Diane Mironesco, the talented co-founder of CityChef, the premium food delivery platform, talks to us about travelling and tells us what inspired her to make CityChef happen.
What tips would you give to travellers visiting Paris for the first time?
First of all, I would advise travellers to walk around and enjoy the city. It is always nicer to explore Paris on foot than to take the metro. And don’t be afraid to get lost, that’s how you get to discover the secret beautiful spots of the city. There’s more to Paris than historical monuments and museums! I would recommend that travellers do their research beforehand, pick out three or four of the must-sees to visit, and then just go around and explore the city on their own.
Also, even if you do not speak French, it is always nice to greet people in French. And remember to smile! Don’t believe what you’ve heard about Parisians; if you are polite, Parisians will be happy to help you out and give you directions. One last tip I would give is to do your research in advance when it comes to restaurants. The fancy-looking restaurants on the outside are not always the best ones. And do not hesitate to ask the locals to help you discover hidden gems!
As a Parisian, do you consider Paris your favourite city?
Yes… and no. I grew up in Paris and London, so it is not easy to say. Paris and London are so close geographically, and yet so different. When you are living in Paris, you sort of take it all for granted, but it truly is a beautiful and vibrant city. There is always something going on. The richness of the culture and heritage never cease to amaze me. What I love about Paris is that it does not remain static; it is always changing inside out.
When I travel, I always find myself missing Paris. It is a completely different lifestyle than in London. In London, everything is so fast-paced and dynamic. I find Paris to be much more calm. People take the time to chill by the river, have a glass of wine, and just enjoy their time. People may find this way of living kind of dull, yet for me, Paris is where I find inner peace.
At LocalBini, we believe the people you meet are what you remember the most. Who are the people who have had the greatest impact on you in your previous travels?
When I went to Australia, I had a chance to go to the mountains and visit the aboriginal tribes. I met a Frenchman there, who had moved to Australia 30 years ago. He had settled down in the mountains to share the heritage with tourists who visit the tribes. I was really touched by his story. He had made friends with the locals, and they trusted him so much that they gave him access to all sites. I learned that he was there because he wanted to help preserve a culture that was about to vanish: the old generation was dying out, and the new generation was adapting to globalisation. He said it would be a pity to let it all disappear. What he was doing was truly remarkable.
Finally, coming back to CityChef, is there anything else you would like to share with our readers? What is the moment you decided I must make CityChef happen?
I would say that what inspired me to take action is seeing all the talent and creativity that goes around. In French cuisine, there are so many intricate details and know-hows to be passed down to future generations. I created CityChef as a platform where young and professional chefs can share their passion for cooking with others. We regard our chefs as artists, and our platform aims to give them the opportunity to share their ‘art’ (their authentic recipes) with the entire world.
Also, another important value for us is spending quality time with one’s family. Both Constance and I come from backgrounds that consider family meals to be very important. We believe that by preparing food with your loved ones and enjoying a meal together can be a way to reconnect. Our hope is that our platform will help bring families together, especially seeing as nowadays people rarely have time to cook for themselves. This is also our goal, to reverse the eating habits of people, and get people to reconnect over food.
Finally, for anyone underestimating the power of gastronomy I would like to point out that UNESCO stated that French culinary gastronomy is part of our cultural heritage. We believe in the power of gastronomy, and we believe that CityChef can be the key to bringing people together over food!
Check out the CityChef website: https://www.citychef.fr/