This week, we feature a food blogging couple, Alix and Hugo. Alix, an American expat and Hugo from Picardy, France have been living in Paris for fifteen years. Together, they run a fantastic food blog that goes by the name ‘A Hedgehog in the Kitchen’. Read on to find out more about this lovely couple, their food blog and some of their favourite things in Paris.
Urban Mishmash: Where are you from originally? How long have you been in Paris and what brought you here? What do you do?
Alix & Hugo: I am originally from NYC. My husband, Hugo, is French, from Picardy. I have been here for 15 years. Hugo is an IT project manager. I am an autism specialist and owner of Le Chemin ABA, a behavioural centre for children with autism in the 9th arrondissement of Paris. Together we run A Hedgehog in the Kitchen, our cooking blog that helps people become better cooks while having a huge amount of fun!
Urban Mishmash: Tell us a little about your food blog ‘A Hedgehog in the Kitchen’. What prompted you to start blogging about food? What makes your blog worth a visit?
Alix & Hugo: Hugo is an incredible cook and makes wonderful food for both of us at each meal. He has taught me a lot about cooking at home and cooking together is one of our favourite activities. We thought it would be great fun to have a special spot online to keep a record of all our recipes in one place, share them with family and friends and, one day, pass them on to our future child.
On our blog, we have original, creative and delicious recipes for every meal, every day of the week! We also share bits of ‘our Paris’ – our favourite restaurants, patisseries, speciality stores, bakeries and places to buy food products. We love to travel too and often create trips around wonderful food experiences in France and abroad.
Our blog is perfect for you if you love food, want to learn how to become a better cook and love experiencing places through local food experiences. We have shared our experiences in places such as Picardy, Reims, Brittany and Myanmar to name just a few and have many more places coming to you soon!
Urban Mishmash: Why is your food blog called ‘A Hedgehog in the Kitchen’?
Alix & Hugo: We celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas as a couple. Each morning we give each other a small present – often centred around food or other small items we find that catch our attention.
Last Christmas, I was out shopping and found the sweetest little white ceramic hedgehog. I gave it to Hugo for one of the 12 Days of Christmas. We put it in our kitchen. A month later, we decided to start our food blog and began brainstorming about blog names. I suggested ‘A Hedgehog in the Kitchen’ kind of jokingly, and the name stuck! We said “Yes, that’s it! That’s our blog name!”
Urban Mishmash: What has been your quirkiest food experiment? Show us a picture.
Alix & Hugo: Our Jack Be Little Pumpkins and Raclette Cheese recipe!
This fall, we discovered Jack Be Little mini pumpkins and we absolutely LOVE them! They are green and white in colour and somewhat unusual looking. We started reading about them and experimenting with recipes, and also discovered you can eat the skin. We decided to stuff them with Raclette cheese and pumpkin seeds and bake them in the oven. Turns out they are incredibly good! This recipe was one of our absolute fall favourites this year.
Urban Mishmash: Which part of Paris do you live in? What’s the best part about living in your arrondissement?
Alix & Hugo: We live in the 9th arrondissement next to the rue des Martyrs. We love the food culture in the 9th – there are so many speciality food stores such as Popelini for choux and Henri Leroux for flavoured caramel.
Walking down the rue des Martyrs is a feast for the eyes and we love shopping in all of the small stores. We also love Panifica bakery. We love seeing the Sacré Cœur every morning. This neighbourhood almost feels like a “village” in Paris and we love that feeling. Also, the 9th is a wonderful starting point for the long walks we love to take in Paris. We are close to the 18th, the 2nd and the rue Saint Anne, even the Marais. We often walk to the Marais on the weekends.
Urban Mishmash: If I am visiting Paris for one night and looking to get away from the tourist trail, where would you recommend I go for dinner and a drink?
Alix & Hugo: Christian Constant’s Les Cocottes in the 7th is one of our favourite spots for an authentic, South Western French meal. Le Petit Canard in the 9th is a sweet spot for duck lovers.
For a drink, we recommend Lulu White for a classic French, art nouveau experience or La Fourmi for a large, classic Parisian bar full of bustling ambience (both also in the 9th)!
Urban Mishmash: What is your favourite Paris discovery? What’s special about it?
Alix & Hugo: There are so many, it’s hard to choose just one! We absolutely love the rue Saint Anne in the 2nd arrondissement. We were thrilled to discover an entire street bustling with Japanese culture, including authentic, traditional and revisited, Japanese food. We are huge fans of all of the Japanese grocery stores in the neighbourhood, especially Kioko.
Urban Mishmash: What’s your ideal way to spend a free Saturday / Sunday in Paris?
Alix & Hugo: We love to wake up and have coffee in bed. Then we make brunch which is usually two “œufs à la coque” (soft-boiled eggs) with whole grain baguette “soldiers” for dipping, a mini yoghurt and granola parfait, fresh-squeezed orange juice and green tea. Then we get our Yorkies, Violette and ChouChou ready (jackets and all!) to go out for a walk.
We walk across Paris to the Marais stopping along the way for various food treats – coffee, pastries, falafel or a turkey on pretzel sandwich on the rue des Rosiers. We love walking along the Seine. We take photos all day long. After a long walk, we love to come home, have an apéro (red wine, baguette and cheese, cashews and spicy olives) and watch a romantic movie.
Urban Mishmash: Is there anywhere you’d like to visit or explore in Paris that you haven’t yet?
Alix & Hugo: We want to keep discovering each and every spot in Paris over and over again! There is always something new to experience and discover in each of our favourite neighbourhoods and although we have lived here for a long time already, we continue to experience Paris with the wonder and delight of those who have just arrived!
Thanks, Alix and Hugo!