From Too Many Chefs -

February 22, 2005
2005 Independent Food Festival and Awards

indies.jpgA few months ago, I was honored to be approached by the folks at TasteEverything to ask if I would be willing to participate in a new kind of food award. Their idea for the 2005 Independent Food Festival and Awards was that the jury (comprised of a selection of individuals like yours truly) would select a quirky original category and nominate a winner in that category. Instead of the usual "Best cheese producer in Britain" or "Best Fish Restaurant in Paris", they wanted us to seek out small categories, the kind of producers who don't usually get an award.

For more information on the event, you can read their much more eloquent press release here.

And so I spent a long time trying to come up with a fitting award. It was difficult as there are so very many good food producers in Paris. Having lived in Paris for over ten years and being very opinionated to boot, I of course know the "best" for everything - source for American foods, for English tea, for freshly shucked oysters, where the staff is most annoying and how to get into the Louvre without queuing up. (Okay, those last two aren't food related, but they are very useful!)

I'm drawing out the suspense here. To find out who finally won and why, read on!

sunflower honey.jpgIn the end, I decided I could do no better than to honor the fine producer of my favorite honey in all of Paris, France and the world. So the award for Best Sunflower Honey in Paris (and believe me, I've tried them all!) goes to M. Guy Allart of the Ruchers du Bel Air in St. Maur des Fossées. The honey is creamy and nutty and very thick. Its wonderful flavor comest through best on a simple piece of buttered toast, but it also stands up well to a herb vinaigrette or a gravy for duck. It's the only honey I'll use when making corn bread. I've offered jars of his honey to friends and family for years and they in turn have asked for more jars to give to their friends. Congratulations, M. Allart: you are conquering the world one jar at a time with your wonderful honey!

If you are interested in sampling M. Allart's sunflower honey, you can find him every other weekend at the outdoor market in front of the Michel-Ange Auteuil metro in Paris. For more information on the stand and the other fine products he sells, you can consult my earlier post about him.

And now that you know who I've nominated, check out the rest of the winners at TasteEverything!

Posted by Meg in Sussex at February 22, 2005 4:00 PM | TrackBack

Great choice. I've been enjoying the honey you sent us for Xmas. It's marvelous.

Posted by barrett on February 22, 2005 at 9:49 AM

Hey there Meg!

Will M. Allart be at his stand two weekends from now? I think I need a jar of that honey. :-)

Posted by Viv on February 22, 2005 at 10:04 PM

Viv - you have motivated me to do what I should have done before writing yesterday's post, to wit: call M. Allart and find out where else he can be found. I called him this morning and he told me that he'll be at the Auteuil market this coming Saturday (Feb. 26, 2005) and at the one in the Paris suburb of Joinville le Pont the week following. You can get to Joinville by RER.

However the most convenient place to find him is at the Saint Mandé market every Sunday. Saint Mandé is a charming suburb of Paris tucked between the city limits and the Bois de Vincennes. It's on the number one metro line; just get off at the stop Saint Mandé Tourelles.

Happy honey hunting!

Posted by Meg in Paris on February 23, 2005 at 4:42 AM

Wow - this honey sounds fabulous...I actually got up, mid-post and made myself a piece of toast (the bread that reading Viv's post forced me to go out and purchase earlier this morning). On this I spread the very last dregs of a jar of creamed honey that I had been given by a friend who visited a small farm in northern Ontario over the summer.

But THIS sounds devine. Oh, how I long to go to Paris.

Posted by Jennifer on February 23, 2005 at 9:05 AM

Thank you VERY much Meg!!! I am printing out your update and look forward to paying M. Allart a visit on Sunday, March 6th. ;-)

Posted by Viv on February 24, 2005 at 11:08 AM

My pleasure! Enjoy your trip to Paris!

Posted by Meg in Paris on February 24, 2005 at 11:19 AM


Soon after I move, I will be starting up mead brewing in earnest. I did one batch of it in April of last year that has turned out beautifully-bubbly and light with a hint of blackberry flavor and a whisper of rose, with the full flavor of the honey without cloying sweetness.

Posted by Barbara on February 25, 2005 at 1:01 PM

hello Meg,
I live in Calif. but want to try this great honey you like. Any way you can ship it to me and I'll pay u back? Does he ship to the US?

Posted by Arlene on February 25, 2005 at 10:22 PM

The best day.

Posted by wak on July 26, 2006 at 3:09 PM

your site very well!

Posted by oome on July 31, 2006 at 3:29 PM