Monday, October 22, 2007

food and art

here are some snaps of my life this past week:

peach tree is making me happy at any time of the year.
down shots can be dangerous for the photographer.....
assistant laughing between hand modeling shots.....
invitation for the opening to my painting show last thursday
food plated and ready to be put on film.
a fall salad at home with the last figs from our tree.Thank you,delicious tree.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


I am starting a cookbook next week and the art direction is" more messy, natural".It is the look of the bite taken out, the spill of the sauce, the preparation revealed, the toothpicks sucked, the plate dirtied.... I like it, it is as is, not any more toward a painterly beauty or food as still life . It is more like you and I do at home, serving ourselves a still summer ( still holding on) salad of heirlooms, peppers, basil chiffonade and uneven cubes of feta.Let's not forget the wine ring on the table,remnant of pleasure just consummed...

Friday, October 12, 2007

tea beige

a tea towel from L'epicerie folle in Paris, matched my set, ready for a tea time with C.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

holding on

I still buy tomatoes by the bag full, peppers in all colors,I keep swearing that it is my last week of white nectarines.... but I cannot help it. I still want to hold on to that summer with all its glory: flowers, lavender breezes, bountiful markets, toasty tanned toes, ratatouilles, tomato basil essence, sweet figs plucked from the branch. This morning, after a rainy day yesterday, the sun was again streaming through the windows, making my heart sing for another beat, or two.This is what the sun creates in me.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

finger limes and other surprises

Had a foursome diner at the famous Manresa restaurant in the pretty town of Los Gatos. A special meal was what we had in mind.We chose the tasing menu ( creative and seasonal) no meat but fish o.k for three of us, paired with the appropriate wines. After a warm welcome into the cosy (if lacking in a unified esthetics) dining room, we had the honor of the chef's visit ( my friend knew him),where he threw a bowl on the table and asked us to indentify its content:" chilis,litttle longish padrons???? We were stomped.The chef exulted in showing us the latest in fruit discovery: finger limes.The taste is citrusy, the pulp has the texture of little bursting caviar eggs of lime juice, it looks like a dark green index, curved to beckon.In foodie world,it was definitively a coup.Already we were wowed.Then started a symphony of essences, where the unexpected drew gasps and raves.Amuse bouche: black olive madeleines with a gummy ball of roasted red peppers.a winning, divine pairing of texture and the squeezed soul of each ingredients.I will miss some dishes but I remember well the pumpkin soup poured with a japanese teapot over a cream sorbet
with slivers of limes,the soft boiled farm egg stuffed with a sweet foam and maple syrup, the vegetable garden where each vegetal note where played to its highest level of cellular goodness, the caramelized cube of brioche with roasted plum and sorbet. It was pure gustatory pleasure in discovery.The one off note was the bread: big chunks of forgettable levain style, which did not paired well with all the minute, exquisitely presented dishes.But, otherwise a wonderful, exquisite experience.
My only photo unfortunately doesn't do any justice to the meal, but I wanted to show the quasi religious reverence to the food: a barely cooked tomato soup ( the concentrated perfume of summer) served in a wine glass topped precisely by a wafer of parmegiano.superb !

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

my friend F

There is something sweet and soft about childhood friends. I met F in high school, about 13, which I consider still chilhood,and by that I mean, unformed,the clay still moist, just at the cusp of womanhood, with so much ahead... We were buddies in a small italian class ( most kids took spanish or german) and that intimacy in the tiny 2 rows of desks kept us busy whispering and giggling. Who knew me then , beside my family, and who still knows me now...... Only F, and her sister. It has been a lifetime of mirroring our experiences, our dreams and our pains.Who can still say " I saw your dad on T.V" or like me, who can remember the kitchen at rue d'O. with F's mom busy at the stove, a gauloise dangling at her lips,a sweet Maguerite Duras, keeping the home fire burning with 3 kids, alone? me, for one, may be a few others...Now, we have a ritual when I come to Paris. F takes the day off work and we meet for lunch and whatever tempts us: an exhibit, a walk.Our closeness is made of a lifelong connection, a delicious concern for each other and our families, a tender window opened both toward the past and the future. This last visit, we met at Le Pre Verre and had a great meal, then on a soft hazy afternoon, we set off on foot to The jardin des Plantes, to marvel at the landscaping and to walk arm in arm toward a sweet only good bye.....