potagerdeparis

food diplomacy through the story of a meal

Archive for Au Passage Restaurant

What inspires you when the good is gone?

I have been thinking about inspiration now that I have crossed the 1-year mark post surgery.  Let me share with you stats, since I think some you may want to know.  I lost 81 lbs.  While saying that and feeling great about the accomplishment, there is still lots of adjustments that are not tied to the weight.

As you know, I love food.  Thinking, eating, cooking, blogging, and watching it takes up most of my waking hours.  I have had to find new inspirations that go with these permanent changes.  As I am not going back!

After my trip to Paris, I was deeply moved by the local, innovative, and the classic all rolled into each meal.  I know that the trend for molecular preparation is all the rage, but it lacks the emotional connection for me.  I want to have a deep and meaningful relationship with the butcher who prepares my rabbit; with the fish monger who cleans my monkfish; and with the producer who harvests my olive oil.  Cultivating new friends with a re-jiggered stomach that are not part of the surgical weight loss community is few and far between.

So, I have discovered new pockets of inspiration.  In Paris, Au Passage, Agape Substance and the brilliant Miss Lunch bring inspiration, creativity and passion to their life, every day, each day, with their relationship to food. Believe it or not, Communal in Provo, Utah does the same in this food desert community.

Each day, those who give of themselves in the kitchen see food choice, prep, and cooking as a spiritual expression of who they are. Similar to a Sunday church service, there is drama, rejoicing, humility, and beauty.  There is faith in the gut of knowing what is right and what is false.  They honor the goddess who brings the bounty that then is transformed into a meal of memorable dimensions.

So I encourage you to discover what inspires you and then to take that inspiration and share it with others.  Be it a meal, a story, a poem, a song, or a newly configured stomach.

I am inspired by what I know about myself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First days, first meals

I arrived in Paris on Saturday to a grey and rainy city.  I am going to enjoy all it offers and make sure my food offerings and choices meet the usual expectations. 

I have visited both the Marche de Vanves and Marche de Clingnancourt this past week-end to see remarkably similar stuff to the fleas in Los Angeles.  We are all connected.  However, there is much more furniture and less of interesting jewelery.  Is it the economic times that is forcing sellers to keep back the good stuff to got a better price when needed?  The grey skies are looming large and they break away to rain on a daily basis.  Metro to Marais, for a Sunday of retail therapy as they are the only stores open in Paris and the people-watching will be good! 

The best falafel is found on Rue des Rossiers. However not eating the pita is a bit anti-climatic.  I have had less carbs in the last six months and nothing is as challenging as Paris.  I eat the falafel with a plastic fork and the lack of joy permeates the experience.   Perhaps dinner will give a sense of the foodie joy that is missing.   Walking around the Marais is like being in the most stylish shetel. I stopped into a fun Parisian store Zadig et Voltaire and found out that I can try on Parisian clothing now that I am about 64 lbs lighter. I am surprised that things fit.  Old images die-hard and the purses, which I was only able to buy until recently, still call my name. 

Dinner ended up being a warm bowl of mussels and frites as the rain was coming down cats and dogs.  The delicate mussels and warm wine broth were a perfect vehicle for the frites that have been sprinkled with salt and pepper.  Dunking them into the soup did make the frites soft, but sharing the spoon with the tender mussel was a traditional taste of Paris.

Tonight I am at Au Passage in the 11th.  It is s brand new restaurant off the Passage Saint Sebastien which serves tapas and regional fare.  I have started with a glass of rose from Corsica and roasted pumpkin with basil leaves and shaved ricotta salatta.  I spread the softened pumpkin and a mint leaf on the crust of multigrain bread.  It called my name!  The saltiness of the cheese and the floral note of the mint leaf is lovely with the warm roasted and carmelized pumpkin.

For the 2nd plate, I am having pan seared scallops on a bed of brussels sprouts purée.  These three scallops are topped with a bit of tapenade and mint leaves again.   The brussels sprouts purée is lovely, the scallops are crunchy on the top and soft on the underside.  I imagine that the entire scallops are cooked on the just one side and that residual heat cooked it through.

The place is packed and it would be wise to book in advance, however you can sit at the bar and enjoy the meal.  I finished my dinner with a mild blue and one last bite of the multigrain bread crust.

Not bad when you can only have 6oz per each meal.

Tomorrow is my cooking salon with Miss Lunch and I cannot wait until we plan, shop, and eat.  I plan to photo and post throughout the day.