Paris will always be Paris Sunday, Nov 15 2015 

Our French culture article for this week will have to wait. We’ll get back to all the wonderful things that make France the beautiful country that it is. But the terrible events in Paris on Friday have left us sad and in shock. Thank you to all those who have called and written – I am currently safe in the U.S., just back after two months working in France including Paris. My heartfelt thoughts and prayers and condolences go out to those affected by this tragedy and to all the French.

This weekend, France has been top of mind. I have been on the phone and on email with my Paris colleagues and friends to see if all are ok. Thankfully, so far, so good. And I was interviewed by a local Dallas television station as events were unfolding late Friday. As I mention in the clip, France is experiencing its own sort of 9/11 moment. Yet despite the tragedy, the French are incredibly strong – and Paris will bounce back better and stronger than ever. (To see the interview, click on the video below or you can click this link.)

It has been encouraging to see France and countries across Europe mobilize quickly to get on top of this terrorist threat. French president François Hollande immediately offered stern words about ISIS and confronting such barbarism. French police and military forces were deployed almost instantly. And when the French get serious, they are very serious.

Security threats in the French capital and the French response are not new. When I was living in Paris for graduate school in 1990-91, the First Gulf War broke out. Rumors spread like wildfire that enemy missiles were going to hit Paris. Anxiety was palpable. To prevent any terrorist attacks and to keep order, the French government deployed hundreds of police and national guard troops in the streets of Paris. At the time, I happened to be living across the street from the French Defense Ministry in the 7th arrondissement. For weeks on end, French troops were posted right in front of my building. Anyone passing through the area was required to show official ID to the military. So to reach my building’s door each day, I had to show my passport. It was surreal. But I was very glad for those soldiers out there day and night. Paris was secure.

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La France – America’s oldest ally – will recover from this tragedy. Its democratic motto of Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité will stand firm. The City of Light will burn brighter than ever. Again, prayers for Paris’s recovery, for the world’s response and for peace globally. Paris, see you soon. And long live France - Vive la France!

French Events & Classes This Fall! Thursday, Nov 5 2015 

Put a little France in your fall with some of French Affaires’ upcoming events and classes. From “Gourmet Paris” this Monday evening to Beginning French and Intro to French Conversation to the French Vinaigrette Workshop to the French Cookbook Club, there’s something for every Francophile!

“Gourmet Paris: A Culinary Tour of the French Capital” on Monday, November 9, 2015

Experience the best of Paris restaurants, food shops, open-air markets, cooking schools and culinary highlights in this class focused on all things gourmet in the French capital. In this visually illustrated session, we’ll tour Paris’s best venues for food, cheeses, chocolates, breads, pastries, wines, teas, cookware and more. We’ll also cover fabulous restaurants, bistrots & cafés for every budget. And we’ll include a virtual tour of several Paris cooking schools for those who want to take their culinary skills to new heights. Essential to our gourmet Paris experience will be learning key French food words and phrases so you can enjoy your culinary travels to the fullest. Come join us for a visual French feast–and walk away with a gourmet guide to Paris perfect for your next trip!

Date: Monday, November 9, 2015
Time: 7 to 9pm
Cost: $39 early registration; $49 regular registration
Location: Hosted by SMU Continuing Studies – click here to register with SMU.
Date: Monday, November 9, 2015
Time: 7 to 9pm
Cost: $39 early registration; $49 regular registration
Location: Hosted by SMU Continuing Studies – click here to register with SMU.

“Beginning French Part 1″ starting Tuesday, November 10, 2015    2 spaces remaining

Learn the basics of French in this beginning French course taught by French Affaires’ founder Dr. Elizabeth New Seitz. We will have fun covering key French words and phrases, essential pronunciation, and beginning language structures while mastering real cultural situations. Our class size is small to ensure an optimum language learning experience. Come prepared to absorb, participate and learn the essential elements of the French language in a supportive environment. Please note that this course is designed for those who have had little to no French instruction prior to joining our group. Cost: The class fee is $95 per person and includes all language instruction, cultural lessons, special handouts, and personalized language coaching. Advance registration is required.

Date: 4 Tuesdays – Nov 10, 17, Dec 1, 8, 2015

Time: 6 to 7:15pm

Cost: $95 per person – please click here to register.

Location: Central Dallas location. Classroom & parking information provided upon registration.

“Intro to French Conversation” starting Tuesday, November 10, 2015    2 spaces remaining

We’ll take your French language skills to the next level in this class devoted to French conversation. With other France lovers, you will learn to converse in French in a structured and positive environment – with plenty of French language support and input provided. Dr. Elizabeth New Seitz will lead discussions on interesting French cultural topics so you’ll get some French culture along with your conversation. Practice more extended communication in French while adding to your French vocabulary and strengthening your French grammar. Our class size is small to ensure an optimum language learning experience. Come prepared to absorb, participate, converse and learn the essential elements of the French language in a supportive environment. Please note that this class is for those who have some French background already. Cost: The class fee is $95 per person and includes all language instruction, cultural lessons, special handouts, and personalized language coaching. Advance registration is required.

Date: 4 Tuesdays – Nov 10, 17, Dec 1, 8, 2015

Time: 7:30 to 8:45pm

Cost: $95 per person – please click here to register.

Location: Central Dallas location. Classroom & parking information provided upon registration.

French Cuisine & Culture Workshop:

“Spotlight on French Vinaigrettes” on Saturday, December 5, 2015

For the French, making excellent vinaigrettes is as easy as breathing. In this hands-on cuisine and culture workshop led by Elizabeth New Seitz, we will discuss key ingredients for a variety of French vinaigrette dressings and then make several different salads using classic vinaigrette recipes. Our workshop also includes a French mustard tasting and vinegar tasting as well as a salt tasting–essential elements of many vinaigrettes. We’ll enjoy the fruits of our culinary workshop labors with a sit-down lunch of our salads, accompanied by hearty French quiche and followed by dessert. After our French vinaigrette class, you will never want to buy bottled salad dressing again!

The cost is $95 per person and includes the hands-on vinaigrette making class, cultural lessons, tastings, recipes, lunch, and French vinaigrette to take home.

Date: Saturday, December 5, 2015

Time: 10:30am to 1pm

Cost: $95 per person. Advance sign-up required – please click here to register.

Location: Central Dallas Location

French Cookbook Club 2015-2016: “The Food of France: A French Culinary Tour”

For the fourth season in a row, French Affaires is offering a great twist on the classic book club idea with our ‘French Cookbook Club.’ Every quarter, we read and cook our way through a specially chosen French-themed cookbook. We gather for a seated multi-course dinner to taste our recipes and enjoy an evening of great French cuisine, wines and conversation. It is a unique chance to really get to know French cookbooks already in your culinary library or to add to your cookbook collection as the French Cookbook Club continues. And of course, it’s a festive occasion to make friends with other gourmets interested in French cuisine and l’art de vivre!

Our 2015-16 French Cookbook Club theme is “The Food of France: A French Culinary Tour.” Via our quarterly cookbook selections, we’ll be transported to the many rich culinary regions of France. What are the key ingredients in Normandy cuisine? What are the great wines of Burgundy? What gives Provençal cuisine its wonderful character? How would you know that cassoulet and foie gras are from Southwest France?

Through our recipes and special visual presentation by our host Elizabeth New Seitz (a new part of the French Cookbook Club this year!), we’ll get an overview of the culinary map of France as well as visit Burgundy, Normandy, Provence and Southwest France in particular. And, as extra amazing treat, our final cookbook club session will be an amazing culinary long weekend in France designed especially for French Cookbook Club participants. Come join us as we explore the best of French culinary traditions and get a real feel for what makes French regional cooking so special!

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Monday, December 7, 2015 – A Tour of the French Regions: “The Taste of France” (1983) by Robert Freson

This is one of my favorite French cookbooks ever! “The Taste of France” is a gorgeous illustrated tour of all the French culinary regions and serves as a great introduction to our French Cookbook Club year. We’ll see how geography and climate as well as cultural dimensions have contributed to regional differences in French cooking. After this evening, you’ll have a good grasp of France’s various regions and their gourmet highlights. Please note: As this book is no longer in print, you’ll want to collect your copy second-hand through Amazon.com or from your local used bookstore.

Dates: Monday, December 7, 2015

Time: 6:30 to 9pm

Location: Central Dallas location

Cost: $45 per person and your choice of recipe from that session’s cookbook selection

Registration: For more information & to register, please click here.