Tuesday, September 29, 2009

cooking with Daniele

Remember when I went to France...I can't believe it's over! I spent so much time daydreaming about what the adventure would be like and now it's come and gone. At least I have pictures (over 2000!) to remind me of the memories.
One of the reasons for taking this trip was to cook with an incredible French woman named Daniele per recommendation from stephmodo. It was fate that Stephanie & I met at a cooking class last winter. She told me about Daniele and she knew that I would love to cook with her. One thing led to the next and months later, my husband and I were the first guests at La Maisonnette and had a day booked with Daniele.
The day was picture perfect. We met Daniele at a lovely morning market where Daniele caught up with cousins who ran their own vegetable stands and bartered for fair prices on white beans and tomatoes. We bought everything we needed to make our dinner for the evening. It was a cultural experience that I will never forget. It reminded me of why I love food.
After the market Daniele took us to a wonderful chocolate factory where we stocked up and headed to the river for a picnic. Afterwards we met Daniele back at her family's 700 year old farmhouse where she lives and manages the property. In addition to truffle trees (amazing!) we also enjoyed the fig trees and peach trees that we plucked from.
Daniele shared her fascinating stories with us that included people like Julia Child and Alice Waters. Both have been to her home to cook with her. She quickly put us to work slicing and dicing and Robby was assigned pate a choux. (cream puffs) We continued to hear amazing stories and anticipated our dinner.
I feel like this was a priceless experience that resulted in so much growth. My experience with Daniele reminded me that cooking is best when it is prepared in a simple manner. To make an outstanding meal doesn't require fancy gadgets, appliances or German knives. It takes passion and the ability to let the ingredients speak for themselves.Daniele was so sweet and humble. Little did I know what a celebrity this woman is in culinary circles. She was beyond friendly and just very real. If you happen to be heading to the French countryside, please take time to take a cooking class from Daniele. I can't imagine a better way to experience the culture and enjoy what the French do best.


Rachel Z said...

That sounds completely amazing!! Thanks for sharing.

How might one go about booking a day with Daniele? Is that really possible?

Abby said...

That would be so much fun. What an experience!!

mbobm said...

oh what an incredible experience! beautiful pictures:)

Erin said...

now that's DEFINITELY something the regular tourists don't get to do. what a cool cultural experience... love that kind of stuff!

Stephanie said...

I echo everything you said about your experience with Daniele. Next time I'd love to do her Paris tour or maybe take a class with you! How fun that Robby could be there too.

315thomas said...

hi kelsey!

i am a fan of yours from the next food network star and i just had to comment on this post. your trip looks like it was totally amazing!

the funny thing is, my husband and i were on the same plane as you from new york to paris - haha! i wanted to say hi but i was too shy :)

looking forward to seeing more pics from your trip.