My food and wine story
I grew up in the lovely region of Alsace in north-east of France. Alsace is not a region like others. Several territory exchanges between France and Germany during WW1 and WW2 led to a strong regional identity. People cherish their lands and have a strong sense of respect for their products and their people.
It's the land of stinky Munster cheese and white Gewürztraminer wines.
This is how I grew up, surrounded by mindful people and the best farmers products from my parents, gran-parents and local producers.
My best souvenirs are picking fresh eggs from happy and free chicks. And running after them for fun. I loved removing fresh peas from their pods and eating fresh raspberries and tomatoes from the plant. I remember my gran-ma Eugénie preparing the best homemade quiche lorraine, tarte à l'oignon, tomato sauce and fresh pastas.
At the age of 16 I had my first love affaire with wine. I can still remember the taste of camembert with red wine.
When I was a student, I was so happy to finally have the chance to eat hamburgers and sandwiches.
Than I moved to the French Riviera to begin to work. I immediately fell in love with all the sun-grown fruits and vegetables like aubergines and peaches. This is when I started to cook by myself.
I never stopped since then.
my PROFESSIONAL story
Are you ready for the roller coaster ? Because this is how my professional story looks like.
I'm a multi-passionate creative and I only know it since 2014. Because I've always lived with non-creative or dont-go-creative-because-its-dangerous family members. And living in the countryside didn't help. At school I had to be good at maths and sciences. Maths were my biggest nightmare. I loved the experimental side of chemistry. So I naturally went for chemistry studies and specialised in cosmetic formulation.
I worked as a lab technician for a german cosmetic company called Biodroga, and then for a big american polymer company. We provided technical support to clients like Beiersdorf, Unilever and L'Oréal. I acquired real competencies in analysing, problem solving and tech support during those years. Until I had a new and awful boss. I decided that I would not spend my entire professional life depending on others. I had bigger dreams.
I made a big shift and went back to university to learn what I loved at that time, wine. I studied winemaking and professional wine tasting during two years, working as un assistant at a Château in Provence, and as an assistant wine consultant in the Rhone Valley. In 2010 I got graduated, married and pregnant. I decided it was the time to create my own business, my all-time dream.
In 2012 I started teaching wine tasting to private groups, and created the first wine tour in the city we lived, Toulouse in France. In the meantime, I followed my passion and took a six months cooking class at the Lycée Hotelier de Toulouse. During that time, I've had the privilege to work in a french Brasserie, and a Michelin Star Restaurant with Jeremy Morin. The exam day was an amazing day, I felt like I was in a TV show like "Top Chef" in France or "Chopped" in the US.
With all this passion and knowledge I was ready to do something big, but something was missing. In 2015 I joined Marie Forleo's B-School to really rock it all.
Just for fun, my wildest dream jobs are astronaute, racing driver, ski champion and ballroom dancer.
The people who inspire me are Marie Forleo, Danielle Laporte, Michael Hyatt, Tony Robbins and Richard Branson.
my personal story
When I was little, I was adventurous, bold and creative. I loved to think outside the box. I remember one day when me and my friends wanted to go sledding in the middle of the summertime. I attached our roller skates on to the sled. I loved to see their surprised and happy faces. For me, there was never an unsolvable problem, instead I'd always try to find a solution. Mac Gyver must have something to do with this.
I love to laugh and make people laugh. That's perhaps because I grew up with a depressive mom. I've read that kids having depressive moms spend their time to entertain people. My best audience was my cousin Stéphanie, we laughed so much together that at age of ten, it almost killed me. I got a piece of cheese stuck in my throat. Luckily my gran-pa René saved me and I continued an adventurous life in the Alsatian countryside, riding my bike or my moped (Solex) here and there with my friends.
At age of 19 I had my first heart break, what was at first looking like the end of my life, was actually a hole new beginning, an led me to an exciting young adult life. Going out, meeting new friends, having a lot of fun.
Some years later, when I was 22, the doctor diagnosed a cyst under the skin of my throat. My - bad - boss at that time told me about his brother who's had the same and ended up dying from a cancer. I was terrified. I remember driving home that day, thinking that I was going to die. A surgery later, I was finally fine.
This was the beginning of a shift in my life. I knew I had to do bigger things.
Some weeks later I've received a job offer to go to the French Riviera. Wow. The little countryside girl had finally the chance of her life. This was another amazing part of my life, my job was quite boring and I was working in a group of C players, but I didn't know what to do, and the lifestyle was so good : sea, salsa and sun, and I was driving my dream car, a sky blue little Mini Cooper. This is also the time when I met Thyago, the love of my life. An urban Brazilian boy meeting an Alsatian countryside girl on the french Côte D'Azur, both of us food and wine lovers.
At age 30 I realised that my core values were not aligned with my actual professional career. I wanted to do something bigger and create real value, and not being held like an hostage by a purposeless boss. It was the beginning of the change to what I'm today. Every step of the way was worse it. I studied winemaking and professional wine tasting during two years, working as un assistant at a Château in Provence. In 2010 I got graduated, married and pregnant.
In 2011 I gave birth to the most wonderful and scaring little thing that can happen to a woman, a baby. Everything's changed.
I decided it was the time to create my own business, my all-time dream. In 2012 I started teaching wine tasting to private groups, and created a wine tour in the city we lived, Toulouse in France. In the meantime, I followed my passion and took a six months cooking class at the Lycée Hotelier de Toulouse. The exam day was an amazing day, I felt like I was in a TV show like "Top Chef" in France or "Chopped" in the US. I had to cook : "Carré de Porc poêlé et son jus, Carottes et Navets tournés, pommes de terre Château et Soufflé au Grand-Marnier". I know this is crazy but I feel best and most productive in those high stressful situations.
In December 2013 we moved to Bremen in north of Germany. I travelled a lot around the world, but it was the first time I lived outside from France. I was very happy to move. Unfortunately, 2014 ended up being the worst year of my life. No close friends, no family, no job/business, huge back problems, no kindergarten for my little princess, awful weather, strange German culture. My dad had a cancer and my last grandma died.
This was the time I asked myself "what do you really want to do with your life, I mean really, really want ? What do people praise you for ? What is compatible with an expat life ? It was finally easy to know: be my boss, cooking, teach wine, photography, helping people and connect to people all over the world.
I made a promise that 2015 would be the best year ever ! So I took time for me, and started studying food photography and blogging on Creative Live. I joined Marie Forleo's B-School to really rock it all. And last but not least, we moved to California.
What I like
- fresh mint tea with ginger
- freshly pressed apple juice and orange juice
- my favorite comfort food : Croque-Monsieur, Lasagna, Tartiflette and Daube
- my favorite French desserts : éclairs à la vanille, madeleines, fondant au chocolat
- my favorite american dessert : layer cake
- sipping wine while listening to live jazz music
- aged farmer munster cheese from Alsace, my native region in France
- tartines with camembert and ketchup
- a freshly baked baguette, oh do I miss that here in L.A.
- I'm listening to Seriusly Sinatra and Chill on Sirius, or to Pat Flynn and Michael Hyatt's podcasts while driving my car or doing exercices
- my favorite tv-series : Scandal, The Walking Dead, Homeland