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!
Before I met Chef Roland, my concept of ambiance was low-level lighting. Now that I've become a little more "seasoned" to have some understanding of what the culinary experience is about, I've come to realize what an impact ambiance can have on the enjoyment of a meal. The following is a definition that I think gives a great image to the idea of ambiance: "that which surrounds or encompasses".
Have you ever anticipated going to a new restaurant or cafe, excited because your friend has raved about the experience of eating the food and the environment that was created to "backdrop" the meal? Do you remember how you felt as you approached the building where you would be eating? I know that when I'm excited about dinning where I've never been before, I feel especially sensitive to detail before I even get in the building. I'm scanning the architecture, the landscaping, the overall impression I get as I approach the building. Don't forget, first impressions have a huge impact on us psychologically!
As I enter the building, I'm aware of the smells and sounds, as well as the visuals such as artwork, lighting, plants, colors themes in the decor, furnishings and how the space is utilized. All of these factors play into preparing me for the anticipated meal.
But, there's more! As the waiter/waitress approaches, I see how they present theirself, their body language, the tone of their voice and the manner they have when they approach myself and others. The menu itself can make an impression just by it's physical appearance, as well as the table and it's presentation. So much goes into the overall eating experience, I'm sure I've left out something.
So, without going on, I think you can see, there's more than we consciously realize that can enhance or detract from the meal itself. With all that I've mentioned, I want to present you with a couple of links that I think give an even clearer understanding of just how important ambiance is when partaking of a meal.
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:
Roland has told me on several occasions, "people eat with their eyes". So, gobble up the next two articles, one explaining the extreme importance of Food Presentation and the other some fun visuals to give you a variety of examples of Food Presentation.
I, by no means, have any culinary expertise. I've been blessed that since meeting and marrying Roland, I have had the opportunity to eat some delicious food and begin a wonderful discovery of what good food is really about. Since Roland's home is Central France, his desired tastes reflect what he loves about the traditional culinary richness of Le Berry region.
The following web site gives a "snapshot" of the progressive culinary history of France. What I found most interesting is how much the food is appreciated not only for it's gastronomy but, is enjoyed as an art form. Enjoy:
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.