A few days ago, when the balloon was green (remember that..?) , I took the opportunity to take a stroll and take in some fresh air as well! Soon, the craving for an espresso took over.
As I walked along (armed with my laptop, of course) admiring all the gardens in sight, I happened to come across a cute little café. Seeing the interesting mix of people inside, I decided to make this my coffee-cum-blogging place of the day. It looked comfortable enough to spend a few hours in so I figured I might also get some trading done. This time last year I made a packet with NBA arbs during March Madness & I could do with a cash injection right now.
In retrospect, holing up in this place turned out to be a smart move; the interesting mix of people I just referred to turned out to be the friendliest lot I’ve bumped into so far!
I found myself a cozy spot. Scanned the menu. And placed my order with a really friendly teenager who spoke flawless English. And then I got on to my sports arbitrage frenzied clicking away to glory, only to find this American lady looking over my shoulder!
She apologised and said she was intrigued by what I was doing. Ah, this gave me a chance to rattle off my sports arbitrage passionate speech and in no time I had a little audience around me. A demo followed and voila, I put on a couple of trades and received hearty congrats for being so clever (ha! that was great for my ego!)
Over some more rounds of coffee, we all got talking and exchanging notes. They all seemed quite impressed with our plan to travel & explore all of Europe and hopefully the world. Realising our love for good food & wine, the inquisitive lady (who started all this!), Joanna, promptly asked me if we had been to Hidden Kitchen yet.
“Hidden Kitchen – Linda’s been dying to go there but we haven’t figured out how to get an invite” I blurted!
My reaction seemed to be the golden words required and in a matter of minutes (and a phone call) I found Linda & myself invited to Paris’ most sought after secret place…!
Back at the hotel, I made Linda guess what I had done. She couldn’t believe her ears (‘coz usually it’s her networking that takes us places)! She even agreed to rub my feet for an entire week! Heh heh heh!
The D-Day arrived and while Linda was on an affordable fashion spree (for the event!) I decided to find out what the hullabaloo was all about.
A bit of research and this is what I came up with:
Hidden Kitchen was started by Braden & Laura a few years ago when they moved to Paris from Seattle. Wanting to meet new people and get their social life going, they created this wonderful concept – cooking for people and inviting them over!!! Sounds crazy? Not if the two of you are a chef & a baker by profession!
During the week they work as consultants for restaurants and retail food companies. But every Sunday night they invite 12-16 friends into their home for a 7 to10 course menu with paired wines. Such a simple idea, but with the noble intention of meeting other food loving people (from all over the world) in Paris!
Their initial invitations were to influential people related to the food industry – food critics & bloggers. But as word of mouth spread, they found these new friends bringing their visiting family, friends, acquaintances and also many a stranger (but fellow foodie) who wanted a special dining experience, seeking an invite.
I guess we fall in the “friends’ acquaintance” or “fellow foodie” category…
Linda finally decides on the attire and we soon find ourselves at our hosts’ place.
Laura greets us at the door with a glass of champagne. This was going to be first of the many glasses we sipped throughout the evening. And though I tried to remain sober to remember what to write for the blog, somewhere along I drifted into this out of the world gastronomical bliss and the details soon started fading away…!
Therefore my apologies, I shall not be able to list the fantastic wines that complimented the food so perfectly. Even Linda, who is a stickler for such details (and who I rely on in such situations), failed to recall the names – just shows what wonderful conversation we were engaged in, while the food conquered our senses!
The company was more than engaging. It was a complete mix of cultures and professions and couldn’t have been more interesting! There were honeymooners from the States. There was a restaurateur couple from Melbourne (the new gastronomical capital of the world, I’m told). Our common friend, Joanna was with another friend. And some well-to-do Parisians were with visiting relatives.
Each course was so well presented I lamented not taking food pictures (you know how it is after a few wines). Coming back to the food; words are inadequate to describe the experience. But let me try to informally list some of the courses…
All I can say is that we feel blessed to have been able to experience the Hidden Kitchen. We can not thank our gracious hosts enough for making our stay in Paris, complete. Indeed, one of the most memorable evenings we have had… god bless these crazy cooks!
And to think it all started with me entering a Paris Café for some quiet blogging and trading……