At the end of my final episode of Masterchef, Gordon said:
“Katrina, you have been an amazing student. You cook from your heart and...I would love to see you in France…I have two restaurants in France. I can’t wait for you to go spend time in them. When you’re ready to go...you let me know and I’ll arrange that for you, personally.”
The stars have aligned, tickets have been booked (thank you Gordon), Airbnb reservations have been made--and I leave on Saturday, 4/30 for my first trip to France! Gordon is sponsoring my first 10 days in Paris and has arranged for me to work at Gordon Ramsay au Trianon in Versailles under chef Simone Zanoni. I am so excited to work in his kitchen and plan to learn as much as I can. Other Paris plans include seeing the catacombs, walking the streets, shopping at E. Dehillerin, taking a riverboat ride down the Seine river, visiting the Centre Georges Pompidou, finding the photo booth from Amelie, attending mass at Norte Dame, eating baguettes filled with ham and french butter, and slurping it down with a glass of rose.
After a week and a half in Paris I will travel east and then south to the coast. I’m excited to spend time in the Champagne region (Reims)--drinking champagne (obviously) and walking the streets and enjoying the countryside. I then will be heading down to Lyon (the food capital of France), where I will be taking a random cooking class, visiting the markets, and learning about France's third-largest city. Then I will make my way to Montpellier, Narbonne and end up in Carcassonne which is all in the Langeudoc-Roussillon region. Where I will be eating oysters on the Mediterranean, drinking red wine, and learning about the Roman influence in this region. Finally making way to a small town called Vaison La Romaine which is part of the Cote du Rhone region. This by far my favorite wine (a combination of mainly Grenache and Syrah grapes). Here I will explore this small town and then meet Olivier Hickmann who will give me a lovely wine tour of the region.
Overall I’m looking forward to walking, riding trains, meeting new people, sitting in cafes, and simply letting time slow down a bit. I am thrilled that I will be in the birthplace of food, trying new things, and picking up new skills. I can’t wait to bring that knowledge back to my friends, family, and business, Katrina’s Kitchen. But most of all I can't wait to share it all with you.