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The spectacular move from quantity to quality

Giants like us, our hungry eyes larger than our massive bellies can process and a razor-sharp memory of almost all that went into our cavernous maws before and for that reason alone should be granted a scrumptious repeat as soon as possible, with a cultural background furthermore wherein nourishment is not unambiguously associated with sophistication or auspicious moderation, they might feel a little out of place in the land that invented exquisite dining.
Picture two elephants in a china shop and you’re getting pretty close to a scene from our early French life, except maybe you’d still be missing out on the euphoria of our enjoyment, the exuberance of the splurge and the stupefacztioned eyes of spectators.

Without additional exaggeration the biggest personal alteration in trying to adapt to French food culture, besides the spectacular move from quantity to quality, is all about separating flavors in leading and supporting roles and the impression food induces when presented in the most beautiful way imaginable. To be familiar with the theatrical laws of expectations, fulfilled or dramatically refuted, and the reverberation of making an appearance, certainly helped me.

To cook for a French guest somehow requires much more intimacy and intuition, not easily hide-able under any kind of sauce, but if executed successfully it translates into the easiest getting to know each other. If you want to introduce yourself to your neighbors, be sure to ask them for an aperitif at your house but only serve them peanuts with the wine; everything else will make them feel really uncomfortable and you will forever be portrayed as too forward, later is soon enough for that.

This camaraderie around food has provided the French not only with the best chefs in the world, but it has also turned them into the most engaged audience, rather critical but always in awe for the attempt and the effort, which has made my cooking truly fun again.

Obviously not every dinner is lit by candlelight at Les Pierres, but we do try to incorporate these insights, even when we cook outside of French cuisine. Elephants but in size, we found a way around the china, straight into our veggie garden.

Starting point for Heavenly but easy pasta sauce – recipe, but not really.

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