Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Weekend in Rhode Island and the French chef
As I mentioned before, I love this time of year and can't get enough of the fall festivals. This past weekend, Tony and I went to Newport, RI where they were having a Wine and Food Festival. So with the weather being predicted as perfect and good friends who welcomed us in their Newport home, we were set to do nothing but eat and drink wine all weekend - nice idea if you ask me. On Friday night, we attended a dinner at one of those elegant mansions in Newport, the Rosecliff. I have to say, I'm a sucker for a good night out in a elegant mansion reminiscent of the Gatsby era. I act like I do this all the time. The setting was beautiful particularly in the back of the house where 2 Bentleys were parking in front of the water's edge with a moon whose light spotlighted the cars as if they were sculptures of art. It wasn't until the end of the night that I realized the famous French chef, Jacques Pepin was there signing autographs of his books. Being an avid but amateur cook, I was excited to meet this great artist of food. By the time I arrived at the table, a woman behind the counter said he had finished autographing books for the evening. As he got up to walk away he started to walk towards me. I asked him if he would sign my book. "Of course", he said in that wonderful French accent and asked me my name. I felt like a teenage girl in a new school where the most popular football player asked me to dance. He proceeded to sign the book I selected which was his autobiographical, "The Apprentice: My Life In The Kitchen". I am reading his book which starts with his early beginnings in the outskirts of Lyons, the capital of the French cuisine. His father is a member of the French underground and his mother bicycled to markets to buy the best foods every week. If I was alive then, I would probably have done the same. He was 10 when he stated he wanted to be a chef. It wasn't until the next day that I looked at the inscription in my book. He wrote, "To Virgine, Cook with Love, Jacques Pepin. I think I love cooking even more.