luck or money?

me at the museumWould you rather be rich or lucky? My favorite museum provides the answer. Haunted by great wealth and heartbreaking tragedy the beautiful Musee Nissim de Camondo is a Paris treasure.

Conte Moise de Camondo had it all.  He was the scion of one of Europe’s wealthiest banking families.  Sephardic Jews, they had fled Spain in 1492 to escape the inquisition. Settling in Constantinople, they owned one of the largest banks in the Ottoman Empire.   After a stint in Venice where they picked up their titles, the Camondo’s moved headquarters and families to Paris 1868. Continue reading

my favourite things: LYON

lions of lyonIt is every blogger’s joy to get enthusiastic feedback and I am no different.   Whether this feedback is posted in the Reply section or, as is more often the case, shared in conversation and accompanied by a glass of excellent wine, I always happy to expound.  

 “I’d love to go there!” is the usual opening, followed by a litany of requests. These questions are always welcomed and often amusing:  Favorite table? Preferred hotel? Optimal bar-stool? Secret shoe store? Recommended masseur? And so forth.  Fortunately, I have many opinions and have never been shy to share them.  Continue reading

back to bocuse

ah! classic escargot1967. Haight Ashbury celebrates the summer of love, the Beatles release Sargent Pepper, Thurgood Marshall becomes the first black judge on the US Supreme Court and Charles De Gaulle proclaims ‘Vive le Quebec Libre’. My family hopped on a boat and sailed to Europe. While Timothy Leary was urging people to turn on, tune in and drop out I was discovering just how good food could taste and what was to become my bible, the Michelin Red Guide.

pre dessertI was 5. My parents took me to Lyon and Paul Bocuse.

Paul Bocuse at 91 is often referred to as the grandfather of French Cooking. Back then he was an innovator. The term nouvelle cuisine had yet to be coined, but Bocuse was already a legend.   He had been honored with the title Best Craftsman in France. And two years before I arrived he had achieved that most coveted of culinary accolades, three macarons from Michelin (calling them stars is so not in the know, I’ve been told). Continue reading