Bonjour! I’m back at my desk, jet-lagged since returning Sunday night from from our France workshop.
After my husband and I flew to Paris (and I got about two hours’ sleep on the plane), I drove our rental Peugeot to Chinon, a cobbled village in the Loire Valley. Apparently I got a speeding ticket, which has happened to several colleagues. I await the exorbitant bill in the mail, which charges late fees.
My co-teacher, food writer Jamie Schler, owns a gorgeous 15th century hotel in Chinon with her French husband Jean-Pierre. We held our food writing workshop, Writing Around the Kitchen Table, there, which turned out to be a convienence and a pleasure.
Jamie and I welcomed a group of accomplished women. They were mostly Americans — p.r. and social media experts, food industry professionals, and cooking teachers. There was also a Canadian, a Brit and a Turk living in Italy. Two students teach at an English-language program at the Cordon Blu in Paris. One was a full-time travel writer and several are published authors.
Of Truffles, Wine and Chateaux
In addition to instruction about food writing and writing assignments, students went on a truffle hunt, strolled the local market in the town square, enjoyed a 3-course dinner at a fancy restaurant, and had lunch and a tasting at a winery’s chateau. Jamie and I taught and consulted, either in the hotel’s breakfast room, bar, or in her private apartment on the first floor. Katya Willems of Katya’s Cake Hole blog covered the workshop in this humorous post.
At the workshop’s end, my husband Owen and I drove back to Paris — under the speed limit the entire way — and returned the car. We spent six days in an apartment in the Marais, walking for miles and eating way too much. What I loved most was observing how the French tie scarves. There’s no nonchalance at all. It’s a deliberate act, probably performed in front of a mirror.
While in Paris, a highlight was meeting food writer Clotilde Dusouliers, whom I have known forever online but whom I have never met in person. She was lovely, arriving on bicycle at a coffee place, and making a lunch reservation for us at a nearby restaurant. She doesn’t seem to age since starting her highly-successful food blog in 2003. And I found out on Facebook that David Leite was there on a brief vacation, so we met for coffee right in our neighborhood, where we were staying just a few blocks from each other.
Here are a few more photos of our workshop events: