As the cool, crisp fall cast her spell over Bryant Park, the second annual Taste of France unfolded. Supported by the French embassy and numerous local French organizations, the event strives to promote and strengthen the Franco-American relationship through cuisine, lifestyle, tourism, culture and technological innovations.
It was apparent from the moment we stepped inside Bryant Park that its usual New York City charm was replaced by the romantic French ambiance orchestrated by renowned international architect, Jean-Pierre Heim. Everywhere we turned, people exchanged kisses and spoke in a tongue so eloquent and alluring, you could only imagine it came from the movies.
From the delicious taste of gourmet food, to Edith Piaf’s La Vie en Rose playing in the background and the layered scents of artisanal perfumes, Taste of France engaged all of our senses. We had a glimpse of French people’s love and respect for food when we sampled cuisines from all over the country.
We started with a plate of three cheeses paired with fruit preserves and mini toasted sourdough. We then moved on to Burgundy, where we tasted the most tender boeuf bourguignon with a side of creamy polenta and ratatouille. For dessert, we indulged in delicate chocolate raspberry tart from Financier Patisseries, and canelé, a specialty in Bordeaux, from Canelé by Céine. We couldn’t have left Taste of France without trying the famous Maison du Maille mustard. And it was simply divine, the perfect balance of spiciness and acidity.
One of the most rewarding experiences was connecting with the chefs and artisans. From our conversations with the charcutier slicing prosciutto to speaking with pastry chef, Céine, whose canelé we fell in love with, it was clear that our mantra at Mood of Living truly exemplified the European way of life – an appreciation for the art of living. Whether it is a finely crafted knife or an intricate wine and food pairing, every detail is indicative of the attention and care the artisans put into their craft.
We left Bryant Park with an assortment of souvenirs such as a bottle of Jean-Luc Colombo rosé and handcrafted soap from Marius Fabre, in addition to a very satisfied appetite and an even bigger appreciation for the French culture. Walking away, we couldn’t help but look back at the whimsical world we had left behind as the busy noise of the Avenue of the Americas brought us back to the New York minute.