The love affair with France begins!

The love affair with France begins!

L-R: Lou, Meike & Christina

Loulabelle's FrancoFiles episode 1 - click here to listen

Guest: Christina Jenkins

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Bienvenue à Loulabelle‘s FrancoFiles!

A Perfect Paris Day avec 2 Strangers

Lou chats to her friend Christina about her first trip to Paris where her love affair with France began! Christina gives tips for finding places to exercise and run in Paris and Lou describes a perfect day where 2 strangers left a life long impression. Listen to new French music, J’attends by Ben Mazué and learn the secret to a brilliant bouillabaisse! 


1. Running on the Viaduct des Arts 

2. Paris Catacombs 

3. Paris meridian walk 

4. Shakespeare & Co bookstore in the Latin Quarter 

5. Café St Regis (behind Notre Dame) 

6. Pere Lachaise cemetery 

7. Ben Mazue – J’attends 

Paul’s recipe de Bouillabaise

  • 0:40 Prep
  • 0:50 Cook
  • 6 Servings


  • 2 baby fennel
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped 
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 leeks, white part only, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon firmly packed saffron threads
  • 1.75L (7 cups) fish stock
  • 1kg ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1/2 orange, peeled into strips
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) Pernod
  • 800g whole snapper fillets, cut into 6cm pieces
  • 800g flathead tail fillets
  • 16 large green king prawns, peeled & cleaned
  • 1 small lobster tail, cut into 2cm rounds
  • 12 scallops
  • 400g black mussels, scrubbed, bearded
  • 400g clams soaked in cold water for 15 minutes
  • Thinly sliced toasted baguette to serve


  • Fresh is best, always. However some shortcuts won’t change the overall result of this classic dish such as using tinned tomatoes instead of fresh, ripe tomatoes.
  • Pernod is a delicious French aperitif with an anise flavour, great over ice.  Beware of its seductive allure while cooking!
  • Seafood is the absolute hero of this meal. The ingredients are suggestions only – use whatever is local and fresh.


Step 1 Trim fennel tops, reserving trimmings for stock and fronds for serving, and chop fennel finely. Heat oil in a large saucepan or casserole over medium heat. Add fennel, onion, celery, garlic, leeks and fennel seeds, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until vegetables soften.

Step 2 Meanwhile, combine saffron and 125ml (1/2 cup) fish stock in a small bowl and set aside for 10 minutes to steep.

Step 3 Add tomato paste to vegetables in pan and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the saffron mixture, tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, orange peel and the remaining stock to the pan and simmer for 30 minutes. Season generously with salt. Stir in cayenne and Pernod. 

Step 4 Add the fish to the pan, making sure the seafood is submerged in the liquid. Cook for 5 minutes or until seafood is just cooked. With three minutes remaining, add the mussels and clams. Cover with a lid to cook until the shells open.

Step 5 Divide bouillabaisse among bowls. Top with clams and mussels and scatter with reserved fennel fronds. Serve with toasts.

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