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From Los Angeles:
Normandie Bakery
P
âtés Galore

Normandie Catering Spread

Josette LeBlond doesn’t just talk about pâté. She makes and sells a ton a day and built her Normandie Bakery and Pâté empire on it. She now has plants and retail locations in Los Angeles and Las Vegas that also bake breads, croissants and pastries in the French tradition. She supplies hotels and restaurants in California and Las Vegas, as well as grocery chains including Gelson’s, Albertson’s and Whole Foods.

It’s not easy to stumble upon her Normandie Bakery and Bistro. Hidden around a corner on Jefferson Boulevard in a district of low-slung warehouses and auto repair shops, it could be anywhere in L.A. And it’s easy to get sidetracked by Normandie’s cases laden with neat rows of napoleons and fruit tarts and raspberry mousse pastries—just a few of the caloric jewels that really do taste as good as they look. But the Normandie Bakery and Bistro is the place where you can walk in and buy real French pâté—the kind that LeBlond thinks everyone should eat.

Sunset Location

What you will find in the display case are her three top-sellers: Normandie Pâté’s chunky pâté campagne with black pepper; a smoother pork and duck pâté with pistachio nuts and cognac; and a silky pork and chicken liver mousse pâté with truffles. What distinguish them are not only their textures and flavors, but also the proportions of liver and meat that are their foundations. Normandie’s pâté campagne is, hands-down, the most popular and contains a ratio of 15% liver to pork shoulder, while the other two contain more liver and less meat. Either way, they are the real thing, and not at all shy in richness and taste.

Normandie’s charcutiers make more than three dozen varieties of cocktail pâtés and terrines ranging from vegetarian (starting at $8.70 lb./1.5 lb. minimum) to oriental chicken and shitake pâté en croute ($12.50 for 26 oz.). Game lovers will find pheasant pâté en croute ($18.40 for 21-24 oz.) and venison terrine with juniper and whisky ($9.60 lb./1.5 lb. minimum).

Jefferson Location

And why don’t Americans eat more pâté? Why don’t we hear more about it? According to LeBlond, it has more to do with our eating habits than anything else. People love pâté when they eat it, but it’s just not something that’s top-of-mind when it comes to food. In France, however, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone that doesn’t have pâté in his or her refrigerator.

There’s a lot more to pâté, but LeBlond is quick to remind that it’s more important to just enjoy it. “Before the meal,” she insists. “That’s the only way to eat pâté. It’s best appreciated with a nice glass of Chablis or Beaujolais…or rosé or Champagne. “Nobody will say it’s not good.” She’ll also make sure you know that she’s an American now—but that will never change her completely French appreciation for food.

Normandie’s French-style pâtés, breads and pastries can be purchased at their two Los Angeles retail locations that also serve hearty sandwiches, salads, and hot breakfast dishes.

Normandie Bakery, 5277 Jefferson Blvd. (Entrance on Cochran), Los Angeles, CA 90016 (323-939-5528); 9201 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90069 (310-273-2142); Mon.-Fri. 7am-6pm, Sat. 7am-3pm. Telephone orders can be made by calling 323-939-5528. www.normandieusa.com

New York Cheese

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