Saturday, November 24, 2007

November 24, 2007

Big day! I woke up at 5 am freaking out because I didn't know if I set my alarm or not. I did and went back to bed til 7 and then I woke up, got dressed, went to breakfast and crammed. Didn't help though! We went to school and from 9 to 10:30 we took our exam. However, I did SO bad that I finished in an hr and said...oh well...i still have my thesis that I can do well on! So that was that. It's over :) YAH! We then went back to the hotel and a few of us had a cup of coffee/tea together before we had to pack. I packed up and went downstairs for a group photo at 12. At 12:30 we had our LAST lunch at L'assiete Champenoise. It was bittersweet. It was very tasty! Today was had some sea urchin...I love it. The chef came in again. I asked him for the recipe and he gave it to me provided I would give him a kiss. I said yes...but I couldn't find him afterwards since he left the recipe for me at the reception! it's a shame! He was cute :) Then around 3ish we said our goodbyes. I was a mess. This program was so wonderful. The people, the connections, the learning experience, the being out of town...everything! I don't even know how to thank Edwige, the woman who was in charge. She's changed my life. I feel a little bit smarter knowing that I sat through two weeks of lectures and can actually say I enjoyed most of them. And she made me feel confident in the fact that i can write a thesis. Like I said...very bittersweet because I KNOW in my heart I will see these people again. They have a piece of me that I was delighted to share with them. And if they read this...I thank each of them individually for what they gave to me. At 4:15 me, Pauline, Pietro, June, and Susan took the train back to paris. At 5 pm when we arrived we split off on our seperate ways knowing it wasn't the last time to see each other. I went to manuel's house for the night for many reasons. We chatted for a while and then he went out for a bit and i blogged a little and fell asleep at 9:30 because I was exhausted and VERY sad.

November 23, 2007

Our last day. I woke up normal time and breakfast again and then at 9 am we had our last lecture by Christian Barrere

and Veronique Chossat who both spoke on "Economics of taste and gastronomy in the mass market age"

I probably would have really enjoyed this class, but I was so antsy to be done I didn't pay as much attention as I should have. However I did learn a lot from what I did listen to! Today after class we had lunch at a restaurant...although the food was was nice to be outside of the school! Then at 2 pm we had the afternoon free til dinner! Well...David drove Maria and I to the beauty shop. Yes you heard correct. Maria and I got our hair done :) We looke beautiful. However my camera died so I don't have a picture of us :( Just of me taking one of myself at the end of the night so I look exhausted! Anyway...after that we walked the city a little. Came home around 4:30ish and I took a bath, and attempted to study! Hahaha. Before I knew it, I had to get dressed for my dinner which was to be at Les Crayeres...a VERY fancy and VERY well known restaurant in France! Famous for losing a star and hopefully gaining it back this year!

In anycase...we left at 7:15 for the restaurant. It was GORGEOUS, I felt great, and everything was wonderful.

The meal was a food and wine pairing under the auspices of Jacques Puisais.

He said something at the beginning of the meal which made me start to cry. He referred as eating to going to the theatre. He went into detail as far as each plate is a new act, the food and wine are the characters, and there are always expressions to be had and it's always enjoyeable. That's just a snipit of what he said...but it made me cry because I thought I was the only one who felt that way. To hear it from a professional made me so happy. It was a wonderful evening. I felt ontop of the world knowing that I was sitting there with my two passions in my hand. I got to sit at the head table tonite which was also a treat. Dinner was fantastic but I was so exhausted and i had WAY too much to drink! We arrived back at the hotel at 12 am! Whew!

November 22, 2007

And yet another long day :) But this one ends on a high note! Today we had our first speaker at 9 am Vincent Pateux who gave a "Conference on Coffee".

He was from the Malongo (french coffee company)training dept. and he was VERY good at selling his product! I enjoyed his 3 hr lecture thoroughly. He gave us a book and a cd! He made the cd so I had him sign it. Then we had lunch. Today during lunch we finished really quickly so me, David, Pauline and Maria went into town. We had coffee, went to the cathedral (where I did a tap dance and David has it on video!) and then Maria bought a new suitcase. Well we wound up getting a little lost and then stuck behind a parked we were late to our 2pm class. So at 2:15 pm we walked in late to Gerard Pacal speak on "Nutrition and dietary balance" followed by "Genetically modified plants: health hazards and advantages".

Ask me what I remember...?!?!? sorry. I was REALLY tired and 3 1/2 hrs of that was pretty boring. And i wasnt the only one who thought so!! Luckily we only had two speakers today. And we got out early. BUT at 5:30 we got the VERY special chance to go to KRUG. It's a champagne house. And Mr. Remi Krug (who is in the krug family, but retired last year from the champagne house itself-yet still helps) gave us a guided tour with two krug champagne tastings at the end. There was a poster there that said "No Krug, No Thanks" And now that i've tasted it...i COMPLETELY AGREE! You have to get ahold of a bottle of WON'T be dissapointed! Best afternoon!

We got back to the hotel at 8 and had to go straight to dinner. However, before dinner we got to go into the kitchen!!!! I took a picture with the handsome chef. He remembered me because I was the girl who embarassed herself. haha. However, the kitchen is beautiful and EVERYONE was a male (even though they said they had females). I'd LOVE to stage there!

As far as dinner...once again, terrific. It was our last dinner at the hotel, so we had it in a special room. Well, I was on such a high from the champagne and the wine at dinner that my friends asked me to did. Then two other people started singing! It was a lot of fun. Made me sad and happy at the same time. Pietro has about 5 seconds of it on video...he said he was going to Youtube it...but i highly advised against it :) In anycase...we had fun. I went to bed around 11:30ish. Like I said in my first sentance of this blog...ended on a high note.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

November 21, 2007

I woke up exhausted and it wasn't because of the champagne...i just had so much on my mind. I knew I was going to be speaking about my thesis today so I was thinking about it all nite! In anycase, same routine. Class started at 9. Frederic Brochet lectured on "Magical thinking in wine and Wine communication".

He actually sat next to me at dinner last nite. He spoke perfect english so we chatted a bunch. Nice guy. He helped me to describe what I felt when it came to the champagne. Then we had lunch. Then at 2 we learned "Aroma chemistry in molecular cuisine" by Hubert Richard.

This was cool. He taught me something which you should all be thankful that I am sharing with you. The way to cut an onion without crying is by spreading some water on the table next to the onion. Or if you are peeling it...peel it under water. I'd explain it to you, but it's scientific and I don't think I can explain it without a dry erase board :) But try it out! I know I can't wait to! Then since one of our lecturers couldn't make it today because of the strike out in paris we had our talk about our exam on saturday and our big thesis paper. Oh...did you not know? I have to write a 30-80 page thesis paper! YAH! I think i have a topic though. I'll keep you posted. In anycase...We got to go home around 5 today. I came home and my friend Pauline (from dublin) came into my room and used my computer and we chatted. Then dinner was at 7:45. Once again...a wonderful dinner! I've been taking pictures of dinner but haven't been posting them. Too many pictures to post! In anycase, dessert didn't fail me again ;) I left to go upstairs at 10ish and didn't get to bed til 11.

November 20, 2007

Wow...these are long days...but SO worth it! Today was the longest day so far! I woke up at 7 and got ready with again another awesome breakfast! The bus took us to school (ha) and class started 9. Our first speaker was Francoise Cousin who spoke on "Cooking, a way to express the diversity of human societies-Variations in food preparation and consumption throughout the world: what museum objects can tell us".

If you couldn't tell from the title...THAT was boring! haha. Luckily it was only 2 hrs long. Then at 11:15 we learned "Focus on bubble dynamics in Champagne wines" by Gerard Liger- Belair.

He was actually very interesting. He wrote a book and gave everyone one. I had him sign mine. I read the first chapter already and I think I may read the whole thing. It sounds great. I never realized that bubbles in champagne come from the glass being a little dirty. You can't have bubbles if the glass doesn't have dirt in it! weird huh? Then we had lunch. Then we started a little earlier today at 1:30 and we learned about the "Anthropology of Taste" from Patrick Pasquet.

Once again...a little boring. He was only an hr and a half though so not too bad. He spoke more on how we are the same as the homoerectus and stuff. Then at 3:30 to 5:30 Alain Razungles spoke on "Methodology for wines' sensorial analysis".

This wasn't TOO bad. He spoke on the way the do wine tastings and stuff. Then we did a wine tasting. He wasn't that enjoyable to watch which made me a bit bored. PLUS we've been having 3 speakers a day and today we had 4!!! Then we went back to the hotel at 6. We had to dress up pretty tonite because we had a HUGE dinner at the Charles Heidsieck Champagne house. It was SOOOOO cool.

It was down in the Champagne Cave. We tried 5 different types of champagne (it was a champagne and food pairing dinner). However, I wound up drinking about 8 glasses of champagne! They were too good! In anycase, there were Champagne producers from all over the champagne region there. It was SO cool to be amongst them. We, the students, had to speak at the dinner to say what we felt. It was fun. And we had good company! We got home after 11 and I went to bed shortly after.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

November 19, 2007

Our first day in Reims-Champagne!!! How exciting! I woke up, showered and went to a WONDERFUL breakfast! This place just keeps surprising me! I had to force myself not to eat everything because I knew I was going to be here for 6 days! haha. Then the bus took us to the University at 8:45. We got to school at 9ish and the President of the school spoke to us as a welcome.

Then our first speaker Jacques Dumonceau (who happens to be the Director of Studies for our program as well as a teacher of the University of Reims)

and Joaquin Orozco, spoke on "The future of food packaging"

This lecture was a bit boring. However, have any of you in the states seen the new packaging where there is a label that the colored dot changes the riper the fruit is? Sounds interesting! Then we had lunch. The lunch here is in catered boxes...they were beautifully made, but bland! Oh well. I barely ate, but I wasn't too hungry after a HUGE breakfast!!! Then at Lucien Karpik lectured based on his book L'exconomie des singularites "The consumers choice with regard to fine wines and fine resturants"

This lecture was very interesting because we learned a lot about the Michelin guide. That's compared to the Zagat guide at home...however it's different because they also discuss the scenery and hotels and stuff. It's a GREAT book! I use it when chosing my restaurants! Then he ended REALLY early (which is good...we were all really tired today.) So our next speaker started early. Caroline Dusautoir spoke on "Sensorial Communication".

I was a bit confused at first because she was talking about marketing and the next minute about well being but she tied it in really well. I guess the new wave of marketing is through smell! How cool! She really made me want to progress in my new business and make me stand out as far as marketing! She was a VERY active speaker which was cool to watch as well. She also played bird noises the entire class! hahah. THAT however was a bit annoying. We ended at 6 and then took the bus over to the Reims town hall where the Mayor of Reims welcomed us with Champagne (ha) and a PRESENT! We all got a nice black bag with goodies inside including a pen, a keychain, a map of the city, bottle tops, and my favorite, a recipe book! We then came home and dinner was at 8:15! once again...AMAZING! however, tonite I decided to embarass myself infront of the chef and speak bad french! i asked him for the recipe and if he accepted stages. However for some reason I couldn't understand I looked SOOO stupid! OY! Anyway, at 10 pm I came upstairs and got ready for bed! I can tell this is going to be a tough week!!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

November 18, 2007

Today was an easy day. I randomly woke up at 8 am even though my alarm was set for 9. It worked out better in the end. I packed and blogged and got all ready to go home. I left the hotel around 10. I get to my house and realize I left softee at the hotel. For those who know me...i was freaking out! I called the hotel and they said they'd call if they had it. Well they called and told me they couldn't find it. I had a tear in my eye and then said to's a start of a new life for me. Then they called back and said they had it...and I was like great I'll pick it up! heehee...i'm such a child :) Anyway...I packed, hung out with my new friend Liz, who is starting school at LCB on monday and is occupying my room while i'm not there and finished reading Kathleen Flinn's book "The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry" GO GET IT! It's GREAT! In any case...I left the house around 2:30 to go back to the hotel to pick up softee and meet the rest of the group. The bus left around 3:10 to take us to champagne! I slept the entire bus ride...obviously. We arrived at 5:30ish. My room is on the second floor and it is GORGEOUS! We have bathrobes and SLIPPERS! SO COOL! We even have a bidet! haha...i won't be using that!'s beautiful. All of the products they give us are scented with orange flower. I unpacked and got my computer hooked up. I sat on my computer checking emails and replying until dinner at 7:45. OMG!!!!!! dinner...well we are staying in a fancy schmancy chateau but dinner is a starred restaurant! Dinner was great...but dessert...OUTSTANDING! Ok...get this...I don't even think i can remember it all, but BEFORE dessert they bring us, mini eclairs, 2 types of chocolates, bubble gum marshmallow (with a scissors so we can cut it ourselves), cotton candy!, individual wrapped caramels and lollipops, some vanilla cookie thing, and i think there was more but i can't remember. THEN dessert comes. The main dessert was a pear and chocolate thing...but on the side was my FAVORITE! I described it as an upscale version of a reeses peanut butter cup. I BETTER get that recipe while I'm here. We get to go to the kitchen thurs nite, So i am going to ask. It was out of this world! At around 10 pm I got up and went to my room. It was a long day of traveling, but I can already tell this week is going to be GREAT!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

November 17, 2007

So this was the best day to end the week! We had to be at school at 8:30 today because today we were cooking! YAH! So i obviously wore my uniform :) I went to school a bit early to change and figure out what we were going to be doing but no one told me anything! In anycase, we were split into groups. One group had Chef Chalopin where they made the starter which consisted of foie gras wrapped in leeks with mussles.

And the other Chef Chantefort (my favorite) and i got to be in this group and we made the main dish which was Lamb wellington with the forgotten vegetables.

We did that during the morning. It was a lot of fun, however I mostly sat back and watched so I could let the other people in my group work. In anycase I had a blast working with new people! Then for lunch we got to eat what we made. VERY tasty!!! Then at 12:30 we had a demo with Chef Terrien discussing it

while chef chalopin and chef chantefort

took the same ingredients from what we used this morning and used them in a more modern technique. It was pretty amazing!

We finished around 2:30. We all then got certificates saying we have now completed a course at LCB. They clapped loud for me because I've been there forever! And Chef Chalopin put his hat on me. So we got a pretty cute picture of us. YAH!

Then I went back to the hotel, dropped off my stuff and went out shopping! I tried to buy some clothes for next week because it's said to be fancy for the dinners. Anyway...i didn't succeed very much. I got home at 6 pm and quickly got dressed. AT 7 pm I went to school because tonite was our big dinner with Herve This!!! We had appetizers at 7:30 and then dinner started around 8:30. It was a huge nite for school. Our chefs made a molecular dinner while we, the students, and Herve and his wife enjoyed it. It was SOOO cool! In any case, he is the NICEST man and talks FOREVER! He signed my book for me and took pictures with me!

These are the appetizers. (i'm not gonna go into detail. If you want to know what the food was. email me!)

Then we had dinner. We actually ate on the first floor demo room. It was set up so beautiful! Here is a picture.

These are pictures of dinner as well...and ofcourse, so proud of my chef Jean Francois...for his AMAZING dessert!!!!!!!!! Everything was so tasty and even the wine pairings were great! They also hired a Maitre D just for the occasion. Go LCB! The whole evening was just fantastic. Enjoy the slide show!

Dinner lasted forever, because like i said, Herve doesnt know how to stop talking. But he was amazing and he told me he'd email me about some things in chicago that he'd set me up with! he's GREAT! In anycase....after dinner I got very emotional becuase it was the last time I was at the school. I mean, OBVIOUSLY, i'll go back and visit...but that was my home for the past 11 months. So i started crying and saying goodbye to the chefs. it was very sad. I had the best time of my life there. So it was a great ending to a great year at LCB! I came home and went to bed at 12:30.