Friday, July 23, 2010

A Parisian afternoon in Maine

I woke up this morning thinking I was heading to Maine for the day; little did I know that a surprise lunchtime excursion to Paris was on the agenda. The French have a word, terroir meaning “a sense of place,” the closer to home something comes from, the better it is. And though my lunch at Stonewall Kitchen Cooking School was influenced by Parisian flavors, it did not take a trip to the Rue Mouffetard Market to get the proper ingredients; a trip to the local market and produce stand provided bountiful summertime ingredients to embrace Beth Howell’s interpretation of an ideal
Parisian lunch - eaten under the shadow of a large bistro umbrella along the banks of the Seine or within the comfortable and beautiful environs of the Stonewall Kitchen Cooking School.

Stonewall Kitchen’s Cooking School offered the perfect respite from the hot July afternoon for myself as well as the full room of excited guests. With passports in hand, and adorned in sparkly gold sandals and pretty sundresses, two young girls from Florida were ready to embrace a Maine afternoon in Paris. Carlisle and Cate came to the cooking school with mom, Suzanne, family friend, Tara, and grandmother, Lynn. Cate, an aspiring young cook, liked the brussels sprouts - sautéed in shallot butter with currants and pine nuts – best, and enjoyed learning about the different parts and uses of the chef’s knife. Carlisle really enjoyed the baked apple, “Ambrosia” dessert; who could deny her affection for this simple, “food of the gods” treat, quietly kissed by the essence of orange and a sprinkling of coconut.

We all left via the cooking school tarmac and entered the customs gate of Maine with our bellies full, smiles on our faces and wish-you-were-here stories to share.

Join us next to celebrate master chef and extraordinary author, Julia Child’s birthday. We will honor her legacy with ten delicious classes of French cuisine the week of August 9-14. Hurry, seats are selling out fast! Check out our calendar here!

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