Warning - there's a lot of words going on in this post without a lot of photos, but you need to live this moment through me. It's inspirational, incredible and I happened to be in the right place at the right time.
Many months ago, I was very excited upon hearing the news that Dorie Greenspan (who New York Times called a Culinary Genius) would be the keynote speaker at IFBC. Why you ask? Dorie's never ending accomplishments are listed below (hint....Julia Child) and she was among the first culinary professionals to produce cooking apps for mobile phones and tablet computers. I can say with my whole heart, this woman changed our lives in the kitchen we know it today.
IFBC session, I found myself straining to get a better look at Dorie. Yet I swore she kept looking in our direction during her key note. More on that in a bit.
Dorie had my attention at go. I took more notes in her key note than I did during the entire conference combined. Impressed? Amazed? Intrigued? Encouraged? Yes, yes, yes and yes. This woman started her life at a normal day job. She was a runner (yay!) with no training in food or journalism. In fact, she didn't bake her first chocolate chip cookie until she was married. Present day, she's written 10 cookbooks, won six James Beard and IACP, including Cookbook of the Year (twice), IACP Cookbook-of-the-Year Award for Desserts by Pierre Herme, The New York Times Bestseller, James Beard Foundation's Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America. Wait, that's not enough? She's also the co-author of two cookbooks with Pierre Hermé, Paris's king of pastry and she wrote the Café Boulud Cookbook with Daniel Boulud, the famous French chef in America. I am not done - Dorie wrote Baking with Julia, for Julia Child.
Instant culinary crush on a woman? Yep.
With that resume, you could think Dorie would be self righteous. I mean, she has all right to be....but listening to her speak, you knew within moments that wasn't the case. This is someone I could imagine teaching me to bake without screaming at my KitchenAid or my oven. Someone I would love to learn from. I took my pen to paper as quick as one could, with quotes flying. Here are a few of my favorites.
"I am lucky because I work hard" Dorie - you have no idea what those words mean to me. I state them on a daily basis.
"I am so fortunate because I say YES"
"Food writers have the power to bring people together and do what makes them happy"
"Write for yourself and cross your fingers someone else will like it too"
Someone asked Dorie what her most memorable yes was and she said, "my husband is here!" Dorie's husband was sitting directly behind us, which is why she kept looking in our direction. I only wish for one thing in my life, to have the love her and her husband obviously have for one another years into our marriage. You could feel the romance in the room.
How Dorie Greenspan helped plan our honeymoon.....
OK - now you want to know how Dorie Greenspan helped plan our honeymoon? Dorie lives in Paris and NYC. I could tell instantly how much she treasures the city of love. When IFBC opened up the session for Q&A's to Dorie, people asked all sorts of questions but I had a burning one that I couldn't ask because it was about me.
Many hours and cocktails later, I found myself in the gift suite at IFBC. Upon walking in, I felt like someone going through a hurricane. Women were grabbing swag off the table, shoving, pushing, etc. That may be a little dramatic but it was the overall sensation I had. With bug eyes, I hopped from table to table trying to get out of there as fast as possible. I said under my breathe "I feel like a f#$k&! rat" and heard a giggle behind me. I turned around and it was Dorie. Great first impression Meg.
I instantly told Dorie how much her key note meant to me. That she was a true inspiration for any food blogger and inspiring chef. She was so kind and I seriously felt as if I were speaking to a friend.
That's when I asked her.
"Dorie, during the Q&A, I really wanted to ask you a question, but it was about me so I held off. I am honeymooning to Europe and spending two days in Paris. Can you tell me one restaurant that is a must go to?"
Dorie was so excited!! She asked me for a pen and a piece of paper. I never imagined this and sat there a little bug eyed. The first question she asked me was "sweet or savory" to which I too quickly responded "savory". Although I am savory as savory gets, I wish I responded sweet to the woman who has written multiple books about baking. Anyways -
Oysters at Regis
Pastry at Pierre Herme
l'Araunt - Comptoir, Dorie's favorite wine bar (and I need to have the croquets)
Graciously, I sat there in awe over this inspirational woman who was kind, helpful and down to earth. We spoke a little about running and of course, I told her I am running New York this year. I could tell she enjoyed helping me out with suggestions. I have been asked by everyone, "did you get a photo with her?" No. The suggestions above are more than any photo could ever do for me and it would have been awkward to ask after she spent so much personal time with me. I know this question is frequently asked because I am known as a celeb chef photo addict....