Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Drawing the chefs

JAmes Beard House Events CalendarAnother PAST POST. Please note the date. I'm reposting tales from 1994, whilst at the James Beard House that I blogged about here in 2007. Things I did over 20 years ago. I still draw and paint (visit Etsy svp) but I am no longer painting chefs jackets.  I may re-post the rest of the week if you like. Enjoy! PS How did the birds get in here? Sorry :((
Becs said, How did you manage to land all these sweet gigs?
When you're known in the family as the "artist" it's a natural you'll end up doing caricatures at Sweet 16 Birthday parties. Better than baby sitting.
Julia Child Great Chefs Party at March Invitation
But I didn't know I was laying the groundwork for sketching chefs at fancy dos...
Here's an invitation I did for a benefit party of Julia Child with Great Chefs held at restaurant March.

I proposed to FOOD ARTS MAGAZINE that I do some sketchbook pages for them at the Lyon Food Fair - also known as the Salon des Metiers de Bouche
(meaning Salon of the Careers of the Mouth!) It's an international catering, hotel and food trade exhibition held bi-anually in January.
The French take it so much further than the Fancy Food Show! With real fish mongers, crepe makers, cheese vendors - The WORKS!
I illustrated an invitation for D'Artagnan's big anniversary party at Grand Central station for Ariane Daguin. Sketching the party was part of the fun of photographing and attending these events.
After Paul Bocuse's M.O.F. party, George Duboeuf gave a bang-up chef soiree... More doodles.
Sketching at the James Beard Awards.
Out of these party sketches I ended up doing a series of ads for Restaurant Associates showing the Tropica chef creating in the kitchen. I went in, taped his conversation and made it part of the ads seen inside New York Magazine too.

Party sketching is a FUN career!

Thank you for reading Paris breakfast. If you enjoyed this newsletter, forward to a friend. Gift yourself and your friends Paris letters, maps and watercolors

Monday, January 22, 2018

Painting Chefs jackets

Since you asked, more stories of my fabulous adventures at Paul Bocuse's 1994 
MOF luncheon in Lyon. Enjoy!
The next chapter of my varied career path...Butcher, baker, candlestick maker...
What's next? Chefs jacket painter!
As I mentioned before I had nothing to wear to the ball...I mean the chef portrait exhibit opening at the James Beard House.. So I painted a Bragard chef's jacket to wear covered with portraits of said chefs!
Here's a back view with my favorite back views of the chefs. I mentioned also that I wore 4 different jackets to Paul Bocuse award luncheon. Not all at once silly! I rotated them in the ladies room. A tall, dark, thin man came over and said he'd like to order a painted jacket.
asked for his business card. He said he had none. I asked could he write his name on a piece of paper.. And he wrote -
George Duboeuf!
I did a special "Flower Label" jacket for a friend of his.
At the same Bocuse event another chef invited me for lunch at his Lyon hotel restaurant.There he served me my first and last whole black Perigord truffle en croute. After I finished his dish and assured him it was wonderful.. (what do I know of truffles, chocolate or otherwise) He informed me, 'Now you will paint me a chef's jacket. You have just eaten your payment!'
Pas de choise
/ I had no choice..C'est la vieSometimes you just have to pay the piper for your dinner..
I got to know famed French chef, Roger Verge at that luncheon. He asked me to paint him a special jacket for his upcoming vegetable cookbook tour. Payment would be a stay at his fabulous French Riviera inn, Le Moulin de Mougins. I never got around to tasting that "truffle" and now he's no longer there.

 Wendy Brandes at the Wall Street Journal did a little story on the jackets,
"Michelangelo liked ceilings.
Diego Rivera preferred murals.
Carol Gillott goes for...chefs jackets."
I never ever worried what to wear to a ball or any foodie events I was shooting. I was a walking sandwich board for the jackets. Mothers liked the jackets for their graduating culinary school kids. Chefs liked them for special events. the chefs were just entering the celebrity arena at that time. I threw in this back view of the "pasta jacket" of a hilltown for all you returning sojourners from Italy!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Paul Bocuse et moi

RIP Paul Bocuse - the most generous, kind and fabulous man I ever met. 
I'm reposting today from June, 2007. Enjoy.
I found an old menu today dated June 29, 1994 from the M.O.F. luncheon Paul Bocuse gave 13 years ago in Lyon. I was a volunteer photographer at The James Beard Foundation for 7 years.
For an exhibit of chef portraits, I painted a chef's jacket to wear to the opening. Bragard, top French chef jacket makers, contacted me. They asked me to paint a 'portrait' jacket for Paul Bocuse to wear to the Chicago Food show. I wrote M. Bocuse requesting reference photos. I received an invitation to his Meilleur Ouvriers De France celebration luncheon in Lyon.
Mon dieu! The M.O.F. is the highest award in France for a craftsman.
No way I could miss this soiree.
 Off I went with Bocuse's painted jacket, a portrait painting portrait, and four jackets to wear at the luncheon. I had nothing sufficiently elegant to wear so I changed my painted chef jackets  4X in the loo instead.
M.Bocuse is a clever man. Every guest got their own M.O.F. 'ribbon' napkin ring. By the end of the luncheon every guest was wearing the MOF on their wrist, singing French songs and waving their arms in the air.

Too funny.
The menu was superb bien sur. No one in the world gives a party the way the French do.

Every French foodie person of note was at this MOF lunch. France's best cheese person, best chocolate maker, best butter maker etc. Siro Maccioni of Le Cirque and I were the only 'American' invitees. Here I'm sitting beside Jacques Maximin former chef of Hotel Negresco

I was shooting for FOOD ARTS Magazine so I took a group shot of all the top chefs.

 Bocuse was instrumental in my new career with Mumm Champagne. He was their USA spokesperson, though he speaks not one word of English. But his charm is contagious.

Mumm asked me to develope a promotional portrait program for them. I painted stacks of Mumm labels they attached to bottles as gift to their restranteurs.
After two days of partying in Lyon, I had to go back to Paris. Bocuse, ever the gracious host, asked his secretary to make me a reservation on the TGV. But I arrived late and jumped on the train sans billet/ticket.
When the conductor came by, I explained I'd been caught in traffic, but Chef Bocuse made the reservation. He paused, thought a moment and then said OK and walked on.
Only in France can you drop the name of a great chef and get a free ride from Lyon-Paris on the TGV!
Bonne 13th Anniversaire of your M.O.F. award,

Paul Bocuse et grand merci!

1995 New Year's card from Paul Bocuse

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

La Galerie Vivienne Paris map, Legrand tea tins

Yesterday I painted a Bordeaux (or it could be Burgundy...I asked and they could not tell me) tea tin from famed LEGRAND FILLES ET FILS inside GALERIE VIVIENNE, January's Paris map.
I'm probably the only customer who goes to Legrand for tea, though they have a wonderful epicerie full of classic French regional specialties.
Customers have been going since 1880 for their superb collection of French wines and you should too.
Legrand has not yet lost the Christmas spirit
And neither has the Galerie Vivienne. Hurry up. I don't know when they will take dow the lovely lights.
Another wonderous shop and there for at least 30 years is Wolff and Descourtis. Stunning chalis and cashmere stoles all fabricated in Lake Como with a decidedly Oriental flare. Fabulous. A must-see.
Of course my fav is for mainly 5-year olds, Si Tu Veux. I've been dropping in for years.
This time I met the owner, madeleine Deny. She has been there 30 years! I bought the little picnic tea set to paint last night I've been admiring it for weeks..
Do take note of the wonderful decor throughout, designed by architect François-Jean Delannoy in 1826.
The famous mosaic tiled floors were designed by G.Faccina.
They lead you right out to rue Vivienne.
Where you'll find Le Grand Colbert at No. 2, rue Vivienne. No more Noel here...triste
I went inside thinking they might sell me their signature coffee cup but they only had mugs. Quelle disappointment. Still. I was delighted to see the same tile floors as in the main galerie!
Then back out into last night's pouring rain. Not 'cats and dogs' I've been corrected but 'ropes'. Who knew? And here is January's Paris map. Thank you for reading Paris breakfast. If you like this newsletter, forward to a friend. Gift yourself and your friends Paris letters, maps and watercolors
Keep warm and dry, Carolg and Bear

Monday, January 15, 2018

The Winter Blahs

Yesterday I asked sketcher JANE KLARES FROM THE TRAIN," So when is Noel finished in Paris??
Jane giggled and said,"Ah...La fête continue!"
If you're having the Winter Blahs as M. mentioned in an email, plus sub-zero temps and the flu
Hop on a plane for some Springtime relief like we had yesterday. All Paris was out and about.
True, we're having nightly rains causing la Seine to rise up precipitously. Its raining again today.
But Sunday was glorious.
No problem when Jane asked me to join Urban Sketchers Paris draw at the Petit Palais.
Jane's watercolor of the rotunda.
And my doodle.
Jane's sketch of la Belle Epoch stairway, one of many in the Petit Palais
We sketched outside too. That's Invalides across from Pont Alexandre III
There's a lovely tropical garden inside the Petit Palais just in front of their 'Lenotre' cafe.
I pulled up a chair to draw and was surrounded by fat French sparrows.
I ran inside and grabbed a mini croissant for them to nibble on. They were rather blasé...they must get Lenotre croissants daily. Hmmm...
Today, though the rain has returned I'm trying to capture them in watercolor. How'd I do? A fun way to get rid of the Winter Blahs no?
Thank you for reading Paris breakfast. If you like this newsletter, forward to a friend. Gift yourself and your friends Paris letters, maps and watercolors