Friday, November 16, 2007

November 16, 2007

Another VERY exciting day! I woke up at 7:30 and got dressed, breakfast with the crew and then at 9 had a 3 hr lecture with Pierre Combris who spoke on "Evolution of food consumptipon: what can economic analysis teach us?"

Let me tell taught me A LOT! Did you know that the US is 30.9% obese?!? that means that 1/3 of the population has a BMI of 30 or higher...and those are stats from 1999!!!! compared to Japan which is 3.2%!!!!! CRAZY stuff! I was shocked. I asked him to show me some more graphs after his lecture as well. He did, and you can be sure that I am going to do more research on this! Then we had lunch. If I haven't mentioned it yet...which I think I have, everyday the students who work in the basement have been making us lunch and it's been GREAT! I've also been trying new cheeses which I am SOOO happy about!!! i love them. Then at 2 pm Natalie Rigal spoke on "The Child's psychology of taste" how are our food preferences determined"?

Now this is the class that made me want to take this course. I can type a whole blog on this topic. I asked her so many questions she must have thought I was nuts. But I will leave you with this. For all of those people out there who say they don't like something but have never tried it...or don't like something because they didn't like it when they were 5 years old or whatnot...TRY IT NOW!!!!!!! me this favor. We are born with neurons. As we grow older they don't change...we learned, through our psyche, to enjoy foods becuase of experiences we have with them. I urge you to try a new food this week OR one that you thought you didn't like. And I can't say you won't like it right off the bat...but you may like it better than you thought OR you may like it more with repetition. This topic is SOOO interesting....I'll go into further detail if you'd like to discuss :) After this class we took a mini break and waited a few extra min for our next speaker Guillaume Crouzet who spoke about "Editorial line and column choices in a culinary magazine"

He is the chief editor for ELLE (like the magazine we all know!) a table, in france! HOW COOL!?!?! He had the BEST personality out of all of the speakers so far. I asked him how I can get a boss like him!! haha. He loved it. He was so energetic which made me want to pay attention and work as passionately as he does. He had a lot of interesting stories and we got to see the first issue, which doesnt get printed, of the magazine from 7 years ago! It was so neat!!! I came home and relaxed a bit, and then at 8 pm we had our last dinner at Belisaire. I was supposed to go out with a friend intown, but she got wrapped up in plans so I went with the group. In anycase, they did a really nice tasting meal for us. However dinner lasted so long we didnt finish til around 11. i came home and crashed!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

November 15, 2007

The longest day so far. 13 hrs at LCB packed into a little blog. So this doesn't describe all of the mental exhaustion i feel :) I woke up at ready, ate breakfast with some people and went to school. At 9 we had a 3 hr lecture with Patrick Rambourg on the "History of cuisine in the 17th century".

You can imagine how long that was for me. But seriously...yes dad...i can actually say for the first time I enjoyed history. I know...don't quote me though ;) But i learned a lot and it was about a field i actually enjoyed! I think i even enjoyed it more than theatre history!!!! Then we had a lunch break in which I ran out to buy some vitamins. Then at 2pm Anne-Marie Royer Pantin gave a lecture on "Champagne in the 17th century: Historical, aesthetic, literary and philosophical aspects".

Now I was either tired or bored. I think a bit of both, because I was doing the head nod a bit. Oh well. Then at 4 pm Bruno Laurioux spoke on "Medieval Gastronomy".

It wasn't as bad as the last one...but it also wasn't one of my favorites. If you couldn't tell by now, most of my favorites I can give you a fact or two from the lecture. But these ones...I'm not sure i can remember much! But i took PLENTY of notes. Then we had a tiny break and at 7:30 we had our first of 4 big dinners. The other 3 are fancy...but tonights Pedagogical meal focused on medieval times (NO, not the place in schamburg!!!) Anyway...we had an apertif at 7:30 and then at 8 we spent 2 hrs watching Chef Poupard (a LCB chef) demo 10 dishes and then we ate at the same time.

The things we ate weren't that tasty...but we found out interesting tidbits like ginger was eaten by fat people to make them skinny, and 5 almonds were always eaten before the meal as to prevent drunkenness...HEY, it worked on me last nite ;) Also...Thyme is good for fevers and migraines. Little things like that, that were put into our meal. Daniele Alexandre Bidon gave the lecture during this medieval dinner.

It was rather fascinating, however not the best in taste...but I tried everything. At 10 pm I realized I was at LCB WAY too long. I came home, read a bit, and then went to bed around 11:30.

November 14, 2007

Today I woke up at 7:30 and went to breakfast with some of the crew. It was a nice sleep in the cozy bed at the hotel may i add! Then class started at 9 am. First we had Guy Bourgeois who gave a discussion and lab on "The arts of the table sector today: a study on the influence of dishes on our perception of food".

It was pretty interesting. The coolest part was we did a table setting and tried a soup in two different kinds of bowls. The soup smelled different and tasted different because of the shape of the bowl. Weird huh? same with the wine glass!

See...chosing tableware DOES matter! Then we had lunch. Then at 1:30 we had an AMAZING speaker, Claude Fischler, who spoke on "Sociology of Tastes".

The english speakers in class got a break today because he spoke in english! YAH! He was brilliant and entertaining and I learned A LOT from him! I was VERY interested in the topic. Then at 4 to 5 we learned "The role of the sommelier" from Philippe Faure-Brac who happens to be Worlds Best Sommelier 1992.

He described his job and then we got to taste some wines. He also wrote some books, so I bought one of his wine and food pairing books which also had dessert pairings in it! At around 6 pm we went back to the hotel. Took a mini break and then at 7:45I met downstairs with the group to go to dinner at Le Dirigeable where we met some Alumni of the program. It was a nice dinner. We got home around 11 and then I read a bit to relax and then went to bed around 12. LONG day :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

November 13, 2007

I had to wake up at 1 am to be at the hotel at 2 am to go to Rungis, the market I went to in superior (blog post July 12). However, this time I got to go to the fish market and the tripe market (insides) I took some more pictures.

We spent from 2:45 to 8 am there with a quick breakfast somewhere towards the end. Then we went to La Sorbonne which I was SOOO excited about…even though I was BEYOND exhausted. We had two classes today. First was Jean- Robert Pitte on “Cultural Geography of wines”.

However I barely paid attention to him and I don’t really think he spoke about that either. He spoke more on the history of wine! The second speaker was Gilles Fumey who spoke on “Products of terroir, products of high standard: food from the regions”.

He wasn’t bad, but I was so sleepy everything at that moment didn’t matter. He gave us a copy of his book he wrote and I got it signed! Pretty cool!!! After class I was so exhausted that I skipped lunch and went home. I took a 3 ½ hr nap and then woke up to pack, shower, laundry AND clean my room. I barely finished at 6:30 when I had to leave to go to the Hotel. I got there, dropped my stuff off and had to be at dinner at Belisaire at 8. I had a nice dinner with the group. However dinner was Rouget on a stick (the red fish that looks like a….nevermind) In anycase…there were 3 of us who didn’t want it so we got beef instead! Thank god! Then I came home at 10ish and caught up on blogging, but my computer sux!

November 12, 2007

first off...CASEY AND ANDREW ARE ENGAGED!!!!!!!!!!! i have to post a BIG congratulations! I am SOOO happy for my two friends. all my love ;) (and don't worry dink...I won't mention how I was part responsible! heehee)

Leslie and I both woke up at 7:30. She went her way and had what I think to be a lovely day going to the louvre, orangery, arc de triumphe, plus much more. For me…I had my first day of class! I met everyone at LCB and at 9 am the first class started. Herve This (the ONLY man I cared to meet!!) gave a lecture on “Molecular Gastronomy” DUH…since he invented it!

(more pictures will come on saturday!)
He was amazing! Did you know eating an entire nutmeg can make you die?!? AND putting tarragon in oil is toxic?!?! Interesting huh? We then had a mini break and then we went onto lecture 2 who was Jean Baptiste Coulon and he spoke on “The Terroir Factor: the case of cheeses”.

I have to admit I was rather bored during this lecture but I learned one interesting thing. Cheese taste different depending on the breed of animal and what they eat! Cool huh? No wonder French cheese taste so good :) Then we had lunch which was made by my friends down in the sous-sol! It was chicken and potatoes amongst other stuff. And my bestie Manuel happened to show up at school with perfect timing! I got to see him which made me happy. Then we started back up with the last lecture of the day which was Patrick MacLeod who spoke on “Neurophysiology of taste”.

I loved him. It really got me thinking. I learned too much to type here…but feel free to contact me! After class at 6 pm Leslie met me in the Winter Garden. And Sandra at school SCORED us some kick ass reservations at Pierre Gagnaire’s (graduation nite) other restaurant called Gaya. It’s a seafood place. Leslie and I walked over there and had a splendid meal starting off with kir royal and ending off with some great desserts! As we left, my waitress told me there was someone who worked in the kitchen from LCB. I asked to speak to them and it actually happened to be someone I went to school with who was in my class! So funny! Great to see him and what an amazing job! Then we walked home. We chatted for a while and I managed to get to bed at 11 which was late because…

Sunday, November 11, 2007

November 11, 2007

Guest blog #3!

One more observation I forgot to mention - Penny talks a lot about how often she picks up a bagette and eats it on the way to places. I don't know about you, but I thought that was weird. But that is completely the norm here - everyone just walks down the street eating bagettes!

Today we did what any nice Jewish girls would do on a Sunday - church! First we went to Sacre Coeur and I can safely say I don't ever want to climb more steps again. It was really cool though and the views were amazing. (penny here: I've never climbed to the top I took some picts!)

We walked through Montmarte where I bought some cool prints. I really liked Montmarte - all kinds of artists were just selling their crafts and the streets were really old and cute. We continued walking to end at the Moulin Rouge. I can understand why it was recommended that I don't see it at night! Unfortunately we realized that we could have gotten tickets to see a show a little too late. Oh well, Penny will eventually get there.

Then we took the metro to the Islands where we saw Saint Chappelle (something Penny had never seen before!) which was beautiful but a total waste of money. First of all, what church charges admission - 10 euros no less! And right when we walked in there was a gift shop. Totally tacky. But the rose stained glass (or whatever it is) was beautiful, even without a ton of sunlight.(penny here: my pictures)

Then we walked to Notre Dame which was amazing. They were in the middle of mass and let us tourists just come in and take pictures and what not. (penny here: my mass pictures!)

So we both got to experience our first (?) Catholic Masses. We didn't really understand the incense or especially what they were saying but, well, we're better more cultural people because of it :)

Then we walked around and window shopped and ate lunch at this amazing ice cream place. The best ice cream I think I've ever had. (Penny here: bertillon, for those who know) Penny had cinnamon and gingerbread with whipped cream and I had chocolate and caramel with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. What a lunch, huh. We continued walking through the city, did more window shopping, and ended up at Gerard Mulot - the bakery where Penny will be doing her stage. Everything looked awesome in there - I ended up buying some chocolates as gifts and a croque monsieur (not because I like ham or anything but after 7 years of french class, I felt like that was the one thing I HAD to eat!) Penny spoke to one of the cashiers and introduced herself and the girl was really excited - it seems like a fun, happpy place to work.

Then we walked to the Invalides - another place Penny had never been! The Dome, which is where Napoleon's tomb is - was unbelievable. We also walked through the Army Museum (I work for the U.S. Air Force and I felt obligated to at least check it out!) which was interesting, but I wasn't a huge fan, as I'm used to the way the Smithsonian history museums lay it out and it just didn't compare. Penny was pretty bored, so after a completely inappropriate picture (but a tribute to Harand's 40s pageant section), we headed home. (penny: pictures)

Now Penny is getting ready for her introductory dinner with her new program, while I think about the bread and cheese and wine I'm planning on eating for dinner :)

So...dinner with my new class. I've already made predictions about people and who I'm gonna like and who I wont. A little short breakdown. There are 17 people from 11 countries. 4 of us are from the US and 4 of the people are men (none of the men are from the US...nor are they cute and young!). A few of them went to LCB so I am NOT the only one...and whom i shall refer to as JJ will be the death of me and I hope to get through this course without telling her off :) Otherwise I look forward to the fun times with most of these peeps!!!!