Inside Alice Quillet & Anselme Blayney’s Kitchen

20th March 2015

Interview: Killian Fox
Photographs: Yousef Eldin

The owners of Le Bal Cafe on bread-making essentials (including three key bread books) and great coffee and beer from the Paris area


Mandoline »
Razor »
“I love my mandoline – it’s my favourite thing in the kitchen. But I didn’t have a razor for making bread so I took the blade from my mandoline and now I can’t get it back in. In the end I bought a proper razor: you cut the dough to let the steam out – otherwise it would explode.” – Alice

Proving baskets »
“I used to prove my bread in colanders with a tea towel, which you can do. But it’s better to have proper proving baskets.” – Alice

Dough bucket »
Thermometer »
“These are some other things that are useful if you’re serious about making bread.” – Alice

Chemex coffeemaker »
A glass pour-over coffeemaker manufactured in Massachusetts, favoured by many new-wave baristas and coffee enthusiasts. “Anselme travels with his chemex,” says Alice. “He’s actually taken it around to Sunday lunch at his parents’, to ensure the coffee is good.” Do they get offended? “No, they’re generally intrigued,” says Anselme, “or they play along to humour me.”

Hario scales »
Super-precise coffee scales with a timer built in.


Belleville coffee »
Great Paris coffee roaster which Anselme helped set up. He has two bags of Kochere in the kitchen when we visit and brews some up for us in a Chemex: it’s incredibly good. You can buy it from the website. If you’re in London, you can usually find bags at Lyle’s in Shoreditch.

Deck & Donoghue beer »
Really good beer brewed in the suburbs of Paris by friends of Alice and Anselme. We tried the excellent Mission pale ale.

Za’atar »
“Anselme loves za’atar. That’s why the floor is stained, because he walks around eating it.” – Alice

Urfa biber »
“My barista brought this back from Turkey. It’s a pepper but tastes a bit like raisins.” – Alice

Shichimi togarashi »
“I love this Japanese spice mix. The one I have is chilli, sesame, dried yuzu and seaweed.” – Alice



Tartine Bread, Chad Robertson and Elizabeth Prueitt »
“I’ve had a look at quite a few books about bread-making but Chad Robertson is definitely the god. I have all three of his Tartine books.” – Alice

Breads from the La Brea Bakery, Nancy Silverton »
“Nancy Silverton founded the La Brea bakery in LA and her writing about bread is really interesting – she says that if you want to do it you have to devote a lot of your time to it.” – Alice

Paul Hollywood’s Bread, Paul Hollywood »
“I love Paul Hollywood. His books are really good and he’s great at explaining things. We used to make his soda bread with stout at the restaurant – it only takes 20 minutes.” – Alice

Plenty More, Ottolenghi »
“We’ve been eating a lot of Middle Eastern food at home recently and I bought some of the Ottolenghi books I didn’t already have for inspiration.” – Alice

A Work in Progress, Rene Redzepi »
“I just got the Noma three-books-in-one. There’s very little I can do in there because I don’t have a vacuum-packing machine, but I’ve made a couple of oils with my Thermomix.” – Alice


Posted 20th March 2015

In Things


Interview: Killian Fox
Photographs: Yousef Eldin

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