If you have ever rented anything larger than a SmartCar in Paris you have probably found parking an automobile in the city next to impossible. The ever increasing number of motorbikes whizzing by and between the automobiles on the city streets and highways adds to the sport of driving in Paris. In addition to bicycle sharing and well planned bicycle lanes, the city’s answer to overcrowded streets is to also encourage transport by motorbike or moto by repurposing 2,500 revenue generating car-park spaces to free moto spaces. A total of 18,000 parking spaces will be available in Paris by 2014.
Butter1 is my vehicle of choice in Paris and the winding, narrow backroads of Provence on my daily trek to the markets in search of the finest ingredients for my Chez Grenouille & Chez G Spa & Bistro plats du jour.
“To Dye For…” is the third book of my adventures as France’s most celebrated chef. Previous editions were written and illustrated by my personal Design Consultant, Michele Moses, with editing by my Business Manager, Kevin Murrett. Kevin is a talented writer who devotes most of his time to practicing architecture, leaving little time to document my many adventures.
So after learning of my latest escapade, a determined Kevin spent his 2012 vacation slaving poolside in the South of France scribbling notes in his journal while Michele and I watched and waited patiently. Each evening during l’heure d’apéritif Kevin reviewed his progress with Michele and I. By the end of the vacation a rough draft was ready and Michele began the long task of bringing the story to life through her illustrations. The result of this collaboration is a tale nothing short of genius highlighting my many talents and cunning sense of humor in a world filled with espionage, danger and gluten.
The book is 58 pages with fantastique illustrations accompanying each turn of a page. Published through BLURB, it is available in hardcover, a collectors item for $40.00 with an Ipad Ibooks version at $9.99.
A Blowtorch is a general purpose tool used to diffuse a flame to apply heat upon an object. It is often used for repairs to a vehicle or structure. However, Chef Plombé, the lovable personal chef to the President of France in my second book “Deux Pastis s’il Vous Plait!” is found wielding this powerful tool to torch his creme brûlée desserts. As you can imagine, the results were less than desirable and the tale begins with the French President’s expressed displeasure when his favorite dessert is delivered to his table burnt beyond recognition.
Everyone remembers the Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss and that unique red & white broad striped hat. I was delighted to learn while reading the NY Times this morning that Dr. Seuss not only decked out his characters in hats, he also collected them and brought them out for guests to wear for amusement while dining with other guests at his home. An exhibit will begin on Monday at the New York Public Library celebrating the 75th anniversary of “The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins” and some of these hats will be on display.
La Chapellerie is a hat shop in Les Baux-de-Provence in the South of France. Subtle colors, fine textures, layers of fabric and ribbons give each hat it’s own unique personality. Hats instantly add a new twist to your look that can be mysterious, fun, adventurous or just plain utilitarian in heavy rain or freezing cold temperatures. The next time you pass by a hat shop, go inside and try a few on, chances are you will find a hat that will make you smile and feel like a new person! Chef Grenouille’s signature Chef’s toke is a perfect example of a hat that adds an air of whimsy to the great Chef’s personality!
Chef Grenouille having fun with his gluten-free pizza crust.
sans gluten[ sɑ̃ ˈɡluːtən ]
English translation: gluten-free
My very good friend and Creative Consultant, Michele, discovered she was gluten intolerant about six years ago. She discovered this a week before a planned trip to Paris, but was so relieved to discover the root of her digestive problems that she did not miss the croissants, baguettes, pizzas —-oh my, need I go one? Since then a bevy of gluten free products have arrived in the grocery stores, but to Michele’s dismay after analyzing the ingredients she found the majority to contain unhealthy ingredients.
After working long hours in my test kitchen I was able to surprise Michele recently with my own recipe for gluten-free pizza crust.
Grenouille in his Buffalo NY Test Kitchen with sous chef Kevin Murrett
A rooster spotted in a children’s playground in Nice, FR
English translation: rooster
When traveling in France you will notice the rooster depicted in a variety of ways, as weather vanes, ceramics, statuettes, playground features and more. The Gallic rooster (le coq gaulois) is one of several emblems that represent France. Others include, the tricolor blue, white, red as depicted on the French flag, the lily flower (la fleur de lys) and the displays of Marianne as sculpture, on postage stamps, french coins and more is considered a personification of the French republic.
Time is the measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues. Time is something we all wish we had more of these days. There are seminars that you can attend that promise to help you make better use of your time, apps for your electronic device, or at this time of year resolutions made to organize your time more efficiently.
I travel daily between Buffalo, NY and France. The clock I have chosen for my kitchen is the “Two Timer”, shown above, it is perfect for keeping track of time in two different timezones. The “Two Timer” is manufactured by Established & Sons, UK and can be purchased through the Retail Facility.
My secret to saving time is not to waste it, make every minute count with an action, process or condition that will make the world a better place for everyone.
If you have seen the movie Amélie, you will remember the clever trail of blue arrows she leaves in front of Sacré-Cœur for Nino to follow.
The playful arrow above is just one example of what you will find while visiting the Musée Picasso in Antibes. You will be captivated by both the sculptural works of art on this outdoor terrace and the magnificent view of the Mediterranean sea beyond, with a shade of blue known only to the Cote D’Azur. This arrow is a work by Anne and Patrick Poirier whose work is exhibited in the “most important museums and private galleries” throughout the world.
The first floor of the Chateau houses temporary exhibitions, the second floor displays Picasso’s work throughout his former studio area where he painted from September to November in 1946.
An alcoholic drink served before a meal to stimulate the appetite.
You should definitely make a habit of starting your meal with the house apéritif while dining in France, this will open your eyes and your taste buds to some very creative mixtures and good conversation with the host. When you visit Chez Grenouille, my restaurant in Paris, be prepared to enjoy a leisurely sensational dining experience. If you are in a hurry please try another restaurant and don’t forget to make a reservation. I highly recommend you start the evening with our house apéritif, The Red Eye Tree Frog. C’est magnifique!
It is well received year round, but as you can see it is visually appropriate for the Christmas holidays. And with the holidays underway as we speak, I would like to share my recipe with you.
2/10 Marie Brizard Green Mint liqueur
Je me souviens d’une rose seule.
I remember a single rose.
When I was 7 years old I had the opportunity to visit Sister’s Hospital in Buffalo, New York to undergo a major 6 hour operation. I will not go into the details, let’s just say it was quite the experience for a young girl. I recall the doctor asking me if I knew how to whistle while the anesthesiologist was preparing to put me under and to this day I have not mastered the art of whistling. At the time, our house was located on Charleston Road across the street from a nursery called Queen City, which is also Buffalo’s nickname. The owner of this nursery gave me a single red rose and wished me luck shortly before I went to the hospital for what became a two week stay. This memory stayed with me along with a personal preference for a single red rose to a bouquet of one or two dozen roses of any color.
After many years I moved back to this neighborhood. Each time I visited Queen City Nursery I noticed an older man working away while somebody else helped me, always sensing the older gentleman might be the same person that gave me that single rose. A few weeks ago I stopped in with a friend to buy some mums and we ended up spending quite a bit of time with this man as he told us about some of the more unique items on display. The more he talked the more I felt he was the same man, and finally asked how long he had been associated with the nursery. When he said 50 years, I knew he was the same person and proceeded to tell him my story. He smiled, didn’t say much and asked someone else to take care of cashing us out and he walked away. When we were ready to leave he reappeared to my surprise with one single rose and handed it to me. I couldn’t believe my eyes, I was very touched. If you are ever in the neighborhood stop by Queen City Nursery and visit Dave Davis, he is an interesting guy who knows a lot about gardening. His business is the only one to survive from my childhood years along that stretch of Harlem Road in Snyder, New York.
A 2010 article, published in the Amherst Bee, describes how Dave as a young man drastically changed his path in life from chemist to gardener.