Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cooking and Walking with Black Paris Divas

For the second time this year, Black Paris Divas enjoyed a gourmet experience with Discover Paris! during their visit to the City of Light. Group organizer Kat St. Thomas had the following to say about the day:
Last April, those that participated in the Gourmet Food Walk on the island of St Louis here in Paris were slightly disappointed because they assumed they would be sampling tasty treats along the way so therefore basically went hungry. So to avoid that issue, this time, Monique Wells of Discover Paris! decided to offer a cooking class where group members could eat what they prepared and then begin the walk; stopping outside the gourmet shops (cheese, chocolate, pastry, ice cream, foie gras, wine) that she selected for the tour. Monique planned to meet us at the school – La Cuisine Paris – and take pictures of our group as we worked.
Invitation to come into La Cuisine Paris
© Discover Paris!

Just before noon, we donned our coats, hats, gloves, scarves and we on our way by metro. In less than 25 minutes we were at our destination. We waited a short while in the lobby chatting with the receptionist until handsome 6'2", Chef Eric greeted us and escorted us to his kitchen. At each place there was a chopping board, knife, all 3 recipes and an apron. After washing our hands and introductions were completed, we were ready to begin.

Chef Eric
© Discover Paris!

Recipes and chopping board
© Discover Paris!

A few months ago I took the liberty of selecting the lunch menu: duck with an orange reduction sauce, roasted vegetables (parsnips, orange & purple carrots, squash – all julienned – and diced potatoes), wine with the main course, and for dessert – Tarte Tatin (which is an upside down apple pie).
Root veggies and pie fixins
© Discover Paris!

In our short time, we all learned so much and got so many helpful hints. We prepped the vegetables for roasting, prepared and rolled out the dough for the pie.
Chopping veggies and making the Tarte Tatin
© Discover Paris!

We were shown how to prepare the duck breast by first cutting away the fat and then cooking it in a heated skillet.
Preparing the duck breast
© Discover Paris!

We started after 12 pm and by 1:20 pm we were all enjoying a fabulous lunch with Chef Eric and Monique.

Lunch is served!
© Discover Paris!

Chef Eric is not only a handsome, knowledgeable chef but a natural comedian as well. The group had such a good time that I have specifically requested him for the group when we return in March 2013!

Chef Eric and the group
© Discover Paris!

After the class, I led members of the group on the gourmet tour. Because it was their last day in town, only two people from the cooking class – Lucia Watson and Lynda Session – opted for the second part of the gourmet experience. Contrary to the saying “the more, the merrier,” in this case, “less was more” because we were able to enter boutiques since our numbers were small.

Lucia, Lynda, and Monique!
© Discover Paris!

Olive oil was the star attraction of the day, as Lucia and Lynda tasted several varieties in two shops and took away tasty souvenirs of their visit.

Tasting olive oils
© Discover Paris!

Black Paris Divas and Discover Paris! are forging a gourmet tradition! To be continued in March 2013…


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