I have been surrounded by francophiles my entire life. I remember devouring croquembouche made every Christmas by my beloved neighbor Pastry Chef Michael Lynch, eating stinky cheeses for lunch with my Mother, and how my Father coveted duck fat. I then began working for a French couple down the canal when I was 12 and was schooled in proper French water & bread service, garde manger and dessert presentation. Michael's daughter Marta, the closet thing I know to a sister, went abroad to Paris and I quickly followed. I had been heavily studying the cheese revolution in the States and was constantly learning about the traditional French cheeses they were based upon. We ran around the country, picnicking in Van Gogh ruins and dancing through wine country and my eyes dilated at the open air markets. I wanted to know everything about the cheeses, each so specific to its region and with my very limited vocabulary, Marta did her best to translate with the amused fromager who stared at us curious American girls.
I am continually enamored with French cuisine and always find myself coming back to French classics when writing menus. My favorite feasts being ones that end with cheese and are littered with excessive amounts of butter. That being said, when I was asked to prepare a dinner for the lille aeske's Supper Table Series, I immediately thought of all my preferred French recipes. This feast also happens to fall upon a Full Moon, which is one of my favorite moments in time, a phenomenon many forget navigates our world and reminds us of the magic of our home. Join me for a celebration of French fare & the full moon next Thursday!
I will also be showing a collection of photography titled 'Memories Returned' on July 3rd at lille aeske. Photography for me has always been a way of pausing moments in my ever moving world, it allows me to acknowledge and savor them. I had become attached to capturing moments, remembering a place and a feeling through a photo. I can be a bit sentimental sometimes. In the last 2 years I have traveled over 30,000 miles across the United States in search of local flavors and to develop my style as a cook. Out West in the Spring of 2014, my camera found its way into the hands of another in San Francisco. I don't know if its possible to express the disorientation of having your memories taken from you.
When I lost my camera with over 6 months of work, I lost a great deal of those memories. It wasn't so much the camera I was sad to have lost but the CF card with the photos on it. I felt like apart of my brain was taken away from me. I had reluctantly accepted that my camera was no longer apart of me and I tried not to think about it. I kept remembering photos I had taken but they weren't there. Then suddenly in the Winter of 2015, I heard that my camera had magically reappeared. The man from San Francisco who had been resold my camera searched the internet community to find me once he discovered the photos. It took him less than a week. It was as if my memories were being returned, I had forgotten how much they meant to me.