My love affair with France began as a five-year-old. My parents took a 3-week European holiday and returned home forever changed. The stories of faraway places were undoubtedly romanticized; nonetheless, I could not wait for my chance to go.
Years later, as a young fashion professional, I finally had my chance for a European adventure. I boarded a plane headed for France. Paris is intoxicating and I fell hard. It was love at first sight, sound and taste. My heart swelled and my mind drifted to thoughts of a second visit.
Having children changed everything, including my career. I desperately wanted to be present for the day-to-day routine of motherhood. With my mind and heart focused on my precious babies, it was easy to put my fashion career in the rear view mirror.
As a stay at home mom, my focus shifted. Cooking, entertaining, gardening, and decorating came naturally to me. As I worked to perfect these gifts, my spirit sparked.
I decided to share my passion for food with others and began teaching cooking classes all over Texas. Soon, I was writing for local publications and even had a radio show. All of the work orbited around one thing: connecting families and friends Around the Table. This is how my first blog was created.
As life evolved, so did my career. Traveling to Paris became a yearly adventure. I studied in the finest cooking schools the city had to offer, and enjoyed bringing French recipes and techniques to classes taught in Texas.
Over the years, I grew to love Paris more and more. I knew Paris like the back of my hand, becoming intimately acquainted with world-renowned eateries and up-and-coming establishments. I discovered the finest places to shop for cheese, wine, bread, and any food related item your heart could desire. Scouring the city for premier kitchen accoutrements and Brocante became an exciting sport for me. Having the opportunity to bring these found treasures home to become part of daily life made my heart sing.
My curiosity for this country and its people was piqued with each visit. Food is one of the greatest influences on any culture; without a doubt, the French love their food. With an up-close view of the way the French eat and live, I soon garnered a deep respect for French tradition and its culture. Don’t get me wrong, I am a true-blue American with a deep love for my country. There is just something special about France; it’s where my soul comes alive.
People often ask me how A Taste of Paris™ became a reality. My life changed forever, one day, while I was teaching a French Pastries class.
A longtime student piped up and asked, “Lorie…when are you going to take us to Paris?” I stopped in my tracks. My mouth fell open. As I mulled the question over, I noticed a deep stirring in my gut. That night, I had a dream in vivid color about how to share my love of food and France with others. The next morning, I bounded out of bed and eagerly shared the burgeoning idea with my husband. With his encouragement, a good business plan, and a lot of prayer, I took a leap of faith. The best part? Nine remarkable women lined up and leapt with me, and A Taste of Paris™ was born.
I knew A Taste of Paris™ would have a personal impact on travelers. Immersing yourself in the French way of life, and exploring this country through its food, alters your point of view forever. There was no doubt in my mind that people would be transformed through this experience, and I was eager to offer that gift to them. The part of this experience I did not expect was the gift these incredible travelers would give me in return. Each of their stores is a gift to my heart. You see, life stories tend to tumble out while breaking bread in a foreign country; tales of overcoming adversity, and moments of triumph-great and small. All of these intimate moments, the meeting of hearts around a table, have become invaluable treasures to me.
Whether you are trying a new delicacy, comforting a sorrow, tasting another culture, or celebrating a triumph, food brings people together. This is the truth in my life, like a glittering thread that runs from the beginning, binding me to the people I love. When food is shared around a table, magical things happen. A Taste of Paris™ is a wonderful opportunity for me to share this truth with you.