Cook, Connect, Build & Restore

Eating local food in Brooklyn certainly constitutes something quite different than what I was doing growing up in Provence, where all senses were easily activated in a rush of colors, smells, tastes.
However, in navigating the NYC landscape for the past 2 decades and learning how to source local food here, I managed to find a similar kaleidoscope of senses, and, more importantly, realize the impact on our community.
And along the way I developed a strategy to feed my family in a conscious yet efficient way & cook, connect, build & restore.

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Our Family Weekly Cooking Strategy

I had a good laugh the other day when a friend told me that some people have this super glamorous vision of my family life when it comes down to food. They envision me eating at ICI (now called Maison May Dekalb ) almost every night, with my perfectly mannered children—aren’t we French, after all?—just relaxing the night away over delicious food. On the rare nights we’re not there, I become a domestic goddess in the kitchen at home, whipping up something spectacular with ease.
This is as far as you can possibly get from our reality….

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Evolution Rather than Resolutions

I do not believe in New Year's resolutions: 
it is too much pressure and in the end, it is too easy to drop them. I believe in process instead. 
On slow, steady, sustainable building.
2015 is due to bring huge changes in my professional life.
But it did not happen overnight, neither did I wake up on 
January 1st and decided to go for it.

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Braised Pork Shoulder, Chimichurri & Creamy Grits

I love this dish because it is comforting, disarmingly easy to make and is best cooked the day before so when your guests arrive, you do not have anything to worry about and your kitchen is clean… And I always do a batch of garlicky sautéed collard greens on the side so I do not feel like I splurge too much...
Have your guests leave with some left over pork, perfect in a sandwich the following day:  spread horseradish mayo on ciabatta & add a few pickles and serve with bitter winter greens.

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Slow Food, Provençal Style

My aunt “Mine” was a serious cook, in a peasant’s intuitive, self-taught way. I never saw her look at a recipe book unless she was making a dessert, and she had the genius ability to produce an amazing dish out of what anyone else would have considered an empty fridge. I have many fond memories of her cooking, but my absolute favorite dish of hers was her ratatouille.

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Where I Am Now - Possibly Who I Am - For Now

I think we’d all like to think ourselves as more than just the sum of our parts. Take me, for example: you could label me as just a female entrepreneur, or a (single) mother, or a restaurateur. I’m French, I’m a New Yorker. But to me, all of those things are so deeply intertwined to make me, you can’t think about one without the other. If I’m just a female entrepreneur, I’m a bitch. Just seen as French, oh, oui, oui, we get it. A single mother first and foremost? It’s oh, poor you.
It’s taken me a long time to realize who I am as a whole, and to free myself from living solely toward others’ or my own, expectations based on any one part of who I am.

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Food Epiphany

By reconnecting with my roots, and with the intrinsic way of eating that had been mine for so many years, I discovered a deeper meaning to it that not only drives how I feed myself, my children, and the community in a healthy and delicious manner—and remains at the core of each and every week when I plan meals for my family and my restaurant—but inspires a way of living and working based on the simple ritual of eating well.

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