Meeting the Authors, Meeting Each Other, and Eating Our Way Through Nice
MEET THE AUTHORS
“Meet the Authors” in Nice on Saturday was, once again, a success, as it has been for the last nine years.
Almost 60 of our “community” members (our clients, readers and friends) came to hear the authors speak, have a drink and meet other people. We started the event once everyone had gotten their drinks at the bar and found their seats among the fake palm trees of La Havane (32 Rue de France 06000 Nice). This gave them a chance to chat up a storm and make friends…we noticed an awful lot of new relationships being made among our growing community.
Ella Dyer, the founder of the event, set the stage with her sidekick, Simone, in her arms, both dressed to the nines in pink. She then introduced me as the emcee, having played the role since 2017.
Lynn Heyman, author of Paris Moments, was the first speaker, in spite of complaining about acute jet lag. Lynn has had a fascinating life that includes dying on the operating table and then being brought back to life. Survival has given her a renewed outlook as a daily gift to be celebrated to the fullest, not unlike the philosophy of Camus. She talked openly about her experience and why and how she came to write Paris Moments.
Lisa Pepin, author of The Dark Side of Black Truffles, couldn’t attend due to illness. She’s created a collection of short stories about the shady, shocking, and sometimes dangerous business she and her husband are in of Provence’s truffle trade. She’ll be (hopefully) back to tell her tale at next year’s Meet the Authors.
Ella Dyer, author of Nice in Nice, (what she calls her “calling card”) admitted that her book wasn’t a work of art, but had opened many doors for her as a result and encouraged everyone to do the same. Ella is not only the organizer of the event, but is also one of our most celebrated property consultants having worked with dozens of clients to find them special properties in and around Nice. Chihuahua pup, Simone, never leaves her side, and was present throughout her talk resting on a nearby chair.
Caroline Ohanian came next, author of La Biche Esseulée (The Lone Deer), written in both French and English. Caroline is a native Monagascan (born in Monaco) who “following a series of family tragedies, it was in absolute calmness, after months of introspection, that she felt the irrepressible and liberating need to write, as if to breathe, at her humble level, a breeze of wisdom and peace to all those who will honor and delight in reading her work.” While she was reading from her book, tears came to her eyes, fully illustrating the cathartic release of having written the book. We all felt her pain, but just made us want to read it more.
Janet Hulstrand came from Paris to talk about her latest book, A Long Way from Iowa: From the Heartland to the Heart of France. She is also the author of Demystifying the French: How to Love Them, and Make Them Love You, that I tell everyone to read to better understand the cultural differences we experience living in France. Janet is currently living in Essoyes, a beautiful little village in the Champagne region of France, but meanwhile, is planning on spending a couple of months this summer in the US doing a book tour to many American cities.
Lisa Anselmo stepped in for Lisa Pepin. Lisa spent most of her professional career in magazine publishing, working on such iconic brands as People, InStyle, and Allure. She is also the author of the memoir My (Part-Time) Paris Life: How Running Away Brought Me Home—her story of how after losing her mother to breast cancer, she was motivated to make her other life official, buying an apartment on Paris’s Right Bank.
She then turned it over to all the others for a final Q and A. That’s when the authors really had a chance to shine and the audience get to learn even more from them. Word from the crowd as they were leaving was how much they enjoyed the afternoon getting to know more about the authors, their books and most of all, getting to know one another.
Even if you couldn’t be there, you don’t have to miss the session! Be sure to watch the video we recorded…and please forgive us for a few technical glitches along the way!
DINING OUT IN NICE
It’s been a while since writing about my culinary adventures in Nice—because I’m too busy eating out and enjoying it even more. This is the Mediterranean diet “extraordinaire” that is considered one of the healthiest diets in the world (actually only the Okinawan diet of Japan beats it).
Sometime this summer, I promise to write about my Top 10 favorite restaurants in Nice, but today there are only two of note you simply must try:
It doesn’t matter if you go to Peixes (pronounced “pesh” and meaning “fish” in Portugese) in Old Town (behind the derriere of Apollo, they call it “Peixes Opéra”) or Peixes on rue Bonaparte (in what the locals call “Le Petit Marais”), because both are major palate pleasers. They don’t take reservations, so be prepared to show up 10 to 15 minutes ahead of opening time to get a table.
These are some of chef Armand Crespo’s restaurant creations—the master of fine bistrot dining at (very) moderate prices. His are “mmmer” meals—the kind you “mmm” through from beginning to end, regardless of which of his restaurants you choose to patronize…but being a fish lover, Peixes steals my heart.
It all starts with a seaweed-infused flaky roll served as an appetizer that is the best thing you’ve ever tasted in your life…and homemade. Most of the dishes are served like tapas, so be bold and order a lot of different things to share, so you can taste as much as possible.
Don’t miss this one! And tell them that “Adrienne” sent you! (Because the French can’t get their heads around “Adrian,” the masculine spelling and weird pronunciation, I have adopted “Adrienne” for convenience!)
Learn more about Armand Crespo here (in French).
Peixes – 4 rue de l’Opéra: Open Monday through Saturday 12 noon to 2 p.m., 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Peixes – 5 rue Bonaparte: Open Monday through Saturday 12 noon to 10 p.m. with non-stop service
2. Le Safari
Le Safari is a Cour Saleya institution serving up Niçois Specialities. I have the habit of going there every Sunday when I’m in Nice, taking an outdoor table and ordering up something very Niçois, such as “Petits Farcis” or “Salad Niçoise.” They’ve come to know me there as an irregular-regular and are always very welcoming. The food is excellent and the atmosphere perfect.
Sunday for the first time I decided to go for broke and order the Grand Aioli. It was by far the best I’ve ever had. The aioli itself was delicious, the seafood elements cooked perfectly and every bite was mmm. The couple dining next to us chuckled at my enthusiasm for the dish. Now I’m spoiled knowing that other restaurants’ Aiolis may not live up to Le Safari’s.
Aioli, aka “aïoli,” is a beloved sauce hailing from the region. This garlic-infused mayonnaise is made with a delightful blend of olive oil, potato, and egg yolk…everything deemed to be okay on my whacky diet (The Whole 30).
Le Grand Aioli, on the other hand, refers to a meal where the aioli sauce perfectly complements a medley of fresh seasonal vegetables and a variety of fish. While the recipe is relatively simple to prepare, it’s important to allocate sufficient time since each vegetable should be cooked separately to avoid overcooking. Traditionally, cod is the fish of choice for Le Grand Aioli, but it can be substituted with other seafood or shellfish options according to the chef’s desires. In the case of Le Safari’s, it was loaded with clams, sea snails, shrimp and cod.
It’s the perfect meal—as light and healthy as it gets…unless you pig out on it like I did! If you go, be sure to tell them that “Adrienne” sent you!
Enjoy your time in Nice…and get used to reading more about it. Much of my summer will be spent here and telling you more.
A la prochaine…
The Adrian Leeds Group®
Adrian at Le Safari in Nice