Since they met 35 years ago, Jean Pierre and Denise have tried to be a
bridge between two countries and two different ways of life.
Denise and Jean-Pierre's daughter, Elsa, has been assisting Two Bordelais for the past eight years. Having grown up in the food and wine world it was inevitable for Elsa to end up cooking with her father.
Jean-Pierre had always told his two daughters to not work in the food industry, especially in a restaurant. He pushed Maud and Elsa to study and go to college which the happily did.
Elsa studied communication design at Parsons Paris and Parsons New York and majored with a BFA in advertising and communication design. After completing her degree she began working with her parents and seconding Jean-Pierre in the kitchen during their cooking classes. She wanted to learn more so went to Ireland and spent several weeks at the Ballymaloe cooking school in Cork, to cook and work in the gardens and greenhouses. Realizing how much she loved to cook, she moved to the Bay Area to spend a year cooking at Chez Panisse.
In 2012 she moved to London to be with her husband. Over the three years she lived there she mostly worked in advertising but spent time working at Violet's Bakery in Hackney. She now lives in Healdsburg with her french husband who works in the wine business.
There are many stereotypes between France and America. Lots of them are exaggerated or completely off. America has changed tremendously in the past twenty years in terms of sophistication, while France has become closer to the US .
These stereotypes are old and not true anymore in a lot of cases. For example, French people believe that the bread in the US is the worse. They are still hooked on wonder bread. Now, the bread in America can be better than in France. Where we live in Healdsburg, Sonoma county, some bakeries offer an incredible array and quality of breads. That is one of the many beliefs that Denise and Jean Pierre have been trying to change in the minds of the French as well of Americans.
Denise and Jean Pierre have been offering these ideas through their 30 years of tours in France: Cooking and Wine tour in Bordeaux, immersion in French life in Normandy, Basque country, Pyrénées, Black truffles tour in Cahors… and many dinners and gatherings to speak about these differences that can enrich us instead of separating us.
Now, Jean Pierre and Denise have written a book about their lives in two countries, the food in both places, the life style, the cultural differences. It is written with a lot of biographical stories and more like passing a message of conviviality and pleasure about sharing food and ideas around the table.
Denise will continue speaking through her blog. Both of them are also working on their next book about enriching ourselves from the Old and the New worlds.