Food quote of note

"The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience"…Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Bonne Annee et Bonne Santee - and Bon Voyage!

"Bonne Annee et Bonne Sante" - that's a traditional French phrase wishing you Happy New Year and good health!  2012 has been an amazing year, with all of it's changes - I've learned so much and grown so much.  Thanks to all of you who have taken this journey with me -  I feel truly blessed to have such supportive family and friends.

As most of you know, I've wanted to make culinary school part of my culinary journey (mon voyage culinaire) - but I've been wrestling with exactly when and where and what type of training.  Well - I've decided - and that's where the "Bon Voyage" comes in - I'm headed to France on Friday to attend a three-month pastry class.  I know - how crazy is that - is that just about the coolest thing? 

On Friday I'll set off for Yssingeaux, France (about an hour outside of Lyon, in Southeastern France) to begin an international Pastry training class at Alain Ducasse's L'Ecole Nationale Superieure de Patisserie (  The class is 8 weeks long, followed by a 1 month internship.  I had been searching for a culinary training program that would provide me with serious, professional-level training in a shorter time-frame than the 1 year programs I'd previously considered.  I had found a few programs here in the states, but they were still 6-9 months long - and while these were excellent schools, none were in Atlanta and they were extremely expensive.  As a lark, I started checking out programs in France, and actually found a few that more closely fit my needs than the ones here in the states - and, BIG PLUS - they were in France! 

Chateau de Montbarnier - location of the school and where
I will be staying for the next few months
Anybody who knows me knows that I'm quite the Francophile - so, spending several months in France is pretty much nirvana for me.  However, as much as I love France, I must admit I was a little hesitant to leave the country for 3 months - but, after much encouragement and support from my sweet husband, I decided to go for it - after all, wasn't this exactly the reason I had quit my job - how could I not go?

I made this decision in October and it's been a little bit of a whirlwind getting things set and ready to go...but all of the sudden, the time is here and I leave on Friday.  I'll be in pastry classes 7 hours a day, 5 days a week.  The classes will be taught in English - but I am definitely hoping to significantly improve my French language skills while there, so I've chosen to also take French classes.  While I don't know exactly what to expect - I'm very excited and I know this will be a great experience.  I plan to use the blog to keep you all updated on what I'm doing and what I'm learning - so stay tuned for a new, exciting chapter in my journey!

In honor of my upcoming trip, we decided to have a French theme for our Christmas Soiree - below are a few pictures.  It was a wonderful evening -  a great time to see our friends and share some holiday joy before I head across the ocean - a great way to close out 2012.

Joyeux Noel - Guy's wonderful display of Christmas lights welcomed guests to our Holiday Soiree

Bon Appetit - I must admit, making tapenade, Provencal pork baguette, cream puffs, palmiers, fruit tartlets and chocolate mousse got me very excited about all I would learn while in France

Mousse au Chocolate avec Orange - tres chic! 

On the left are Palmiers - fancy French name for "elephant ears" - a simple, but elegant French treat.  On the right, my dear friend Frank (Francois for the soiree) made his famous French macarons - champagne and raspberry/red peppercorn - OOH LA LA!! 

So, I have to say I'm looking forward to 2013 and all of the adventure it will bring - three months in France seems like a great way to kick off the year!  Bonne Annee et Bonne Santee to all of you, my family and friends - I'll be writing to you in 2013 from France!

1 comment:

  1. Sacre Bleu! I made the blog! The party was fab, that's Georgian for French and Beautiful :)