Saturday, May 1, 2010

day 26

Chocolate studded with dried fruit and nuts. I helped Kiko upstairs today making mendiants which means "beggars" in English. Traditionally, there should be figs, almonds, hazelnuts and raisins to represent the different colors of the robes of mendicant monastic orders. Chef kept the almonds and hazelnuts, but uses pistachios and either dried apricot or candied orange or lemon peel instead (basically any leftover bits from other products). We made 300 of these bite-sized confections.

the new arena
I walked over to the new arena yesterday where the town's bull fights are held during the summer. I would have loved to get inside for a better look, but as with most of the sights here in Beziers, the arena is closed to the public, at least until the summertime.

...and in other news
Today I had lunch in a restaurant on Valras beach with Chef, his family and a few of their friends. I tried to follow the conversations as best I could, but everyone talks so fast. Carmela, Chef's wife, was extremely gracious and chatted with me in English. For lunch, I ordered "poisson du jour" which happened to be sea bass, or "loup." The fish was grilled and served whole and tasted extremely fresh. Chef and two of his friends ordered "plancha complete" which was squid, shrimp and tuna all on the grill. Carmela had risotto with shrimp. She explained that in France, the shrimp are always served whole, with heads and shells, and are not deveined. Yikes. After lunch, Chef and the men in the group left. The women stayed for another two hours for dessert and coffee. It was an extremely long lunch. Carmela said that they do this every Sunday or Monday during the summer.

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