro or Velib’ and go along and say hi. But I’ve now got all his books. And he’s signed them all. So should I really bother him this time? My heart flutters too much and I turn into an idiot in his presence however hard I try not to. He’s only (an inspirational) human.

This time he gave me a good enough reason though.

Ice cream. Or rather the Haute Couture of Paris ice cream he’d invited along.

Food trucks are still trending in Paris. And Henri Guittet at Glaces Glazed completely shakes up the idea of the classic British ice cream van.

But, there was no food truck in sight when I got to the venue. Henri had parked up on a table inside La Cuisine cooking school, which overlooks the Seine and is just behind Paris City Hall. Just as well as the temperature was half what it’d been the previous day and the sky had turned back to umbrella weather.

But that wasn’t going to stop me trying a little “Cococaine”, what Henri has called his coconut and Hyaganatsu sorbet. Hyaganatsu? Another Japanese citrus fruit somewhere in between a pomelo grapefruit and yuzu.
And a scoop of “Smoke on the Water”, really vanillery vanilla with hemp seed (a kind of nutty flavour that is now on the next bring back from England list).

And while delecting those I chatted with Henri (I did pop up to say hello to David and gibber a bit while he was packing up). I’d assumed that the name Glazed came from the French glacé which means iced but also glazed, or glace which if you speak a little French you might know is ice cream. But it turns out the play on words goes even further than that and back to fashion, as glacé is also the paper in glossy magazines.

And okay a scoop of “Pussy Griottes”, a cherry sorbet with blackcurrant pepper (no mistake), which is actually ground blackcurrant buds and has an almost umami taste, not at all sweet but not sour, nor tangy, the flavour of which has serious texture.

And stop. Although as someone always on the hunt for new and unusual flavours and combinations, I can see myself getting addicted. The ice cream or sorbet is not too sweet, but incredibly seductive. Henri speaks my language (and good English).

A little Black Sugar Sex Magic (dark chocolate sorbet with wasabi and ginger) was tempting but would have been taking things a little too far for me on a Sunday afternoon though.

If you like exclusive clubs you can sign up to be one of the privileged few to get one of the 250 keys released each quarter to have the right to 1/2 or a litre of ice cream/sorbet a month delivered to you and get to vote on new flavours amongst other privileges.

Glaces Glazed would not be out of place in a hot Paris jet set soirée “arrosée”, but rather than extinguish the heat, I reckon Henri’s ice creams would make it sizzle even more.

If you want to have it work its magic on you, you can find the Glaces Glazed truck behind the Publicis drugstore on the Champs Elysées this summer, or have a look at the website or Facebook page for outlets.

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Grease with no burgers at Cinema Paradiso

France has definitely been having a bit of a thing about all things sterotypically American recently. Unlike America with France (too many beasties in mimolette, seriously?). We’ve got cupcakes in Paris. We’ve got burgers in Paris. We’ve got food trucks in Paris. And now an American drive in movie theater in Paris. Or at least a pop up one. Pop ups are trending in Paris now.

As soon as I read about the Cinema Paradiso Drive in at the Grand Palais I wanted to go. Grease was showing! Grease is probably my all-time favorite, life-shaping movie.

But I forgot to be in the right place at the right time online and missed out on a ticket. So I settled for signing up in case any more were put on sale. And bingo about ten days later, although it was like looking for a golden ticket in a Willie Wonka chocolate wrapper as it took 35 minutes of refreshing the saturated website to manage to snatch just one ticket. For a second showing at 11.45 pm. On a Thursday (work) night.

The Grand Palais in Paris is not a large palace in Paris. It’s rather a huge, beautiful greenhouse, being topped with with a big verriére, or glass roof, with art deco ironwork inside. It’s used for various temporary exhibitons or events, like art shows or catwalks.

But this time they put a diner in it. And not only a diner, a roller rink, a host of old and newer computer games, a nightclub and a drive in.

I’d been hoping to continue my non-meat burger testing at the Nouveau Palais diner but they didn’t have anything I could eat apart from a petit mac’n’cheese. They didn’t even have any fries, only chips and I don’t mean English chips, but American (which is also the French, which they pronounce “sheeps”, with the “s” for once).

I had better luck after queuing at the Omnivore stand for a salmon wrap.

And for dessert I queued for a frozen yogurt with toppings. Fruit, but Asian exotic fruits.

Queuing was the main activity apart from the video games through the decades or roller rink or visiting the display of junk food, all imported exclusive American products. It was rather like visiting a museum even though you could buy everything, but at 10 euros a box of cereal the displays were staying pretty intact.

But hey, I needed something to occupy me, I got there at 8 and the film was due to start not for a few hours.

I’d hopped up some steps to get this photo of the first showing of the film:

And when I turned round everyone who’d been sat on those steps had got up to start queuing for the film. So my plans to sit on the steps with them turned into stand… in the queue with them. At 10.15 pm.

So we queued, and continued queueing. Then ooh, shuffling. To a holding area where we could see the end of the 1st showing, and then more stationary queuing.

And finally I could sit down.
The drive in was if you were lucky enough to nab a 80-euro pair of tickets to actually sit in a car.

Otherwise you got the chance to sit on one of the deckchairs or mattresses on the advertised “hill” aka the flat concrete floor in front of the screen.
Or as I chose, the front row of the sets of classic seats.

Grease is the film I must have seen a thousand times. It’s also had a certain influence on me. The clothes, like pencil or full skirts (minus poodles), the 50s style, cars, the boys… And yet I was really young when it came out. But I can sing along to the songs. I can recite a good part of the dialogue. I have spotted mistakes in the film (have you noticed in the diner when the waitress switches off the light? Her elbow hits the wall!) and that’s of sorts what I do for a living now (not in film). And I’ve spent most of my life flitting between being a good girl and wanting to be a bad girl and sometimes succeeding. And I had a pair of those skintight black satin jeans she wears at the end. At age 9. They had blue piping down the sides.

It was fun to see some people had come dressed for the occasion, and I was surprised by the age of everyone, a long way from being born when the film came out.

The film finally started at midnight. The scenes rolled quickly, and I had to fight not to sing out loud (because that would have ruined it for everybody). I’d also wondered if there might be a kind of Mamma Mia atmosphere. Just a little, with some doing the arm choreography in Greased Lightening (Super Eclair in French, as suprisingly éclair also in lightening in French).

Occasionally the Superclub made its presence felt (it had superceded the roller rink and was nothing to do with a supperclub as you might read as I did for a split second if you’re among the food obsessed, despite putting on Club sandwich with Miss Kitten (presumably the DJ) on June 20). You can imagine the acoustics and sound, and even though we watched the film with headphones, it came pumping through.

And then the final scene. Sandy gets her makeover to get her guy, although these days that would be frowned upon, even though Danny did try to change. And they fly off into the sunset.

Was it worth it, all the queuing to watch a film I’d seen a hundred times, at midnight in a greenhouse?
What a question.

Cinema Paradiso was on in Paris at the Grand Palais from June 10 to 21.

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