Meet Jill Colonna
Bonjour ! I’m Jill, a Scot (and French citizen) living near Paris since 1992 – author, home cook and Mum. The name Colonna comes from my French-Corsican husband, Antoine, who whisked me to Paris 30 years ago.
I created this Paris based blog in 2010 on the release of my first book, Mad About Macarons – but now this blog is all about many other French recipes and our lifestyle here. The new Paris guides are inspired by a deliciously fun spell as chocolate-pastry Parisian tour guide, inspiration behind my other book, Teatime in Paris. Today I’m virtually showing you around our farmers’ market and taking you around the best Parisian pâtisseries.
I’ve always been an avid francophile: childhood family holidays around the Hexagone, studying flute in France, a passion for French wines leading to a wine diploma (I like to think I got vin sur vin). I’m still learning the language (I wish I’d invented le and la, as I’d make it easier!) and so I’m thankful to my kids for their patience and correcting Maman along the way. Check out my videos – you’ll see I still have my Scottish accent!
Thanks for following along this delicious adventure with France’s fascinating food culture.
Clown Girl in the Ring
My French jury duty so far has been for judging pâtisserie (2017, 2019) for pastry chef and chocolatier, Christophe Roussel‘s amateur pastry challenge in La Baule.
Does this mean I have a sweet tooth? No. Quite the contrary. I am with my French pastry chef friends: I’m very sensitive to sugar content in cakes. Too much sugar masks all the beautiful flavours – so my recipes are reduced in sugar as much as I dare.
As you can imagine with such a line-up I’ve been bowled over to be in such company. I think the lovely Mercotte (France’s Mary Berry) agrees I’m the clown girl. Check out Raphaël Haumont (far right on the photo), food scientist with Thierry Marx. See how he transforms astronaut, Thomas Pesquet’s favourite French comfort food for Space.
From left: Christophe Roussel, Eric Guerin, Christophe Felder, Mercotte, Jill Colonna, Raphaël Haumont.
- Originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, I met my French (Corsican) husband in Glasgow. Had I known it was a one-way ticket to Paris, I’d have worked harder at French at school;
- I play (flute) with my food. Sounds weird? Pop over to my YouTube channel. I was professional for a short while in Scotland & studied with Alain Marion in Nice. In Paris and want to play together? Contact me!;
- I love the fun side of life, finding the worst puns – even French friends are not spared;
- In 2019, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and had it removed with the parathyroid glands. I’m thankful that this form of cancer is so treatable and encourage you to have regular checkups. Apart from daily hormonal treatment, I just eat a healthy diet;
- We rarely eat out in restaurants in Paris, as I enjoy cooking so much. However, I do share our occasional pastry treats via my guides for bothParis pâtisseries and tearooms;
- For my Masters degree marketing research project, I studied consumption of quality wines by the glass in hotels and inns around the UK. It’s the most fun study I’ve ever had to endure;
- While studying in Scotland, I was overweight so tried some pretty drastic diets. Since moving to Paris, I adapted to the French culture and haven’t dieted in 30 years…
- Yet I love wine, cheese, pastries and those extra buttery croissants! So there must be something in the French Lifestyle.
Mad about Macarons
It’s a romantic cliché, moving to Paris to start a new life with my Corsican Frenchman in 1992. While working in Paris’s chic 16th, I tasted my first Parisian macaron. What was all the fuss about and why so expensive? It sure was a costly hobby tasting them, so I set about making my own.
It wasn’t that easy back then without a recipe explaining all the tips. Experimenting with initial macaron failures, I came up with my own step-by-step recipe that worked at home. Suddenly French guests accepted I could cook and were asking for my recipes (my kids now too)!
So, Mad About Macarons was born: the book(s) with the macaron recipes – and this blog where I share all the rest: from easy French home-cooking recipes to local food guides around Paris.
Do you have any particular baking questions? They may already be answered in my FAQ page – including a chart of oven temperature conversions.
As you can see from the recipes, I weigh out my ingredients and so any reference to volume in cups is given purely as an approximate guide. I encourage you to use grams like the French (I have added ounces too) – it’s more consistent in achieving successful results each time. For more details, see why the French use digital scales in cooking and baking.
For my American readers, I have a glossary of UK-US baking terms so that we are all speaking the same delicious language.
Work with Jill
Any questions about my books or about le blog? Anything you’d like to see? Please do leave your comments on blog posts and a rated review if you make the recipes – it’s what motivates me to give you more!
I do not accept guest posts but I would love to hear from you if you have product reviews, French food/travel promotion or events that would be of interest to my francophile readers. Thanks so much.
Jill Colonna's Macaron Recipes
Mad about Macarons
Looking for Jill Colonna’s macaron recipes? They’re in this book – 37 of them including desserts and savoury macs! Make perfect macarons every time with the step-by-step recipe plus all the tips. Translated into Dutch, Hungarian and Spanish. Both books are published by Waverley Books, UK.
Teatime in Paris
Jill’s step-by-step pâtisserie recipes with 10 chapters of the Parisians’ favourite goûter or afternoon treats. From teacakes and ice cream to éclairs, choux buns, tartlets, mille-feuilles, with a chapter on macarons – touring by top pâtisseries en route. A great value gift that will keep on giving!