Thursday was one of those rare days; a day that many individuals only have a few times in their life. This was a day when part of the *Pear* was placed into the spotlight, while the other half took happiness in the admiration of the other.
A few weeks ago the Chef found out he had been selected as a scholarship recipient by Culinary Institute LeNôtre for his appreciation for the culinary arts, in addition to his pending staging opportunity in France. Now, those close to the Chef know he is more comfortable behind a stove than a podium delivering an acceptance speech. I too was going to be part of the speech, but only minimally.
During our hour drive we rehearsed what we would say and such, but decided to just “wing it.” We would tell about our journey from 2001 to 2011. From the initial search I did to find the culinary school to his café, then time spent in the military to my obsession with French history and then find our way back to the Chef entering the Culinary Institute LeNôtre once again. It would ultimately end with our next adventure—Paris! When the program began (it was done entirely in French until our part) I felt very confident, maybe a little over confident—maybe it was a little ignorance, considering our comprehension had holes in it. I imagined the Chef and I would do our spiel, they would hand us the lottery size check, do a photo-op and we’d be done—on to the wine! It went very much like that, except we really didn’t say anything we had rehearsed! In fact, I don’t even know what I said, other than I had a liking for Napoleon Bonaparte and Marie Antoinette and I was going to school, oh and I think I threw in that my ancestry was somewhere in between French royalty and peasantry—complete mindless gibberish! More importantly however, I do remember the Chef being very poised and fabulous, more with it than I ever thought about being. It was all about him anyway, which was perfect because it took the light off of me–hopefully!
So when the train wreck of my part of the speech was over and we had done the smiles and *thank yous* it was on to the free-flowing wine and what I like to call a “couture styled buffet” in the newly named restaurant located on the lower level of the culinary school—Bistro Kris.
Attendees made their way into the school’s kitchen, which by the way was a scene straight of Ratatouille minus the rat of course! To greet us was a table decorated with the best part of any French meal—the bread! Glorious baguettes, pain de champagne, pain d’épices, pain aux raisins and my personal favorite—brioche with golden raisins and sugar! Give me a tub of butter and call it a night. It was hard to move forward, but move I had for the rest of the kitchen held an impeccable array of culinary delights. Chefs and students buzzed here and there holding delicately prepared “amuse bouches” that were blooming with color; it was if spring had arrived in the kitchen.
With bread and about three plates of various savory items in hand we made our way to a table. In the company of our *French* friends Elyse and Jean Luc, we enjoyed each and every bite; made even better as a lively array of French accordion melodies danced throughout the room. For a moment, I thought we had been transported to France, without the jet lag and pat downs!
However, the pièce de résistance was about to come—the desserts. Before the event even began I had spotted the elaborately decorated dessert table. Almost instantly I had a vision of myself in the scene from the Marie Antoinette movie when she and her friends go feral over plates and plates of petits fours, macarons and chocolate truffles. Seems like everyone else thought they were in the movie, as I was almost too late—most of the precious darlings were gone! I have no idea what each of them were called that I did eat; only that they tasted like something a Greek Goddess might enjoy—velvety white and milk chocolate, vanilla crème and puff pastry, raspberry flavored candies—my palate was intoxicated with sweet goodness.
So the evening which started out a little stressed ended in absolute pleasure. I had forgotten about my babble from the hour before and instead enjoyed the company of new friends, the French culture and my talented husband the Chef. For his journey back to the world of culinary arts has started on an avenue filled with endless possibilities!