C&Z Birthday Party

Happy Birthday C&Z!

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.

  • http://gastroblog.com Jackie D

    Clotilde, this event sounds wonderful and like such a very happy occasion. You deserve it. Thanks for writing such a great blog, mon amie. x

  • cpr

    I’ll bet that all your guests will happily send you their photos? Maybe you can make a birthday album that we can all see?

  • http://shewhoeats.blogspot.com/ chika

    it must have been a lovely, wonderful evening over there… I’d love a photo or two, but the main thing is that you and friends enjoyed yourselves, without feeling obsessed with the idea that you “had to” take pictures!

  • Your papounet

    Your mum and I couldn’t make it this time, but book us already for the second anniversary, and all the following ones for the next 30 years, at least!

  • mary

    bonne anniversaire, c&z! but what on earth are sea almonds? I must know!

  • Joan

    Clotilde, thank you so much for the party story ~ such love and care obviously went into it…I’m as happy as all getout for you. ditto to mary’s ? about the sea almonds…

  • catherine

    hi, clotilde
    It’s regrettable that I could share joyful time with you and good freinds.
    Although I can’t participate in that party due to far distance, I give enthusiastic entouragement to you.
    Congratulation on meaningful celebration and introduction of your blog to Elle magazine.

  • Judith G.

    Happy Birthday!!! I simply cannot tell you how much I enjoy your website, always brings a smile to my face. This time I truly wish I had been there for your Birthday, next year, or perhaps in between.

  • Alisa

    It was a wonderful party! Journalist “Joe” took a ton of photos, perhaps he will share with you. After being gone from L.A. for two years, I returned for a small visit. Took my camera everywhere, had such a good time with all of my friends, took zero pictures.

    I purchased Elle on Tuesday. I am so pleased for you!

  • E.

    I wish I could’ve been there!

  • http://seattlebonvivant.typepad.com Seattle Bon Vivant

    Lovely! Wish I had been there. Maybe next year? ;-)

  • http://www.writersbloc.biz writersbloc gal

    bon anniversaire! congratulations and happy 1st birthday to “chocolate & zucchini” i hope it was lots of fun, full of yummy food and good friends.

  • http://jbeckham7.diaryland.com ann

    Happy Birthday!! I am a new reader of your blog and enjoys reading your blogs! :)

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    For the seafood-curious among you : in my review of La Table de Lucullus, I wrote : “Amandes de mer are a type of clam, named Common European Bittersweet in English, deliciously crunchy and iodized.”

  • http://www.montag.it/comida comidademama

    clotilde, I wish I would drop in Paris to attend this event, but I couldn’t :(. Emanuele, italian friend of mine, was there and he enjoyed a lot.
    Anyway, Amsterdam is not so far away and I hope to meet you in another occasion. I still have the crema catalana iron for your Kitchen Paraphernalia.
    You know that you are more than welcome to have a visit here.

  • http://drupeau.blogspot.com nardac

    oh…I’m so sad I wasn’t around for that party. My goodness, it must have been spectacular, if your blog reads true.

  • Chris

    Hello Clotilde. Sounds like a wonderful night, wish we could have been there to help celebrate your beautiful little blog. Perhaps next time!

  • http://www.vaguelyspecific.com faith

    Congratulations Clotilde, on your first anniversary, your sucessful party and the Elle mention. What a great 1st birthday present for your blog! Maybe next time I can make it to Paris.

  • http://www.montag.it/comida comidademama

    Faith! So that’s why you know I’m from Amsterdam! I went to Duikelman (closeby your place) to buy this crema catalana iron for Clotilde. It’s my favourite shop in amsterdam (+________+)

  • http://www.vaguelyspecific.com faith

    I stand outside Duikelman and drool on their windows……….

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