Monday, May 24, 2010

David Lebovitz Book Signing and a Candle Light Dinner

It all started with a hum. I couldn't hear the hum, but then again after so many years of working near jet engines, hearing a whisper is pushing it. Back to the Apple store we went with my son's brand new humming computer. We left it for the Apple Geniuses to diagnose while we browsed around the mall. Wondering if Williams-Sonoma was offering any free samples, we wandered in. Right up front beside the counter was a fancy ice cream maker with an enticing book propped in front entitled, "The Perfect Scoop", by David Lebovitz. It was like manna from heaven! Our recent ice cream making experiments were just that....experiments. This looked like we could actually make real ice cream, interesting ice cream, by an expert (or ice cream genius!). Being July, the month of my son's birthday, I bought it for him as a present. Later we sat and read through it together as my son took little green stickies to mark recipes he wanted to try. It was a good summer that year. I also discovered David Lebovitz had a blog....and....he lived in Paris. He just kept getting higher on the throne as I read and laughed and bookmarked and revisited his blog about "The Sweet Life in Paris". Then he wrote more books and I kept getting them. Through the blog I noted his book signings in Paris. It didn't work out last year, but voilà...this year I was in Paris for the signing. I brought all of my books from Boston to WH Smith Bookstore on rue de Rivoli this past Wednesday.

My friend, Nancy and I arrived a little early for the 7pm signing and found David already signing books. I was smitten as he patiently and sweetly gave everyone time without rushing. He graciously posed for pictures and chatted with all. Of Course, I had David sign "The Perfect Scoop" to my son. The rest were for me :-) Wh Smith said it was their largest turnout since "Harry Potter." My friend, Doug arrived as David was giving a short talk and answered questions. I introduced him to David and we left feeling lighter, even while carrying our bounty of signed books. It was about 8pm by now as we made our way to the Marais for dinner at Chez Omar, a North African restaurant. When we arrived, it was still light outside on this warm late spring evening. Inside, candles were lit at every table. We ordered a chilled Bordeaux Rosé that smiled in the candlelight. All 3 of us ordered the same meal, Méchoui roasted leg of lamb with couscous and and vegetables. Doug chose the wines, with a St.-Émilion Clos de la Cure for dinner. I liked the name and liked the complexity and flavor even more. We noticed the overhead lights still weren't on as the glow of the candles danced around the wood paneled dining room. Our conversation kept coming back to meeting David Lebovitz, his cookbooks, blog and how utterly sweet...(have I mentioned that?) and charming he was. When the food arrived we marveled at the large, finely roasted lamb, platter of couscous, tureen of vegetables in an orangey red broth and small dish of a spicy red condiment. As we dug in, the darkness grew. I looked up and saw the chef cooking by candlelight. We finally deduced there was a power outage, but it really didn't have any effect on the full restaurant or the diners. And I think they will have no trouble paying their electric bill this month. I couldn't believe we had devoured almost everything but the bones, which left no room for dessert. I guess that will have to wait until I get home and choose from David's, "Ready for Dessert" cookbook.

Stay tuned :-)

Chez Omar
47, rue de Bretagne
Paris, France 75003
Phone: 01 42 72 36 26

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Zurin said...

Oh always seem to have such a good time and How lucky you are to meet David Lebovitz. most of us can only read his blog. And you so pretty too! Lucky u :))

David said...

How fun to meet you, too. If I had known you were going to Chez Omar, I would've cut out a bit early, and joined you!

a quiet life said...

fun all over and aren't your gorgeous!

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

David Levowitz and leg of lamb all in one day - it doesn't get any better than that.

P.S. I agree with Zurin. You looked beautiful in your pearls.

Deana Sidney said...

Goodness, Diane, I could never bring a favorite cookbook to sign... it would be full of splotches! How great you got to meet him in Paris! He is an awesome story teller and chef... what is your favorite recipe of his.. did you tell him??? cool.

Kate at Serendipity said...

Oh, Diane, I love this story. I love it when people we 'know' from their blogs turn out to be as nice as we thought they were. Heh, it's almost always true, though, isn't it?

Lucky you--meeting David and then a lovely candlelight dinner. Thanks for taking us along.

Meredith said...

Another great adventure! You look simply gorgeous in the picture with David! How nice of him to post a comment here.
I have been devouring your blog. If I ever got "stuck" in Paris I'd want you to be in my party and would follow you on any adventure you suggest!
I hope you'll pull it all together someday and write a wonderful book. Your story telling style, beautiful photography and recipes would make a great book. I'd come to Paris for your book signing, maybe David would too.
Meredith W

linda said...

just love reading all your interesting & amazing posts...i agree w/meredith...a book about your parisian favs, little haunts & unusual findings pared w/your wonderful recipes & exquisite photography would be GREAT!!
count me in @ a paris book signing!!

Kathy Walker said...

What a great evening! I enjoy David's books. The Perfect Scoop is an awesome book. I have had perfect ice cream each time, since I got it!

2 Stews said...

Zurin...yes, it is so nice to meet people you've followed for years. He is delightful.

David...what fun it would have been to have you join us for dinner at Chez Omar! May I have a rain check, please?! Maybe the electricity will be back on then!

Jain...yes, it was fun all over :-))

Sam...I laughed at your comment. You always make me smile. That is my friend Nancy in the pearls, though and she is beautiful! I am only in the main pic.

Deana...I think being in Paris did add it. As far as a favorite of David's, It is hard to pick just one. I love sweets and chocolate and all things French a lot, too so I enjoy all of it. My son and I did make the most velvety, rich dark chocolate ice cream that was out of this world. We can't make it too often though or I'd eat all of it ;-) And, no I didn't get to tell him.

Kate...yes it is always nice to have the impressions of people meet or exceed our expectations. So when are we getting together? Soon?

Meredith...thanks for the confidence. You can come along anytime. What an intriguing idea to compile my experiences and adventures into a book. I'll keep thing that way :-)

Linda...I love the enthusiasm and supportive comments! I think a book is a grand idea! I better start taking notes!!!

Kate..."The Perfect Scoop" is entertaining as well as having inventive recipes. Yesterday was in the 90's here...Ice Cream Time!!!

Thanks all for visiting!


Karen @ Mignardise said...

Love the photo of you and David - you look so beautiful! Lucky you to have met him. I love his blog and books too.