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Podcast: The Art of French "Joie" with Ajiri Aki

Podcast: The Art of French "Joie" with Ajiri Aki

Author and Founder of Madame de la Maison

When it comes to style, I don’t think anyone is eager to copy what I wear every day, although I do know that some people covet some of the dishes and cookware that I pick up at flea markets in France. Fortunately, we have Ajiri Aki in Paris, who founded Madame de la Maison, a fabulous online resource for carefully curated French antiques and linens. (Warning: You’ll want to order everything she has in stock.)

I’ve been a fan of Ajiri for quite some time, but it wasn’t until the release of my book Drinking French that we connected…over cocktail coupes, of course!

So I’m thrilled that Ajiri has come out with her own book, Joie: A Parisian’s Guide to Celebrating the Good Life, where she sets the record straight on how she, and other Parisians, find their joie de vie, describing her personal journey, along with tips from locals, addresses for her favorite cafés for lingering, and spas for personal pampering. For those who have a little more time, she also shares addresses for havens outside of Paris…to get away from it all for le week-end.


Get Joie by Ajiri Aki

Accompanied by beautiful photos, Ajiri lets us in on how she learned to balance raising children and launching a business. Parisians are known for being discerning, and she explains why quality matters to the French, how to master the French art of saying Non (and why), tips for creating the perfect apéro hour (with a “cheat sheet” for getting it together, no matter where you live), some dos and don’ts if you’re a guest or a host at a French party or dinner, and she makes a compelling case for drinking from coupes. (Which I couldn’t agree with more.)

Photo from Joie, by Jessica Antola

In my favorite chapter, she shares a personal family story of why you should use that special china every day, and not wait for a fancy occasion.

I loved chatting with Ajiri, who got me using the café au lait bowls and linen kitchen towels in my collection (below) that I was saving for a “special day.” Thanks to her, now every day is special!

Enjoy the podcast…


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Some of my café au lait bowls, which are now in daily use.
My French linen towels — which were also formerly “too good to use.”
Also discussed in the podcast was part of my set of vintage Baccarat goblets/coupes, which, I’ll admit, I’m still waiting for a special occasion to use…😉

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David Lebovitz Podcast
Talks with my favorite bakers, food producers, pastry chefs, bartenders, cooks, spirits experts, and on other topics, such as travel, Paris, and French culinary culture.