Sunday, 6 September 2009

Paris, Tokyo.

There is a glass cube on the roof of the Palais du Tokyo and it has my name on it. Nomiya is a one-year only restaurant on top of the Palais du Tokyo in Paris, designed by artist Laurent Grasso and his brother, architect Pascal Grasso. The project is called ‘Art Home’ (prononcer arôme) and is sponsored by Electrolux, offering tours, a lunch & dinner service and cooking workshops.
Planned ahead I managed to book a place for the workshop. For a symbolic €20 I would assist in the preparation of 2 dishes served in the restaurant, in a state of the art Electrolux kitchen. In French.
Perfect. Not just a vacation, but an educational one at that.

On arrival we were greeted by a member of the chef’s team, handed an apron (that we got to keep as a souvenir) and were led up to the roof garden to see fresh herbs and vegetables used by the restaurant.
We then got down to coking our lunch; a steamed then fried squab stuffed with dates and hazelnuts, served with aromatic rice and a warm salad of chives, bell peppers and cardamon, followed by a cold melon soup with a quenelle of white chocolate mousse.
In the kitchen we divided ourselves to small groups; those making the dessert, those cleaning and preparing the small birds, feathery head attached and all, and the English speaking foreigners; that’s me, 2 Canadian girls and a Frenchman (not foreign, but group less). We were in charge of the chopping, cutting and slicing of the nuts, dates, peppers and general odd jobs.

2 hours later a bunch of foreigners sat down for a really good lunch, in French.

I got to cook in a really nice kitchen, met some strangers, ate good food for little money, got a new apron and took part in an art installation. Thats an afternoon well spent.

Incidentally, the day of my scheduled workshop was also market day on boulevard Président Wilson (Wednesdays and Saturdays) for that special little extra.
Reservations, tours and workshop can be booked here

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