French Culture through Food & Wine
By Heather Stimmler Hall, Secrets of Paris, October 2012
As a tour guide, I try and recount the history Paris in a way that provides context for my clients so that they understand why it’s important. Just shooting off a long list of kings and dates and battles leaves people more confused than anything. The “why” often goes unanswered (if it’s asked at all). With food and wine, most people think it’s fine as long as it’s good. But I disagree. And so does Fred of Le Foodist, a new dining and wine tasting experience where guests “Discover Culture Through Food”. After living in many different countries around the world (including the US, where he met his British wife), this Frenchman has returned home eager to share his culture with English-speaking visitors through his Daring Pairings (wine pairings with cheese, chocolate, etc) and Once Upon A Table (5-course meals with wine), prepared by an expert chef aboard a boat moored at the foot of Notre Dame. Instead of telling you what you’re eating and how it was made, he tells you the history behind the classic French dishes and wines. I learned more about the origins of French food in one meal than I knew after living here for 17 years! And don’t think that it’s all dry academia. Fred and his sommelier Stephan create a fun, informal, and welcoming atmosphere, making us laugh with their anecdotes and memorable explanations.
The Daring Parings are at 6pm on Mondays, the Once Upon a Table at 8pm on Mondays; bookings are only open to about 12 participants to keep things intimate. If you’re interested in being one of the first guests, reservations open to the public in mid-November. Cooking and pastry classes will eventually be added to the calendar as well.