July 2016 | chicago foodie girl


Chicago Eats: Bastille Day Celebrations

I'm lucky to live in a city in which numerous international holidays are wholeheartedly embraced and celebrated. During my time in Chicago, I've had the opportunity to explore the many traditions of the people who make up this city through various restaurants and neighborhood festivals; just in the past year alone, I've taken part in celebrations for the Mid-Autumn Festival, Chinese New Year, Diwali, Dia de los Muertos, and my favorite, Bastille Day. As you know by now, I absolutely love French cuisine (and really, French culture as a whole), thanks to its simple preparation methods and robust flavors, as well as the artful and often delicate ways in which the dishes are presented. The French are truly masters at creating dishes that are both beautiful and delicious; as I've learned over the years, that skill is truly no small feat.



Chicago Eats: Café des Architectes

Happy Bastille Day! I've been obsessed with French cuisine ever since I was in high school, thanks to my food-loving French teacher Monsieur Llama (let's not talk about how many years ago that was... yikes!). As a reward for surviving the hours and hours we spent conjugating verb tenses each semester, M. Llama would set aside a chunk of time to explore the cultural aspects of France; there were movies, music, and politics, but most of our time was focused on food. He had a never-ending stash of food photos from his trips abroad and would often lovingly describe dish after dish as we all drooled on our desks. Other times he would assign us cooking homework, in which we all had to make simple French dishes and serve them to the rest of the class (I once made a really sad French flan tart with my cooking partner). The best times were when he gave us small treats he either made or brought back from his trips - I remember how excited I felt about this food that was all so incredibly different (to a Midwestern suburbanite who subsided on mostly cereal and mac & cheese) and how I couldn't wait until the day in which I could travel to France and explore the cuisine for myself (and practice my terrible French during a chance encounter with a lovely single French boy).

My high school French teacher most definitely sparked my interest in French culture and all these years later, I still not only love French cuisine but also I've developed a great appreciation for its simple preparation methods and robust flavors, along with the artful and often delicate ways in which the dishes are presented. The French are truly masters of creating dishes that both taste good and look good; in Chicago, Café des Architectes is known as one of the best when it comes to capturing everything that is special about French cuisine.

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