@FedByAFrenchman: How to hack the market
We all know them, those perfect images of a perfect Parisian life. Although this experience is possible, it is not necessarily the daily life of the city’s 2.16 million inhabitants. When I first discovered the @fedbyafrenchman Instagram account, it was a breath of fresh air in a highly curated Parisian content domain. Instead, this account is a laid-back take on the country’s culinary culture: whether it’s home cooking, Sunday market shopping, or Monoprix getaways, unfiltered. And few places in the world can compete with the richness of the French markets, a real playground for gourmets like Amy Feezor and Pierre Haberer.
The account is moderated by Amy, an American freelance writer who dabbles in everything from books to writing, she tells me via email. Pierre, the “French”, is a home-trained film editor and cook who has adapted Amy to French culinary culture since they first met in 2014. Besides his love for media and the home cooking arts, Pierre is a An avid road tripper often venturing into his 1976 green Volkswagen van. The couple met while Amy was living (and dating) temporarily in Paris. She settled permanently in the City of Light in 2016; the couple got married in 2018. Today, they live in the 20th arrondissement and are self-employed. They capture their daily experience to peek over the French kitchen table and into the cupboards.
“Pierre is a great home-trained cook and taught me so much about food at a time in my life when I thought I knew it all, especially after living in New York City for 14 years before meeting him,” writes Amy. “He’s also very French and very opinionated and that amuses me, so I wanted to start sharing his little ‘lessons’ with friends on Instagram.” The joint Instagram account thus functions as an outlet for both to share home cooking recipes and also many tips and tricks.
Their most popular move became shopping at the market with 20 euros in their pocket. The two have a habit of visiting the greengrocer’s market towards the very end of the shopping day, when the stalls close around 1 p.m., that’s when they can get bargain prices and more mature products. While this method is not particularly productive when preparing a specific dish with fixed ingredients, as the vendors may be exhausted at that point, this type of shopping inspires these amateur cooks to prepare creative and innovative dishes. Both advise a word of caution when using this method: Avoid fruits out of season! “Go for seasonal items for sure,” Amy says. And don’t worry about ugly, bruised, or deformed vegetables and fruits; everything is beautiful in nature.
Their Insta Also features many sellers from the sellers they buy from – and it inspires buyers to engage with those who grow and sell their food. They find that it is an important relationship to cultivate in France, and make you a local. Amy recalls that it wasn’t exactly her experience at the local greenmarket in Brooklyn, New York. In fact, she remembers that shopping in the United States was more an anonymous activity than one that forged relationships.
Amy and Pierre recently made an appearance on American journalist Lindsey Tramuta’s hugely popular podcast “The New Paris”, where Tramuta explores what’s new from expatriates living in France. This time, she asked the couple about their trips to the $ 20 market and what they have learned from each other.
“I want to show the reality of life here,” writes Amy. “We don’t just display Haussmann buildings and coffee cups on cafe tables (although that’s part of the everyday environment of life here). I want you to also see the harshness, the realities of being an expat, and the ugly bruised, overripe fruits and vegetables that my very French husband will buy in a typical market and turn into dinner. The couple hope to move the proceeds they’ve raised soon FedByAFrenchman.com (not yet existing) and mark a unique space for gourmet Francophiles to get a delicious slice of reality.