The skills he learned in France . . .

And cooking.

In his early twenties, my Husby spent two years living in Paris, France.
For a farm boy from southern Alberta, it was quite a culture shock.
But he loved it, and grew to love the French people.
During his years there, he discovered that the French love their food.
Love. Their. Food.
And he found out first hand . . .
During his stay there, Husby became acquainted with a wealthy U.S. national and his family who made their home in Paris.
Wonderful people.
One evening, the father decided to take his family out to dine.
He invited Husby and his companions.
Remember the place where I said ‘wealthy’?
That would become important here.
They went to a five-star, French restaurant.
And when the French say five-star, they definitely mean it.
Our little farm boy found himself in the very heart and soul of Haute Couture.
He nervously sank into a chair at one of the luxurious tables and accepted the expertly-flourished menu.
Fortunately, his French was good, so ordering didn’t cause any complications.
The meal came out in courses.
Slow courses.
When I say that the French love their food, I mean it.
And they take time to worship every. Single. Bite.
Finally, the main course appeared.
Husby’s American friend had ordered steak.
Steak was delivered. Smothered in onions and other good things.
Said steak was also very, very rare.
Now, I don’t know about you, but that would have been just fine with me. (Rancher’s daughter.)
But for Husby’s friend, it was simply unacceptable. “Could you please take this back and cook it?” he asked.
The waiter’s impeccable manners did not allow for any outward show of surprise or even opinion. He simply said, “Oui, M’sieur,” and carried the offending plate away.
A few minutes later, he reappeared, with the same steak on a fresh plate.
Still beautifully displayed.
Still rare.
The friend stared at it, then at the waiter. “Could you please take it back again?”
Now it’s no crime to like your meat well-done.
Most of my family members actually prefer it that way.
It’s just not acceptable when you are in a very fancy French restaurant.
A short time later, the steak re-appeared.
This time carried in with tongs.
By the chef, himself.
“M’sieur,” he said, slapping the steak down in disgust on a nearby plate, “you have murdered that steak!” The man then spun about and marched back to the kitchen, outrage and repugnance (good word) in every step.
For those of you planning on dining in France . . .
The people are wonderful.
The food divine.
The meat, rare.
That is all.

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Tags: Paris, food, hautecouture, rare, steak

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