French love cheese.

First, it is surprising for us that raw milk cheese is not allowed in many countries. We just do not understand as nobody died because of cheese in France since so many centuries. That must be a kind of protection to the local “cheese” that these countries produce…

The all thing is in about the magic of a meal and for us it is extremely important to cook and please our friends and family with the best of what we have, Sitting at a table for a lunch or a dinner is a kind of religious thing. We usually offer a appetizer, a main course and then a green salad and some cheeses followed by a dessert. We do take time for a meal. We had previously laided a nice table and after an aperitif we invite our guests to go to the table. (no phone please).

Before all of that we went to the market or our favourite stores to purchase what we need to make sure you will get the very best. So buying cheese is part of the shopping. I must confess that most of the cheese store are so pretty. The selection we get to please you must be completed by some various cheeses. Let say three different will be the minimum. Of course some beautiful bread and great wine to go with.

We always go for soft cheeses and for sure get at least a strong one for the amateurs. Sometimes the cheeses are pricy and we believe it is an honor to offer you them. We make sure that our kids try everything and they will make later on their own choice. But they tried. I heard few times, some tourists saying “I do not like chesse”. When you then ask “Have you tried?” the answer was no. So why do you say that you do not like it if you have never tryied. During my career as a butler, I had a very famous American guy who requested to try a few real cheeses. He felt in love and even went to the strongest one. I was thrilled.

I do love nearly all of them. I miss them so much as I do now spend my life in Mexico. I did miss them when I was living in the US. When I do return to France for a trip I then do an orgy of cheeses.

my favorite…

Once more, nobody died because of the cheeses and I suggest to you to try them when you will visit France.

Chang Reforma Chinese restaurant, in Mexico city.

That was in one of those days we wanted to change from Mexico cuisine to something else. Having a nice Sunday walk along the avenida Reforma in Cuidad de Mexico, we found an atractive terrasse, and it happen to be a Chinese restaurant : Changs Reforma.

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Very elegant and very simple. We enjoyed the warm welcome from the hostess soon you enter.

Still we are not in China town, so the “a la carte menu” is not vaste. But very exciting and so good. Everyone can find a delicious dish.

We had the Pork Bao, Dumpling mix, Kung Pao chicken and to finish, the superb dessert : Emperor Blackberry rolls.

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Server Juan Carlos was very helpful and sweet enough to correct our selection of wine in a nice wine list. We ended with a Mexican : Casa Madero 3V.

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As I said earlier, the terrasse is really nice. Glass floor above a stone basement. Beautiful furniture like what you would like at home.

Changs as been a very good and surprising moment.

Moret sur Loing, France.

The picturesque medieval town of Moret-sur-Loing is a former bastion lying at the edge of Fontainebleau forest and on the quiet water of the river Loing. It inspired many Impressionist painters, in particular Alfred Sisley who spent the last 20 years of his life there. The most beautiful view is from the old bridge or the right bank of the Loing river.

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Mexican wines.

When I came for the first time in Mexico, I discovered that this country does produce wine. I had to try some. What a nice surprise. Why is that, that nobody knows about Mexican wines ?13319876_10209527020161851_9060591691537966777_n-1

I always look for a French wine when I travel. But one evening, the Headwaiter of ” La China Poblana” in Puebla was sorry as the restaurant was out of French wines. He recomanded that I should try a bottle of Mexican wine, and I am so pleased I did.

The history of Mexican wine production begins in the 1500s, when Hernan Cortes and his conquistadors exhausted their supply of wine while overthrowing the Aztecs. He ordered the colonists to plant 1000 grapevines for every 100 native “employees. The Spanish conquistadors had vines brought over for religious mass, and more likely, wash down their food. With failed attempts to grow grapes in the more tropical regions of Mexico, the first grapes, known as Criolla (the mission grape of California and the Pais grape of Chile), were successfully planted in the Parras Valley of Coahuila. Growing in Puebla and Zacatecas soon followed. The first Mexican wine estate, Casa Madero, was founded in 1597 by Lorenzo Garcia in Santa Maria de los Parras in Coahuila and still exists.

After Mexico’s War of Reform in 1857, all of the Catholic land holdings, and the vineyards, were seized by the government and became property of the state. These were then sold to a private group of investors who to this day operate as the Bodegas Santo Tomas.

Prestige wine production in Mexico, began in the 1980s with the promotion of modern techniques. Many of the grapes grown are of either French or Spanish origin. The main grapes for reds are Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, Carignan, Grenache, Merlot, Malbec, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Tempranillo. Whites are Chardonnay, Chasselas, Chenin Blanc, Macabeo, Moscatel, Palomino, Riesling, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.

Mexico is divided into these subregions:
*Sonora
*Baja California (which includes Valle Guadalupe)
*Coahuila
*Durango
*Aguascalientes
*Zacatecas
*Queretaro
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The Baja valleys can hardly keep up with domestic demand. Wine consumption has doubled in the past 10 years, though Mexicans drink double the amount of imported wine that they do domestic. Baja wine producers ship mostly to Mexico City, Monterrey, and Cancún.
In the 1980s, the Mexican government removed trade barriers that had kept imported wines out, which threatened to shutter small Mexican wineries.
But ultimately, the move put pressure on them to create better quality wines to compete with foreign imports.

Restaurant “Le Chantefable” in Paris.

Located in the district of the 20th arrondissement of Paris, you can find the French bistro Le Chantefable.This Bistrot will welcome you in a peaceful and warm setting in a retro and woody style décor.

During the beautiful days, you will for sure enjoy the terrace and spend a meal under the sun.
Really pleasant staff are welcoming you and for your plates, the chef showcases the French cuisine by drawing on the large gastronomic tables while adding a zest of his personality.

I ordered a very typical Harreng with a potatoe salad that was very very nice. The Duck confit was extremely good as well and my Creme Brulee was to die for. All the other dishes we had there were so good as well.

The Chantefable also has a wine rich menu that will appeal to sommeliers and wine lovers alike. We picked up a cheap one, Chateau Clement Termes and it was extremely nice.
With friends or family, it’s the perfect place to feast on good, rich and tasty dishes.
The good humour and warmth of a typical French bistrot are at the rendez-vous and warm the atmosphere in this friendly place. Cherry on the cake, dinner for three for around 100 euros, wine included.

The is where to go if you wish to do like the French and enjoy a really awesome dinner.