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.