June 19, 2013

Le Pain Quotidien




By photographing Brussels' Pain Quotidien at the corner of  chausssée de Waterloo and AvenueLepoutre, semi-hidden behind facade cleaning cloths,  I wanted to  show the diversity of their products but mainly the complexity of selling bread in a bilingual city as Brussels. Who knows the names of all these bread and pastries in two (sometimes three) languages? The saleswoman got very upset - granted, I should have asked permission - because of their no-pictures-policy. I wonder if it is like this in all the Pain Quotidien worldwide? After all, there are now 132 stores in 17 countries and its history only starts in 1990 when founding father Alain Coumont opened his first simple and elegant organic bakery restaurant in Brussels. If you have one of them in your neighborhood and are an amateur photographer, maybe you could put what happened to me to the test?  I would love to find out! "At the center of every Le Pain Quotidien restaurant are long antique-style tables, where strangers can share and enjoy a meal, a style unique to Le Pain Quotidien. The communal tables are made of single pieces of recycled wood, and a tranquil and natural atmosphere serve to bring Belgian air in the comfortable space of Le Pain Quotidien restaurants".

43 comments:

  1. Sorry you got caught...I will try myself next time I see one and let ya know...Gee wonder why I am hungry?

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    1. Looking forward to hearing about it, Janey.

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  2. Dat zal inderdaad niet evident zijn en soorten brood hebben ze! Een goede bakkerij.

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    1. de verschillende talen maken de zaak interessant maar soms toch ook wat ingewikkeld, ik ondervind het "dagelijk"s ..

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  3. I like a place so well organized. All looks good to eat.

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    1. organized and delicious, a great combi, right?

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  4. I'm glad you sneaked the pictures. Such delicious pastries!
    Thanks for sharing . . .

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    1. and I am glad you appreciate the sneaking

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  5. Looks scrumptious, and what a charming place. We don't have one here in Oregon, or i would check it out. :) I've never understood, though, why many places have their 'no photographs' policy. What harm does it do?? These are great photos, by the way. I'm glad you were able to take a few..

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    1. I think they should applaud the free publicity, Mary!
      thanks for the compliment.

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  6. Great photos from this bakery. Your first photo reminded me immediately of paintings by artist Wayne Thiebaud. He is well known for painting pies and cakes in symmetric patterns. No photography is terrible. Perhaps they think we are stealing their souls?

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    1. thanks
      will look up his work, TFG
      they might think that, that would explain a lot :)

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  7. I could not believe the quality of Belgian bread...let alone the patisserie...beats France into a cocked hat.

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    1. thanks Helen
      as a Belgian, I know it's better to refrain from commenting on your statement :)

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  8. Oh yum!
    I don't understand why they don't allow photos, though. It's not as if their recipes can be reverse-engineered based on what they look like.

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    1. what a lovely term 'reverse - engineering '
      don't you agree that they should welcome the free publicity?

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  9. La décoration de l'intérieur a l'air très sympathique...
    Belle journée,

    Pierre

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    1. contente de pouvoir le montrer, Pierre!

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  10. ik ruik het verse, lekkere brood Anni. Groetjes Dietmut

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  11. Bonjour Anni
    Cela me donne envie de ressortir ma machine à pain. J'ai acheté pour pain de campagne prête à l'emploi, avec la levure incorporée. J'aime mettre des graines de pavot dedans, cela donne bon goût au pain. Il y a quelques mois j'en ai fait un au chorizo.

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    1. Je devrais venir prendre un cours chez toi, Claude!

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  12. De geur van vers brood is de allerlekkerste geur die er bestaat.

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    1. het ziet er naar uit dat ook onze lezers het daar eens over zijn, Bieb

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  13. Hallo Anni
    Dat ziet er lekker uit. Ik zou er zo voor naar België komen.
    Groeten Bets

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  14. dat ziet er allemaal "piccobello" uit Anni

    prettige dag

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  15. Ik zat ooit op het terras te babbelen met de bediende, en 'k mocht fotograferen, Anni...
    http://liesonderweg.skynetblogs.be/archive/2011/06/28/tot-morgen-zelfde-uur-zelfde-plaats.html
    Lie(f)s.

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    1. ah ! en dat leverende een buitengewone serie op een prachtreclame voor hen !
      zou het kunnen dat ze een onderscheid maken tussen binnen en buiten op het terras?

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  16. Bonjour la Belgique ! Intéressante série. Je peux sentir l'odeur de ce côté-ci de l'Atlantique, je te dis ! J'aime le concept, aussi, comme tu le décris, un peu auberge campagnarde.

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    1. ça alors, apprendre qu'un vent favorable a envoyé une odeur outre atlantique! si seulement on pouvait envoyer parallelement une petite bouchée de saveur..

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  17. did they give you a reason for their no-photo-policy? I wonder... should be in their interest if people spread the word, no?

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    1. no they did not
      if they had, I would have mentioned it or worse, started a discussion with them...

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  18. Hallo Anni,
    Ze hebben hun "concept" goed wezter uit te bouwen. Maar wat brood en "pateekens" betreft zijn we hier in de streek heel goed verwend met met liefst twee vermaarde bakkers in Tancremont waar de "roue de charrette" vlot over de toog gaat!

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    1. ik heb jullie roue de charrette nooit gezien of geproefd
      hoe jammer
      ik zie nu, al googlelend, dat het echt bijzonder is
      misschien, in afwachting van mijn expeditie naar Tranchemont, kan je me een fotootje sturen, Frans
      dan maak ik de nodige pub voor jullie bakkers .

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  19. I have that very Le Pain Quotidien nearby. When I will go there next time I will try to photograph..

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    1. ah, so we must be neighbors, I am very curious to see what you find out! l mi fai sapere per favore.

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  20. We do not have any in the south but I have seen one in New York. It must smell so good in there!

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  21. I've eaten breakfast at a branch in Brussels, and very good it was too. But I don't understand the 'no pictures' policy. Like other commenters, I would have thought that free publicity could only be a good thing.

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