I started my blog in 2009, when I was just discovering the town. I was looking at the restaurants which opened, made lots of little discoveries… I started to work as a social media manager at BBDO, which turned into working 4 out of 5 days so I took the opportunity to work on my blog more.
Before the book came into view, I started to write for T-Magazine in the States, and wanted to have content on my site but to push it a little further. One day, my friend and mentor suggested I write a book about these changes I was seeing. “You know the new Paris, what you’re talking about in the press is modern Paris, all these changes in the city…” The idea had already been forming!
And that was how The New Paris was born?
Yes but there was a bit of a delay when I realised that it wasn’t just in food that things had changed. I saw more and more people that were adapting, following their passion, and reviving old savoir faire. That was the subject! I took my time to define the angle and to benchmark what was already on the market.
The timing was great. I contacted a friend in America, who adored the idea, her agent too, and we began to shape it to approach publishing houses. I handed in my notice on January 5, 2015, left on April 2 and two weeks later I had an offer from Abrams publishing house, which is a brand of the La Martinière Group.
So you had the angle for the book - how did you begin to write it?
The research took a lot of time, meeting people, imagining chapters and shape of it. I spoke to around 60 people at different times and across different themes, not only food but fashion, shopping, and city life in Paris. It took a lot of time to find the thread that held it all together.
There are so many openings and closures of bars, cafés and shops across Paris - how did you narrow it down?
My editor wanted to make sure that we didn’t include anything that would be rapidly obsolete. When I started, the idea wasn’t to concentrate on passing trends but to document a movement, which is in many ways, is at its beginning. The changes that I show in the book were already in happening while I was documenting them. Paris continues to evolve.
And luckily, Paris things don’t go as quickly as in New York, for example, where the scene can change dramatically in as little as 6 months. Change is picking up speed in Paris (especially in the restaurant business) but we’re far from the pace of New York!