This week we met up with the gentle Elodie Laleous, creator of Lab. Previously the Artistic Director for APC, Elodie decided to drop...
Audacious and passionate, Nadège and Laura revisit a classic with Confiture Parisienne: the jam. Designed like a haute couture line, the small pots enamelled in white hold a refined treasure for food lovers. And since some traditions don’t die, their fruits are in season, carefully selected, used in small quantities and always handmade. Then, imagination overrides: mix of tomato and thyme, of apricot and anise, a touch of vanilla, and some tonka beans. The recipes made by Confiture Parisienne surprise and give the finest palates a great pleasure. It is a success for these two fans of beautiful things, coming respectively from advertising and restaurant industry. Nadège has even given up her room, redesigned into a charming improvised local shop, while Laura has made her father, a retired confectioner, join the adventure. It is a real family and friends business for which each of them joins in, with panache and obstinacy.
To taste the jam so good you could eat it with a teaspoon, just go to Confiture Parisienne.
Nadège, Laura, how did you come to make jam?
It was around this table! It is the story of two moms who met on the way to school, already four years ago. We spent after-school snacks together, tried a lot of things, and the wish for a jam that would be a little different and surprising came up fast.
Actually the idea came from Nadège. She wanted to do something around jam. I have a restaurant in Berlin, and I was also touched by this idea!
How did it go at the beginning?
We have started a year ago. We went on a training course for jam makers, because making a few pots of jam home is simple, but as soon as the quantities rise, it gets complicated. The training enabled us to make it ourselves when we started. We did a lot by ourselves. For the design of the pots, we also drew everything. From the beginning, we wanted a white pot. Apart from the appearance, it does not let light go into the pot, which is better for the preservation. Generally speaking, it all went very fast.
This is when my father appeared: he is a retired confectioner. With all the work, we fast realised we could not handle everything just by ourselves. He agreed to help us. So we settled our workshop in his garden, next to where he makes his honey, since he is also a beekeeper.
What is the specificity of Confiture Parisienne?
Actually we had the idea of a premium product concept, which gives the image we have of jam a new lease of life. We wanted to treat ourselves, without any concession. We wanted a product both beautiful on the outside and so good in the inside. We make unusual jam. I come from the advertising world, and I worked a lot for food companies, such as Naturalia. It is very important to work with quality products.
Obviously, we use seasonal fruits. There are two reasons for this. First, the fruits are way better when they are in season, and then because it is more ecological! Likewise, we do our best to use French produces (kumquat from Corsica, strawberry from Brittany), except when we can’t because this food is not cultivated on our territory, such as vanilla. Recently, we also got gardens on the roofs of the Galeries Lafayettes, where there are 1.200 m² of available space to grow things. So now we produce ourselves our produces!
We are so happy because thanks to these gardens, we were able to make a “growing plan” for the year to come. We can produce and use 100% of our production. So for the months to come, we will work with our soil and small producers. We already have a very interesting address book!
Do you also work with chefs?
Yes, we have recipes that are more “gastronomic”, some of which were made with chefs. Sometimes, we have a very precise idea, so we give a precise and quite restrictive brief. Some other times, we give them carte blanche and we just give them the green light.
We really wanted to do our best in terms of quality, hence the chefs recipes. We use greats fruits and non-refined cane sugar, in order to obtain an exceptional product. Our making techniques prove it as well. We produce small quantities, cook in a copper cooking pot in which we cannot cook more than 12 kilograms at once, which is very very little. Currently, it is the end of strawberry, so the jam-maker continually works so we could have a reserve all year long. Summer and autumn are really intense for us, since it is the moment when we have the more fruits. It is the very principle of jam: being able to preserve the fruits all year long.
Have you established your offices here?
Yes, for some time, but then it started being manageable.
It’s true that it was a real mess! You have to imagine that before, my bedroom was a real supermarket, with entire shelves full of jam pots stored here. My place is kind of a bric-à-brac. I don’t like the rigid places, there is no coherence in them.
Is there a place you would recommend in Paris?
If I had to recommend a restaurant, it would be Les Déserteurs, Daniel Baratier’s restaurant. He is powerful. It is a simple atmosphere but what happens in the plate is incredible.
Do you have other projects for the future?
We sell in quite a few places, and recently we made a special collection for the Galeries Lafayette. We will open a jam shop in a month and a half, around the end of November, rue Saint-André des Arts. Then, I think we will start doing a lot of other things, such as syrups and vinegars. We have so many fruits and herbs.
Credits : Eve Campestrini @thesocialitefamily