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Dining & Celebrating in Paris

carved hippo out of chocolate in Paris

This weekend France is celebrating La Fête Nationale, the French National Day. It commemorates the storming of the Bastille, which took place on the same day in 1789 and was considered to be a symbol of the uprising of a modern nation.

Since I just returned from France, I’m celebrating the remarkable food in Paris. Only there will you see such wonders as a hippo carved out of chocolate, laughing at you from behind a shop window.

Quintessential French Dining

Le Procope Restaurant Food since 1686

There are so many wonderful choices of restaurants to choose from. If it is old world charm you want, Le Procope Restaurant in St. Germain des Prés would be the ticket. It is called the oldest restaurant in Paris, dating back to the 1600’s. This gem is steeped in history and it is closely linked to the revolution. Continue Reading →

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Market Cooking Class in Paris

“I love Paris in the spring.” Cole Porter sure got that song right. I have worked and played in Paris many times, but this year while there celebrating my 50th birthday… I fell in love with Paris.  Maybe I’m getting sentimental in my “ripe” old age, or maybe it is because I am so captivated by the opening to Midnight in Paris.

I think my Los Angeles-based French culinary classes have raised the standard of what I desire in food. It seemed only appropriate to take a farmer’s market cooking class while I was in Paris recently so I could experience the local food, as well as the Parisian ambiance. A special thanks to Susan Herrmann Loomis for teaching a fabulous cooking class from On Rue Tatin. Continue Reading →

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markets of the world…
hoofs, nostrils and gold of the incas

Peru market hoofs and nostrils

ALL PHOTOGRAPHY BY CATHY NELSON ARKLE

“Waste not, want not” or so the saying goes. The Peruvians excel at this when it comes to food.  They are as resourceful as they are creative in their diverse cuisine.

Today’s market adventure finds us in Cusco, Peru. Continue Reading →

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cooking class… in cambodia

One of my favorite memories of my trip to Indochina was a humble hands-on cooking class I received in a rural Cambodian home.

My first project was to purchase eggs at the local market. Simple right? Not so. I was given the exact amount of money needed for my purchase. I didn’t see this as a problem until a swarm of very persistent children descended on us like vultures to a carcass. They used their best sales tactics to try to pry our money away from us by dangling baubles and bangles, old teeth, rocks and other found treasures in our face. I had to stay strong if I wanted to cook. So I pressed on.

scavenger hunt at cambodia market
Fish, fish and more fish… where were the eggs hiding? Continue Reading →

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markets of the world…
iguanas, brains, & tarantulas, oh my!

iguana and avocados in Laos

I love a good farmer’s market. I frequent them weekly looking to discover my next favorite culinary gem. As much as I enjoy treasure hunts at the Los Angeles markets, it’s the markets of the world that intrigue me. Today’s blog is a visual journey to far away places with strange sounding names… not to mention food you probably wouldn’t consider eating!
Warning: some of the pictures are graphic – please don’t view this before eating unless you are on a diet.

woman carrying fish in luang prabang, laos

“FRESH FISH TO GO”

Our first adventure starts at the morning market in Luang Prabang, Laos. This city is a fascinating mishmash of oriental wooden dwellings with random kisses of European architecture thrown in. All reminiscent of a time when Laos was part of the French colony of Indochine. The royal capital of Laos resided here until the communist takeover in 1975. Continue Reading →

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