Paris, what can I say, it’s an amazing city. It has art, history, culture, fashion, music and cuisine… actually there is one aspect of cuisine in which all of France seems to be lacking: Raw Food Cuisine. It seems that Paris and France in general are a bit stuck in their old ways when it comes to health and food. This is the country that gave us foie gras, not the most conscious of food creations. While there are a number of organic grocery stores in Paris, they’re unfortunately lacking any of the raw decadence you can find in any of the major cities in the US, Canada, England and …Ireland? Yes, it was quite a pleasant surprise to find out that Ireland is totally hip when it comes to conscious culture and cuisine. I’ll be sure to fill you in on the details of the Irish rawfood scene in future posts. My host in Paris is the beautiful and gifted Arletty Abady. We met at the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center a couple of years ago when she was a guest there. We kept in touch through email and of course on Facebook. It’s great being able to reconnect with the growing minority of conscious eaters around the globe. Everyday in Paris we had the opportunity to wow each other with crudo (raw) culinary creations. She has been working her raw food magic and doing healing work in Paris for the past year. While staying in Paris for my first stretch, she organized a dinner and class which was a great success and quite a learning experience. The dinner was hosted at Bob’s Kitchen and the class at Bob’s Juice Bar. Both locations owned and operated by Marc Grossman… aka “Bob”. Arletty tells me that “Bob”, pronounced “Bub”, is the hoop name that Parisians throw around typical American’s, so “Bob’s Kitchen” and “Bob’s Juice Bar” represents that American style… or something along those lines. Dinner at Bob’s Kitchen featured a Thai themed menu: coconut curry soup, green papaya salad, Pad Thai noodles with almond miso sauce and mango pineapple sorbet with passion fruit and chocolate topping. Before we could pull off the dinner and class we had to purchase all the ingredients and schlep them back to Arletty’s flat. We did almost all of our buying at “Place d’Italie” in Paris. “Place d’ Italy” of course is China Town… duh? In the past this area of Paris was populated by Italians, now it is where the majority of Asians live and have their shops. We made two visits to “China/Italy Town” and returned home with full loads each time. I think we ended up buying more than a dozen young Thai coconuts. Once we got the ingredients back to the flat we had the task before us of prepping everything in her tiny tiny kitchen space. When I say tiny, I ain’t kidding; imagine 3 phone booths lined up, narrow and tiny. No worries though, it was proof to me that raw foods can be prepared just about anywhere.
The ongoing saga of The Live Food Experience in Europe continues. I’ve been having too much fun to sit down and do a decent blog post and I apologize. When traveling the ideal time to blog is often elusive, especially when your days are chocked full of uncertainty and adventure. It’s best to “live” first and make blog posts later. Of course I don’t want to cheat you out of the details and events that have passed so I’ll have to rewind to my time in Spain because at the present moment I’m in Terracina, Italy; before I was in Paris, before that I was in Ireland and before that in Paris… so there’s much ground to cover. So we’re in Spain and we are wrapping up the retreat with the Servants of Love. The last day was laid back with buffet style lunch to bring the retreat to a close.
Many of the guests were leaving that evening, while others were remaining in Spain for a bit of R and R. Volcanic mischief would end up granting many of the retreat staff an extended holiday. It takes more than volcanoes to slow me down. My departure from Spain went something like this: On Wednesday April 14th I was up by 7:45am, took a quick shower, packed my gear and had a shot of wheatgrass before dragging my gear to the bus stop to catch the 8:25 to Malaga. My travel plans for the day would include all forms of transport except for boat and bike. Here’s the breakdown: bus to Malaga, train to Madrid, metro to Madrid airport, plane to Beauvais, France, bus to Paris, metro to Arletty’s. Quite an exhausting day. I had finished the all the goodies that Veronica had packed for me well before I got out of Spain so I was hungry once I came through Arletty’s door. Goddess bless her, she had prepared a magical cabbage salad and some kraut to fill my belly before I collapsed in a heap on her futon.
The next morning I awoke to see the rooftops of Paris through the windows of Arletty’s flat. I was anxious to go exploring, but first a breakfast smoothie/porridge was to be had. It was a tasty combination of almond mylk, bananas, local honey, cacao nibs, bee pollen and gojis. After breakfast I was off on my first Parisian adventure which took me to Notre Dame. I also took some time to explore the surrounding neighborhood and I even tried to find the “Bob’s Kitchen”, where I would be preparing a dinner on Saturday night… no luck. It turns out that I walked by the place 3 time and overlooked the tiny black letters “kitchen” that was only signage on the open door of this little restaurant. No worries, green juice heals all injuries both physical and mental and that’s what we enjoyed when I got back to Arletty’s. Purple cabbage and garlic gave this juice some color and kick. That’s all for now. Stay tuned for more from Paris. Keep It Live!