PARISIAN NIGHTS: Despite being the daughter of a chef, Jeanne Damas can’t cook to save her life.
“So when I have friends over, I just get out my two raclette machines,” said the model and founder of ready-to-wear brand Rouje, who is a fan of the Swiss dish, which consists of melted cheese heated in a special machine and poured over potatoes. “It’s the easiest option.”
Damas was speaking from her Parisian brasserie Chez Jeanne, where on Monday she hosted an intimate dinner to celebrate the new Rouje collection named “Guapa,” or “pretty” in Spanish. Cheese was served that evening — but Spanish cheese, in keeping with the collection’s theme.
“I didn’t want to organize a typical fashion dinner where everyone is a bit awkward,” said the designer, picking up a grilled cheese sandwich made of Manchego, a hard cheese made of sheep’s milk from La Mancha region, and black truffle.
“I want my event to be relaxed and feel like you’re part of the family,” she continued. “We usually stay until closing time, dancing the night away.”
Guests including Marie-Ange Casta, Sigrid Bouaziz and Audrey Marnay took in the riotous flamenco performance by Sara Vega, who also stars in the campaign video, while snacking on small plates of tortillas, cured salmon and onion quiches.
The conversation centered around signature dishes. Christa Théret favors Indian cuisine: “When I have friends round, I usually make dahl,” said the actress, who rose to prominence at 17 years old in French teen movie “LOL” back in 2008. “It’s made with lentils, tomatoes and coconut milk, and I serve it with rice.”
Lingerie designer Yasmine Eslami is more of a dessert person. “I make a mean apple crumble,” she said. “It has almonds, hazelnuts and a lot of butter — it’s my mother’s recipe and she’s from the North of France, where the dishes are pretty heavy.”