food diplomacy through the story of a meal

Archive for Lunch in the Loft

J’aurais toujours Paris

I have been quiet of late on this blog as I have been taking care of the young man in my life and blogging about that on Tea and Sympathy.

As a treat, I will be traveling to Paris this December for a pilgrimage to my “holy land”.  I have never been in the City of Light in December, so I am looking forward to the beauty of the holidays and the cool winter air.  In addition, I plan to explore new parts of the city and to do participate in specialized cooking/foodie activities.

I want to still have the love of the city through these new eyes after the surgery.  I want to be able to sample and eat new and exciting meals and still be committed to this new chapter in my life.

This brings me to finding the balance between joyful abandon and adherence to a program.  I will be learning how to make the beautiful French macarons like they sell at Ladurée and Pierre Hermé.  Granted, they won’t be as stunning as those, but to learn how to make them in Paris is a special treat.

I also will be participating in a cooking salon with Miss Lunch again.  This time we will plan, shop, and cook together as we construct and deconstruct a meal while sharing the love of fresh and seasonal food sold at the local farmer’s market.

For the last few weeks, I have gone to bed dreaming of the trip, the food, and the possibilities.  I am giddy with excitement about my time wandering the streets of the city that will feed my soul, my heart and my mind.  Preparing for this trip, I have thought about what food means to me and how integral it is to the happiness in life.

It is not a small part, a take it or leave it element.  Cooking, planing, and creating gives me pleasure and meaning.  The senses are awakened and with that the heart is moved.

I will have seconds of that!

Here are a few Paris blogs that I have been following – may they inspire the Parisian in you.


2 months, 4 days and one very large broccoli

It has been 64 days since my surgery and have been feeling great.  I have been experimenting with different recipes and found that while nothing tastes good, I am still enjoying the love of food.  My relationship to cooking has not changed, but I find cooking on a smaller scale, 3/4 cup per meal, has resulted in a tremendous amount of food going to waste.  That breaks my heart as I never have thrown out so much food.

In honor of this milestone, tonight I made a light summer meal with poached salmon that was topped with home-made pesto.  To go along with the salmon, I make a saute of pickled shallots, spinach and quick cooking black lentils.

The flavors of summer with the fresh pesto and quick pickled shallots were a nice remembrance summer flavors.  Summer leads to fall and I am thinking about a trip to Paris to nourish the mind and body.  Besides a one-on-one shopping and cooking experience with Miss Lunch and French macaroon baking class at Cook’n with Class in Montmartre, I am looking for other opportunities to experience Paris with the new model of my stomach.

Lunch in the Loft (which is run by Miss Lunch) is a wonderful, intimate food salon that I can’t recommend enough.  Dining in her sunny, art-fulled home and then deconstructing the meal was both a pleasure to the stomach and the mind.  This time I hope to spend more time creating a menu, shopping at the Marche d’Aligre, cooking together and then dinning together on our meal.

David Lebovitz, author and food blogger, has suggestions for gluten-free gastronomy in Paris (from 2007).  But other suggestions would be recommended.

  • A gluten-free restaurant has opened: Des Si et des Mets. It features multi-course menus as well as Sunday brunch. (63, rue Lepic, Tél: 01 42 55 19 61).
  • Soya (20, rue Pierre Levée, Tél: 01 48 06 33 02) is a hip vegetarian restaurant which has clearly marked gluten-free dishes on the menu. The restaurant isn’t strictly gluten-free, though, so that might be a consideration.
  • A gluten-free take-out and food shop has finally opening in Paris: Biosphäre, located at 57, rue St. Maur (Tél: 01 48 06 08 81). I haven’t been in there yet, but it’s likely a haven for those on gluten-free diets.

As a girl can dream, I will plan my trip and look forward to the enjoyment of Paris, food, and networking with others who share this journey.

À tout à l’heure.