We are in a deep freeze in Paris, every day remaining well below zero. Last week was highlighted by the warmest afternoon: a new friend invited seven of us over to his apartment in the 12th to cook a wok meal. We each brought something to share. The bringing was loosely coordinated: shrimp, salmon, carrots, pepper, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, white pepper, a palette of sauces & spices, 3 rices, wine, pastries, chocolate cake. Tasks were divided naturally, everyone finding their place. Two woks were going fulls team in the kitchen, a Grey’s Anatomy team de-veined the shrimp with precision, the table was set, chocolates sampled on the sly, wine decanted.
I don’t set aside much time in my life for cooking with friends, let alone new ones. Breaking bread with friends is straightforward, nourishing, at the heart of it.