I am the kind of person that like to do things different, unconventional, that sometimes it might seem weird to some but I truly believe it is an awesome way of being, I am not a fan of rules. One day I woke up and while writing my gratitude journal, I wrote a list of countries I would like to visit and bring my kids with me, for us to get a new experience. Then the idea of working showed up, why not? cooking can be done anywhere in the world I said to myself. So I followed my passion to teach and meet people and I made the decision to travel to France this summer, specifically to Provence, the South of France.
Why there? some people might ask, one answer was that I definitely wanted to change my environment and be surrounded by beauty in every way possible, and Provence is everything about that. I wanted to honor and embrace my feminine side. By being an entrepreneur and also being on the go most of the time, we women suppress that part of us and we become unbalanced, and for me, being in a more relaxed, laid back atmosphere, being surrounded by beauty, was my way to come back to myself. I needed a break and follow my passion at the same time in a more relaxed way of being.
So after asking around, I came to Aix-en-Provence, where everything is beautiful, great food, great ingredients and very charming. I got the idea of bringing Peruvian food to Provence, to either cook dinners at the place I was staying or to teach cooking classes, something different I thought. People come to Provence to learn and taste about Provencal food, and even though Peruvian food could be an impossible, I started seeing the interest in people about ceviche and other Peruvian dishes. I ended up going for 10 amazing days!
Before my arrival to France, I made some live videos and started promoting the classes and slowly but firmly people started to sign up. I had so many people registered in one day that the apartment that I originally wanted to rent became too small and uncomfortable for the classes, so I decided to not stay there. Then all of the sudden I saw a listing of a beautiful home with a large, amazing kitchen and I made it the place for the classes.
The owner grows her own garden, so we were able to get fresh herbs and eat wild strawberries every day and enjoy fresh, delicious tomatoes.
The first thing I did after I arrived to Aix was going to the local farmers market, I so loved it, everything was so fresh, the cheeses, the meats, the vegetables, it was truly amazing. I brought Peruvian ingredients from the US and some other ingredients I got at the farmers market for my first class, which was the day after we arrived. I didn’t waste anytime.
I was lucky to meet people that guided me to the stores and help me selecting the ingredients, I am so grateful for them that were with me along this journey, felt very blessed.
The classes started with a brief overview of Peruvian cuisine and samples of a few ingredients spread on the table.
I greeted my guests with a glass of Pisco Sour and chicha morada. Then they grab little bites of quinoa croquettes with avocado and tomato salsa. After indulging in this deliciousness, we served Papa a la Huancaina family style. It was so nice to see people experience the flavors of Peru, they loved it.
After that I did a demo of ceviche, I made ceviche clasico, which was a bit challenging because definitely the limes taste a bit different. We would end the class with carapulcra, a dried potato stew so new for the attendees. I also had fellow Peruvians at one of my classes and they absolutely loved the treat.
By my third class I was able to go to the markets on my own and identify which ingredients will be best for my class.
It was definitely an amazing experience, and I know I will be back, there are more places to visit and connect to some key people that made my connections easier when I was there. I am truly grateful for this amazing experience. La vie est bonne en France...oui oui.