October 22, 2004
Pick a good occasion to celebrate -- say, your blog's first birthday.
Talk to a chef you know, like and admire, who owns a small restaurant in an unlikely area of Paris. Invite fifty people : old friends, new friends, enthusiastic readers, neighbors and your precious sister -- guests from France, America, Canada, England, Germany, Poland, Italy and Holland.
Agree with the chef on a theme (that's easy : what's your blog's name again?), discuss menu possibilities, and quickly opt to give him total freedom of improvisation. Just go food-shopping with him because it's buckets of fun, and let him do his thing.
On the night of the party, get off of work, take the metro to the restaurant and find your boyfriend (oh-so-cute in his pink apron) already at work, opening sea almonds and setting up tables, plates and silverware. Give him a hand, fold napkins, write out a birthday message in chalk on one of the huge blackboards, uncork a few bottles, and hang around the kitchen.
As the guests gradually arrive, greet them, serve dozens of glasses, get showered with thoughtful gifts, compliments and good news, and start losing all sense of time, as you listen and talk and laugh and drink and smile and watch and eat, while the wonders pour out from the kitchen.
It would be vain to try and recapture the whole menu now, but here's what can be remembered : curried chicken bones to gnaw at, sea almonds with crisp zucchini, marinated chicken breasts with soft zucchini, steaks of marinated raw tuna, grilled chicken thighs, cuttlefish couscous, zucchini and chicken stew, roast chicken with a zucchini stuffing and a chocolate sauce (and a birthday candle)... A seemingly never-ending parade culminating in Nicolas' signature dessert, the famous chocolate flying saucer with ginger ice-cream. All of this homemade with talent and love, all of this flavorful and clever and perfectly seasoned, all of this fabulous.
All through the evening, marvel at the wonderful mix of people, conversation, food and wine. Feel incredibly happy and lucky and grateful to be surrounded with such friends, and to receive such support in your endeavours.
Completely fail to take any decent photograph. No matter, all the best images will stay right there, in your mind.
2013 Omnivore Festival: Inspiration Notes
Omnivore World Tour in Paris
Chocolate Appreciation Society (Club des Croqueurs de Chocolat)