Paris Culinary Adventure...

October 2017!

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Our Journey...

Day 1...

Author: Warren Lobo

October 10, 2017

Beyond hectic.. but oh so much fun. Smooth flight, airport transfer, awesome hotel, best neighborhood ever, café lunch, and patisseries.  I read somewhere that it was good for jetlag so the group was eager to test this theory and did so with little encouragement, a lovely dinner at the foot of the Eiffel tower followed by an open-air cruise on the Seine. Everyone exhausted and exhilarated!

Day 2...

Author: Warren Lobo

October 11, 2017

Exploring the city and getting acquainted with the neighborhood. Café and croissants were the fuel to exploring all the main sites in the morning and early afternoon. Midday wine and a nap got us to the evening.  Everyone getting used to eating and drinking and walking and not much else and totally loving it.

Day 3...

Author: Warren Lobo

October 12, 2017

How many ways to drink Champagne? We haven't stopped counting.  Left Paris by high-speed train to spend the day in the beautiful champagne capital, Reims. First, a guided walking tour learning about its rich history and architecture, the origins of its connection to wine, champagne, and religion... then the wondrous 800+-year-old cathedral followed by a sumptuous champagne drenched lunch.  The highlight of the afternoon was spent in the caves of Taittinger Champagne with more delectable tastings. Sante!  Have to say it was a very nostalgic visit for me returning to this lovely town and places within that I had grown to love while studying here. Always a sweet pleasure.

Day 4...

Author: Warren Lobo

October 13, 2017

Today we embarked on a gourmet walking tour of the steep and narrow cobbled streets of the south Pigalle area. If we weren't already feeling the effects of The Good Life, we were about to take a turn for the worse under Chef Patrick's expert and tender administrations to our expanding waistlines and blood sugar levels. With baskets in hand we visited a fruit and vegetable market filled with the late harvest and Autumn's best, then a 'poissonier' with a selection of Frances best kitchen fish and shellfish, a unique shop with small-producer olive oils and other regional products, a gourmet chocolatier, a charcutier and fromagarie, a chocolate-only patissier and a Boulanger specializing in breads made from small producer stone milled organic flours. Purchases and tastings were made in every shop and the class ended when we emptied our filled bags and baskets onto lunch platters and uncorked a chilled rose.  See for yourself!

Day 5...

Author: Warren Lobo

October 14, 2017

Exploring the three main French food groups - wine, cheese and those little round almond sandwich cookies.  Today was a doubleheader day, back to back classes spanning over 6 hours. First, the easier and more relaxing one, a tour of 5 wines, 5 regions and 5 appropriate kinds of cheese to eat with them. The boozy midday class was filled with names and terms like 'appellation', 'triple cream', 'moelle', 'Sancerre', 'Croton', 'Cote du Rhone' and 'Brahms and Liszt'. Surrounded by glasses, cold cuts and cheese and bread we ate, drank, laughed and made obscene gurgling noises for 2.5 hours guided by the very funny and animated oneophile Stephane who is the perfect example of a bon viveur.  Following this, we staggered into the next room where we made macarons: 4 colours, 4 flavours, almost 4 hours to produce over 16 dozen brightly coloured macaron with the expert instructor Amanda. We measured carefully, mixed, whisked and leaned on each other when we felt we might fall over. It's a wonder any turned out the desired shape. Even after eating our fill the 7 of us walked away with takeout boxes filled to bursting (just as we were).  A very fulfilling day!

Day 6...

Author: Warren Lobo

October 15, 2017

Things to do on a Sunday over here... especially when it is sunny and 22C in mid October.  Today was the second of three free days I'd planned with no programming, for each of us to do as we liked.

Day 7...

Author: Warren Lobo

October 16, 2017

Today we visited my old school Le Cordon Bleu Paris where through special arrangement we joined about 100 young students for 3 hours in one of their Basic Culinary classes. The word 'basic' referred to rudimentary but was the furthest thing from simple. It involved the preparation of poached free range chicken and began with butchery skills including the removal of the head, toes, wing tips, inner organs and breathing apparatus, trussing and finally poaching, together with the preparation of the side dishes, a pilaf made with the poaching liquid, a noisette sauce and hand julienned vegetables. Phew! It was amazingly interesting and the sampling was delicious but I'm not sure I'll be making that exact version for dinner any time soon.  After the class I met my friend Leanne who works at the school and she gave us a tour of the spanking new state of the art premises.  By chance we actually ran into the end of the breakfast pastries class.  We also encountered a student with a basket full of delicious treats. She offered us some... and we could not possibly disappoint their student efforts and say no could we?....so we grudgingly helped ourselves with a smile and not too much drooling. What's a little dessert after poached chicken after all?

Day 8...

Author: Warren Lobo

October 17, 2017

Evening sunset from my Paris hotel window and last late night coffee in our favourite street café steps from our hotel door. Alas, the sun has set on a most marvelous inaugural Great Food! Culinary Adventure. It was so much fun and an exciting experience for everyone. Might you consider joining us next time in the Spring? We'd love to have you with us.

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