Laura Florand had a contest on her Facebook page and I won. Trust me, this is big news. I never win stuff even though I enter every contest that comes my way. I have been a huge fan of Laura's since I found an autographed copy of her first book Blame It On Paris. Then I found out that she is a French professor at Duke. Then I sort of started stalking her by email. Then I actually got to meet her at a foreign language teachers' conference last fall (where I got the brilliant idea of having my 7th graders blog, merci, Laura, because of her presentation on blogging with students). Hopefully, she realized that I am normal and not really a stalker. I signed up for her Facebook page and entered the contest. Et voilà. I received my book yesterday and devoured her story. All in one sitting, I must admit. It is juicy, spicy, delicious, and right up my alley. An American food blogger moves to Paris and stalks a HOT French chocolatier, an MOF, Meilleur Ouvrier de France, chocolate-maker even.
Here is the only hot chocolate maker I've ever met--
Joël Durand in his shop in St. Rémy de Provence. Just a photo. Nothing juicy happened. He did pick out some of his chocolats for me to taste, though. It was my birthday in 2007...
Back to Laura. She has a new book coming out this summer, too--
And last but certainly not least. Laura's email to me today...
"I just spotted your blog at the end of your email. What fun you've been having in Provence! I love the post about the almond trees. I need to find out more about this chef's assistant sabbatical you had. It sounds like good material for a story. :)"
I have an outline. And a beginning. Thank you, Laura, for the encouragement!
Bon appétit, handsome chocolatiers and the women who write about them!