I soooooooooo apologize for neglecting our blog for so long. Life just keeps getting in the way of things I want and need to get done. That's my excuse....it's the best I have.
I just came across this clip and, SERIOUSLY, it tells the story of WHY France is so well known for their fine cuisine and their outstanding reputation in Food Culture.
We actually visited one of these schools that has a similar program in a small community and it was incredible how the program is managed and the food presented. It takes school lunches and school cafeteria workers to a whole new level!!
Enjoy! Bon Apetit!
This week went by way too quickly! Hopefully, I will have my new post up tomorrow. In the meantime, check out the new pics I've uploaded from our culinary tour, A Taste of Le Berry that we took in May of 2010. We are working on an itenerary for 2011 and we would love to have you visit with us for a week in Le Berry, the central region of France, Chef Roland's home country.
As Roland is from the Berry, a region made up of two departments (his being the Indre), I thought I would post a link that gives some idea of the types of food that can be found in this area. During our Culinary Tour, A Taste of Le Berry, we offer a week-long package that incorporates daily excursions to discover the delightful villages, markets, ancient chateaux, beautiful countryside, farms, gardens, cafes and restaurants. Staying in a farm-converted gite, Chef Roland offers an instructional opportunity for all participants to prepare their own family style meal. If you would like information regarding our next Culinary Tour, A Taste of Le Berry, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by the contact page on this web site.
I hope you find something on the link to stimulate your tastebuds and that gives you a desire to take A Taste of Le Berry as a guest on our future tour to Central France.
While in San Antonio moving my parents, I happened to read over an article in the San Antonio Express-News (a real newspaper!) that got me to thinking. The article focused on the notion that there are just some tools that are absolutely necessary to produce food. And, there is definately no argument against that fact. However, as with many passionate pursuits, practioners often indulge in the "latest and greatest", aspiring to reach perfection. The article went on to canvas many individuals in the culinary arts, inquiring as to what was the one tool that they could not work without to get the desired results in their production of culinary delights.
As I read over the listed responses, I felt I needed to encourage those of you who are new to the field and those that have set their sights on culinary fame. Watching my husband, Chef Roland Parny, work in so many different environments, many times in kitchens he had never visited previously, I am always amazed at his sense of ingenuity and adapability. He can take the most primitive and challenging situation and "throw together" a delicious presentation of "whatever is on hand", working with whatever is available.
I'm sure there are many people that believe they have to have certain culinary tools (great to work with) and particular ingredients BEFORE they ever try their hand at producing something in the kitchen. Of course, there are basic tools, such as a knife, that are standard to any culinary project. But, even without a knife, when one appreciates the charachteristics that each food item contributes to the nutritional needs and tasting experience, great food experiences can be enjoyed in even the most primitive environment!
One of the programs that Chef Roland offers is a culinary class that can be presented in your own home with you and a gathering of your friends. It's a wonderful time to spend making memories as you and others work together to produce and enjoy your very own dining experience. Whether you have the most sophisticated cookware or grandmother's hand-me-downs, a great culinary experience can be yours! Feel free to contact us with any questions you have or let us know if you would like to book a class today.
I really don't know how to convey the understanding that bread is a vital and beloved element of the French Food Culture. Bread seems almost sacred to them. When Roland began to introduce me to the world of bread I was one of those that believed that "the cheaper, the better". I had absolutely no concept of what quality bread even looked like. I had heard of sourdough bread but I had no clue as to the difference between artificially manufactured sourdough and naturally made sourdogh. I was amazed the first time I saw him peeling apples that would become part of the fermentation process that would be the start of our incredible homemade sourdough bread. Roland loves to make bread and during the winter months it's an especially nice treat to have the warmth and smell of fresh baked bread floating around!
I have some pics of various French Breads from our culinary tour, A Taste of LeBerry, that we took in 2010. Unfortunately, I've not got them posted in our photo journal, as yet. As soon as I return to Missouri from Texas, I'll try to get those up. Who knows? Maybe you will be enticed to make your own bread. Roland is available for cooking classes in your home. What a fun experience for you and a group of your friends to learn to make your own bread. Contact us for our various cooking classes and pricing.
Here are some articles I found of some who truely appreciate the experience of French Bread:
We all get booboo's, you know the "ouchies" of life. When those feelings of being overwhelmed, fatiqued, stressed, sad, afraid or alone hit us, we all reach for something to make "it" all feel better. We have a vast array of hurts and frustrations and, as well, there is as much a difference in what we think to ingest to diffuse the feelings that "it" brings into our lives.
So, today, I am presenting an article on the subject of Comfort Foods that offers several different angles on the subject. The one that got my attention, but isn't so focused on making "it" feel better, is that many people enjoy eating for a sense of nostalgia where that our experience of food sometimes has a strong connection to a different time and place in our lives that has left a deep feeling connected to that time. We all have some food that we enjoy that reminds of grandmother or prom or a special visit to a distant or unusual location.
While on our culinary tour, A Taste of LeBerry, it was a fun moment when Chef Roland gave instuction to those in the group as to how to use their new crepe pans that they purchased in Paris. Hopefully, that memory will be something for them that will be relived everytime they have the opportunity to make crepes for their friends and family.
A cooking class in your own home with friends and family is always a great way to make memories. We hope you will consider having a cooking class with Chef Roland for your next entertaining event. If you have any questions regarding our packages, you can contact us through our web contact page or email to : email@example.com.
The following article goes quite in depth on the subject of Comfort Food. I hope you find something in the article that enlightens you as to why you search out a particular food. As well, I hope that you are having many opportunities to make memories sharing your cooking experiences with friends and family!
This is where I truely fell in love with France! The area is so rural, so naturally beautiful and a wonderful region to escape into the history of another time to get the feel of what living in Medieval France could be like.
Trust me, there are some incredibly marvelous chateau(castles) in France reflecting the various periods of French history. One of the most visited and, I believe, significant is the Chateau de Sarzay. It might not be grandly preserved and maintained but the story of one man's love and sacrifice to restore this important piece of French history is incredible!
It's not a very commercial enterprise though the present owners do have a bed & breakfast that operates on the grounds. More than anything, it's just a fabulous place to "just be" in the quiet countryside of LeBerry region. The town of Sarzay, which is walking distance, offers several restaurant/tavern/cafes and often hosts a variety of events such as horse shows, antique & brocante sells, and antique car shows. In the surrounding area you can find fishing, canoeing and other gites and B&B's, as well as hiking trails and historic landmarks. You will not see gigantic billboards or almost any signage but there are many things to see and do, tucked away to blend into the beautiful countryside.
I'm absolutely in love with Sarzay and the surrounding area and before Roland and I started Chef Roland Enterprises, I told him I dreamt of the day that we would return! When we took our first culinary tour, A Taste of Le Berry, we were fortunate to find a local gite (converted farm) that could house all of our tour guests and provide an excellent kitchen and dining area for us to prepare our own French home-style meals in the evenings!
I would like to introduce you to Chateau de Sarzay and the town of Sarzay:
The fantastic story of the sacrifice and commitment of the present owners:
If you love beauty, art, architecture, history, France has much to "gobble up" and is truly a feast for the eyes! My photos do not do justice to the fantastic chateaux that we had the opportunity to visit during our culinary tour, A Taste of Le Berry 2010. Hopefully, I will have my photos posted in the near future. (I am presently in Texas helping my parents move to Missouri.)
The recent movie Eat, Pray, Love is definately a wonderful example of what a personal experience of another culture can bring into your life. Traveling, experiencing the lives of other people and learning of a rich cultural heritage by immersing yourself always has its rewards.
We hope you will enjoy the various articles that are posted to introduce you to the Central Region of France, particularly Le Berry, and that you will consider the wonderful opportunies to Eat, Pray, Love while participating with us, Chef Roland Parny & Elaine Parny, on our culinary tour, A Taste of Le Berry-2011.
I am quite new at learning how to maintain our website and it's accompanying blog. Hopefully, I will get more photos posted of our recent tour, A Taste of Le Berry - 2010. Even with that, I thought it would be fun to post a site that I think offers alot of good information to get you acquainted with Le Berry Region in France.
In our busy, stress-filled lives, it's becoming more and more appealing to have that special time in our lives where we "just do nothing", at least not anything that we HAVE TO DO. That's really why I love our home in the country so much. Even in the midst of everything on the "to do list", I have the opportunity to stand still and just listen to the birds or take a little walk in nature to enjoy all the plants that surround our home. For me, those special moments of quiet and nature are what reenergize "my battery". When I began to visit Le Berry with Roland, I instantly fell in love with the peaceful atmosphere of the villages and towns.
Walking is very common in the villages and towns and often you see men and women, of all ages, traveling by bicycle. The French enjoy being outdoors and it's a natural part of their way of life. I love the shopping trips whether it's the daily stroll to acquire the fresh bread, the weekly visit to the traveling markets as they come to town, or just an evening out to get fresh air.
Almost everywhere you look while traveling in France, you will find every inch of space gardened in some fashion. And, many towns have particular areas, usually close to a stream or river, where they rent or sell garden plots. There you will find many beautiful private gardens that are lovingly maintained by the residents of that town where they grow beautiful flowers and trees in addition to their vegetable/herb patch that is the source of fresh fruits/vegetables and herbs that make it to their dinning tables. These gardens are a work of love and part of the quiet "therapy" that is the LeBerry experience.
As you explore the site I've posted to introduce you to LeBerry, let your imagination take you there, walking the quaint streets, discovering architecture and art that spans Roman to Renaissance France and delighting in the rich culinary history presented in the local cafes and restaurants. Enjoy!
Definately, we all want good food that is good for us! And now, more than ever, good food seems to be a number one topic in our society. Magazine articles and television programs seem to be more and more about food. Farmers' markets and cooking classes are springing up all over the country. Somehow, it seems, we had a cultural lag where what our parents and grandparents knew all along was ignored and almost forgotten. Now, anything to do with good food is becoming a national pastime.
Chef Roland is fortunate in that he has worked in the food industry for over forty years. However, I've ate his Mom's food and, trust me, she would inspire anyone's palate. He grew up immersed in the rich traditional cuisine of Central France and now, with A Taste of Le Berry Culinary Tour, Chef Roland shares the wonderfully famous wines, cheese, bread and culinary fare of Central France that is "home cooking" for him.
Recently, Chef Roland participated in a summer Food Camp for 6th grade students at Mississippi State University. A whole week was spent from eight in the morning until five in the afternoon educating the children not only in the history and production of food but in hands-on instruction where they were responsible for preparing their own meals each day.
On Saturday, the 31st of July, Chef Roland catered Dinner and Dessert Crepes during the Wedding Expo held by Chateau Charmant, a local wedding destination castle located in the Ozarks Region of Missouri.
With a long career, including a wide variety of culinary experiences, Chef Roland found his passion for culinary instruction while working with Food, Science and Nutrition at Mississippi State University. Whether working on your Culinary Development, pursuing your Passion For Good Food, or just Looking For Something to Do With Friends, Chef Roland can present a cooking class to meet your needs, in your own home!
For the Business Entity that is looking for an exciting project to foster Team Development, Chef Roland has a program that gets everyone involved and participating.
Use our contact box to let us know if you've enjoyed an opportunity to work with Chef Roland or if you would like information on programs that are available.
When Roland and I met, I was one of those people who opened the box or can and warmed up the family meal. After our marriage in 2005, I truely began to appreciate what food is really about, not only that it can taste very good, and be nutritious, but that it can be a celebration of who you are and the people that you share it with.