June 20th, 2007


The C&Z Book Launch

It was like a treasure hunt. We found the address on a sidestreet near the Natural History Museum. Ah, but that was just the ticket desk, where we collected instructions for our next destination, another nearby building. The door was locked. We rang the bell and said the secret password: "Chocolate and Zucchini". With a smile, the door-answerer let us in.

Upstairs, a book launch was beginning in honor of the internet's most charming food blogger and her new cookbook (British edition), Chocolate & Zucchini: Daily Adventures in a Parisian Kitchen. Trays of appetizers, locally prepared from Clothilde's cookbook, greeted the arriving crowd. Soft breads from fruits, bread, and meats were a highlight, but my favorite dish was the zucchini carpaccio, with soft goat's cheese, gently macerated, and eaten on slices of bread, while sipping bubbly. After the main event of the evening, a course of chocolate nibbles followed, a light, moussey chocolate raspberry cake topped with fresh raspberries and crunchy chocolate cookies.

The author gave us a verbal introduction to the blog and the book - how she discovered food as a hobby by moving to another country and seeing food anew through alien stores and restaurants; moving back to Paris; gambling on a book contract to establish a new full-time career as a food writer; the challenges of being one's own team lead; the satisfactions of doing a job which sells people something they want to look at for fun, not just for work.

The audience was primarily in their 20s and 30s. Partially this was a consequence of the blog's audience, partially a consequence of the timing of the event. 6:30 on a Wednesday is likely to be most convenient for students and city workers, although there was a reasonably minority of people who looked to be of retirement age as well. How many other food bloggers whose work I read were represented in that room? I may never know; it mostly didn't seem that kind of social event. We were there for the book.