An Expat Life | Laurel Sanderson


Next up in our Expat Life blog post series, we’d like to introduce you to Laurel Sanderson. An American expat living in Paris, some of you may know her, not by name, but by her adorable and homey restaurant Treize…A Baker’s Dozen, located in the back of a charming 7th arrondissement courtyard in Saint Germain. Laurel has created a menu based on traditional family American recipes in order to bring a piece of home to Paris, with delicious and carefully thought through breakfasts, lunches and afternoon teas. See our previous post reviewing the cosy hot spot and read ahead here to see into the life of Laurel Sanderson…

1. What brought you to Paris and how long have you been living here?

On a dare 18 years ago.

2. We know that you speak French, how did you find the learning process and how necessary was it for you to learn in your industry?

Difficult and long…painful. Not to be able to completely get through what you want to say,  not being able to have YOUR personality since you are not fluent, it’s frustrating.  People thinking you are not able, less competent or plain stupid because you are not fluent is sad and hurts, and as I said : frustrating and painful.

3. What is a typical day in the life of Laurel Sanderson in Paris?

A few times a week I head to the local market to speak with the local farmers and hand pick our fruit and veg. Our local Bio shop keeps me the best Goji’s and cranberries,  nuts and stuff to marinate and dry. Laurent comes by with his and Yan’s wine early mornings,  and we have a coffee from my Brazilian grinder that I regulate each day. Grams and time for pouring makes all the difference. The exact numbers for the coffee  are marked on the wall daily behind the machine, every morning.

After juicing the staff (we are energising with ginger,  tumeric,  blood carrots,  oranges, kale, lemons and apples) I move over to pastry, pie crusts biscuits and all our super exciting vegetables. Marinating kale, tomatoes, roasting parsnips and getting prepped for lunch.
During lunch rush, that starts at 11:30,  we’ve got everything from locals to tourists dining with us. In our tiny restaurant we are all together. That’s what I love. The small crew are all polyvalent and we all speak several languages. Lunch is a ballet of jazz hands, Quinoa, mountains of juice, super food excitement, pressure, communication more juice, some tap dancing to our favourite tunes, or was it staff dancing?… and it all ends with cake! Lots of cake;  carrot, as a rule, and other delicious ones like chocolate, coffee, lemon, red velvet.

Afternoon is not MUCH more quiet but a little… With delights such as Butter milk biscuits and Pimento cheese or hot Chow Chow. And wine! Of course. Remember, we have been here since 5! Served with giggles and love, afternoons are a treat!

Weekend’s we’ve got brunch and Sundays we’ve got our reservation only Brunch behind closed doors. Which involves me poaching a basillion eggs and ‘loosing ‘ a heck of a lot of biscuits for the ‘pain perdu’ (the french toast ). Sundays are a perfect ending for the week.  Just enough of work, chill and pleasure combined!





4. What is your favourite part of running a restaurant like Treize?

My life’s work has lead me here. Here I feel complete. I’m in my kitchen but WITH the clients in the room at the same time. I serve what I love;  bio, eco, local, home made, all with love and with the roots in Charleston, South Carolina. I work with people I love, for people I love, doing something I love. Could you ever ask for more?


5. What are some of the biggest struggles you had to deal with as an expat in Paris opening your own restaurant? 

I have only, and ever, been a foreigner so my struggles of opening a business I can not compare them to doing the same thing in my home country.


6. What does the future look like for Laurel Sanderson?

Having dinner with my very excellent husband and my two awesome children.  And if I am very lucky,  I get to do all this again tomorrow.


7. What would you say is your signature/favourite dish at Treize?

That’s like asking which one of my children I love the most.





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