French Lessons in Politeness

French Lessons in Politeness

(photo source) Bonjour! This weekend, I spent several hours rushing around town, trying to finalize my holiday shopping. And during my frenzied rush, I saw people of all kinds being polite to one another, but also saw a few not-so-nice behaviors. This reminded me of a sentiment I heard at a Continue reading

World Flavors of McDonald’s

World Flavors of McDonald’s

(photo source) As a person who tries to live by French or European principles of eating, I normally avoid fast food restaurants for the simple reason that they often use unhealthy cooking methods to cook less than quality food products - not to mention they serve the same foods over and over with Continue reading

A Champagne By Any Other Name….

A Champagne By Any Other Name….

(photo source) If you're like me and love Champagne (or sparkling wine), you're going to love the December issue of Wine Spectator magazine. The cover story is dedicated to Champagne and details how France is trying to demystify the legend and focus more on the wine itself. As I was reading the Continue reading

Champagne, More Versatile Than Wine?

Champagne, More Versatile Than Wine?

Champagne may be associated with major celebrations and the christening of boats, but what many people don't know is that Champagne is one of the most versatile alcoholic drinks to pair with food. While attending a very entertaining Champagne tasting seminar during this year's Chicago Gourmet, I Continue reading

Diner en Blanc: Paris Enchantment in Chicago

Diner en Blanc: Paris Enchantment in Chicago

Over 25 years ago, a tradition was born in Paris - a tradition that pays tribute to the elegance, glamour, and rich history of the city. But what started as a quaint dinner for an elite guest list in the bustling city of lights, has now become one of the most sought-after dining events in more than Continue reading

Fast Food, French Style

Fast Food, French Style

(photo source) In the last decade, Americans have been outdone by the French in weight loss, relationships, style, and child-rearing. Now, the one thing that Americans seemed to do better than the French (and most countries), may be slipping to second-best. Fast food, once shunned by the Continue reading

Rules of Mushroom Engagement

Rules of Mushroom Engagement

  (photo source) In late August through the end of September, the French take to the country in search of the elusive truffle and its sister the mushroom. It is also during this time that Americans take to the country searching for their own culinary treasure - orchards full of apples Continue reading

Farm to Table from Your Own Backyard

Farm to Table from Your Own Backyard

One of great things about living in a large European city like London or Paris is the plentiful access to stores and markets within walking distance. It's no wonder that Parisians buy groceries on a daily basis, instead of weekly or even monthly like many Americans. Although living in the Continue reading

In the Words of Coco Chanel…

In the Words of Coco Chanel…

(photo source) On August 19, French fashion icon Coco Chanel would have celebrated her 130th birthday.  Born in 1883 in Saumur, France, Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel - later known as "Coco" - grew up in an orphanage where she first learned to sew. At age 18, Chanel left the orphanage and had a brief Continue reading

A Taste of Italy: Summer Caprese Salad

A Taste of Italy: Summer Caprese Salad

Numerous studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet - one that is rich in fresh, plant-based foods, olive oil, herbs/species, and more - has significant benefits for the heart. But the use of high quality, fresh ingredients may also provide you with a more enjoyable eating experience. According Continue reading

A French Summer Wedding

A French Summer Wedding

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending a friend's wedding in downtown Chicago. The ceremony took place in a gorgeous, restored church in the heart of the city, followed by a reception in a lighted, outdoor tent. Two days later the bride and groom headed off to France for two weeks in the Continue reading

Vive la Revolution: Bastille Day Menu

Vive la Revolution: Bastille Day Menu

(photo source) The 4th of July may be over, but don't put away those red, white, and blue decorations just yet. On Sunday, July 14, French nationals (and Francophiles) all around the world will celebrate Bastille Day, a national holiday marking the beginning of the French Revolution. Not only Continue reading