You all know how much I love Paris, right? Any chance I get, I’m there. So when the opportunity presented itself to spend this coming summer in Paris again, how could I say no? I’ve got a couple of projects I will be working on whilst I am there in July that I will tell you about when all the details are confirmed (I’m pretty excited to share this when I can!) but in the meantime, I am thrilled to announce that I will be also partnering with Le Dolci here in Toronto and La Cuisine Paris to lead you on “A Culinary Adventure in Paris” from July 23 – 27th 2012. (and I am SO excited that my mum will be joining me on this adventure!)
That’s right – a whole week of food and fun in the City of Light! Read through our itinerary* below to see what we will be up to and hey, just to say thanks for reading, there’s a worldwide Paris-themed giveaway for you to enter!
DAY 1 Monday 23 July. Meet at La Cuisine Paris for a breakfast briefing where you will get to know the culinary school that you will call home for the next week. Café au lait and traditional French pastries will be served. After that, we roll up our sleeves, put on our baking hats and start the week making the much loved pain au chocolat and the buttery, flaky pastry named for its distinctive crescent shape; the croissant. After class, enjoy your buttery creations during a lunch break along the Seine River, located opposite the school.
In the afternoon we’ll take in a “Sweet” tour of Paris discovering delicious, hidden treasures of St Germain. You’ll discover elegant pastries, silky, full-bodied chocolates and the delights of a tiny, quaint “viennoiserie,” home to amazing Alsatian strudel—and that’s just the beginning. You’ll explore a splendid crêperie whose house specialty is a crêpe with home-made salted caramel sauce which you can enjoy with a glass of cider.
In the evening, a welcome dinner will be arranged where the group will get to know each other better and talk about the day’s kitchen adventures and tastings over vin rouge and traditional French fare.
DAY 2 Tuesday 24 July This morning, the group will head off on a macaron tour of Paris visiting some of the world-renowned macaron houses like Laduree and Hermé. This research and taste testing is all in preparation for an afternoon of making your own macarons back at La Cuisine Paris.
DAY 4 Wednesday 25 July Learn how to make some of France’s most famous desserts. You will discover the art of the French chocolate desserts and also learn the technique of the ‘Choux’ pastry, which is the base for many famous desserts such as éclairs, profiteroles, and more!
In the evening, there is an optional Wine Tasting Dinner. Enjoy a gourmet three-course meal, paired with four outstanding French wines, one Champagne and a digestif. Your sommelier will help you refine your wine knowledge, teaching you how to taste wine properly, navigate a wine list, and how to choose wine at a restaurant. He will also expertly guide you through the main wine regions of France, explain how to read a French label, and how to pair wine with food. An informative, fun and delicious evening you won’t want to miss.
DAY 5 Thursday 26 July Spend the morning with a chef from La Cuisine Paris touring one of the oldest markets in Paris, the Marché Maubert! Learn how to pick the best products and compose your luncheon menu with the chef.
After the market visit we take a pleasant walk through the Île Saint Louis to return to La Cuisine where you will have a hands-on cooking class and work with the chef to create a gourmet lunch using your fresh market products. There is no set menu in this class; it is up to the group and the chef to be creative and choose their menu based on the fresh fish, meats and produce that they find at the market! After preparing your fabulous French meal, we enjoy it as a group with some wine. This is a four-hour session of market tour and eating so you have the afternoon free to walk off the calories or laze by the Seine in preparation for the evening’s optional activity.
In the early evening, there is an optional Champagne cruise on the Seine. During the cruise you’ll taste three different Champagnes: usually one Brut, one Demi-sec and one Rosé – served by a sommelier who is there to answer all your questions about Champagne… or Paris!
DAY 6 Friday 27 July In the morning class at La Cuisine Paris we learn the secrets of the French baguette and breads. At the end of this workshop you will have made a selection of French breads. You will learn to knead and work your bread by hand – all breads will be baked fresh and you can take them from the oven to your hotel room, if they make it that far!
In the afternoon, there will be an optional bike tour for those wishing to see more of Paris and burn some of the calories they’ve consumed this week! Or take this opportunity to do some last minute souvenir shopping!
In terms of accommodation, participants are welcome to book their own, however, we’ve also partnered with the gorgeous Hotel Jeu de Paume – a charming four star hotel on the Île St Louis within walking distance to some of the most famous areas of Paris like le Marais and le Quartier Latin and just a quick stroll along the Seine from our home base of La Cuisine Paris. As its name suggests, the hotel is housed in a renovated former Royal tennis court, built under Louis XIII, at the beginning of the 17th century. Offering 27 rooms 27 rooms and 3 suites, all of which are elegantly decorated and equipped with a full bathroom, minibar, flat screen LED TV, phones, and free WiFi access, the Jeu de Paume is a comfortable base for your week exploring Paris. We have a block of rooms reserved at a special rate for us until mid-May.
Want more information? Check out the details about Le Dolci’s first foodie trip to Paris here. I’d love to see you in my first ever tour group I lead around Paris!
* Itinerary subject to change.
Now, onto the giveaway. If you’re me and you come across a blog with the name God, I love Paris, you just know you will love it. If you’ve ever lived in Paris and you read Amy Thomas’ musings about life in the City of Light, where she worked writing copy for Louis Vuitton for two years, you’ll be able to identify with her love for the city along with the many frustrations that come along with living there. Her blog and book, Paris my Sweet, which was just released this month, are a love letter to Paris, but a realistic one that I totally identify with. So many times when I was living there and found myself on the phone to my mum and dad, frustrated by the French bureaucracy and complaining about it, one of them would ask me why I stayed. I could never quite put my finger on it – Paris is easy to fall in love for so many reasons.
Thanks to the kind people at Source Books, I have one copy of Paris my Sweet to give away to a lucky reader.
To enter: Simply leave me a comment on this post telling me which part of the Culinary Adventure in Paris trip you would like the most and why.
For a bonus entry, tweet the following message:
I entered to win a copy of @GodILoveParis ‘s book Paris my Sweet over at @eatlivtravwrite. You can too! http://bit.ly/zfSxH7
Then come back to leave me a separate comment telling me you did.
Contest closes on Monday March 5th at 9pm EST. Winner will be announced the following day. Good luck. Oh and hey, I’d love to see YOU in Paris this summer!