a taste of Ancolie, featuring mindful eating, French-inspired flavors, and sustainability

It’s not everyday that you get to step away from your desk to unwind and enjoy a balanced, wholesome lunch.

Chloe Vichot is on a mission to change that with the opening of her new restaurant, Ancolie.

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10 things France has taught me about food

If you were to tell me in high school that, after graduating college, I would pack up and move abroad, I would more than likely have laughed in your face. My image of post-graduate life involved hole-in-the-wall NYC apartments and cubicles, not working abroad.

But I suppose life can surprise you when you’d least expect it because, as I write these very words, I’m sitting in an empty apartment in France surrounded by two gigantic suitcases, a boarding pass, and 8 months of pinch-me-this-can’t-be-real kind of experiences.

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a taste of La Rochelle and Ile de Ré

When it comes to coastal cities in France, La Rochelle is a must-see. Commonly referred to as “La Ville Blanche” due to its characteristic limestone facades, this port city sits in the Poitou Charentes region of southwest France, a short 2-hour drive from Bordeaux.

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Lately on Instagram: no microwave, no problem

My kitchen here in France is the farthest thing from fancy. It’s an industrial, stainless steel setup complete with two hot plates, a sink, a refrigerator, and a mini oven that looks deceptively like a toaster oven but lacks the ability to toast.

And that’s about it. No microwave to be found.

Of course, I could have purchased one myself, but I spent the first 18 years of my life sans microwave, so the thought never seriously crossed my mind.

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Lately on Instagram: root vegetables

There’s nothing glorious about root vegetables. In fact, they’re often deformed-looking, intimidating, and tough objects that don’t possess nearly the same charm as plump, deep red summer tomatoes or crisp granny smith apples. When I see celeriac, parsnips, or turnips at the market, I’m not overwhelmed with an urge to devour them like I am with, say, a bowl of blueberries. I don’t start conjuring up recipes or salivating at the thought of the earthy aroma they would create in my kitchen. Besides the more common ones (i.e. carrots, potatoes, onions, and yams), I ignored root vegetables for a long time. 22 years, to be exact.

However, as the winter months came around here in France and temperatures dipped, locally grown root vegetables started taking center stage at the market. Remaining steadfast in my commitment to eat in tune with the seasons, I abruptly ended what was a root vegetable-free life.

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a taste of persimmons

The first time I noticed persimmons I was navigating through an over-crowded outdoor market in Sète on the last day of my late-October vacation. Signs of the off-season were everywhere: windows with navy blue shutters intact, boats docked, and sails wrapped securely around the boom with thick white rope. It was a time when the breeze off the sea held the promise of a slight chill and the south of France should, in theory, have been slowing down. But the market was as alive as ever.

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Lately on Instagram: small victories

I officially have a French bank account, cell phone number, and library card. Anyone that has lived, or even visited, France will likely understand the associated bureaucratic nightmare and appreciate the fact that accomplishing such feats called for a well-deserved celebration. In other words, macaroons at Feuillette.

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market day in Vendôme

I reach out to grab what looks like a fugi apple but could also very well be gala or or McIntosh for all I know. Selecting one from underneath the pile, I run my finger vertically from the stem to the base and back up across the waxy surface.

The green skin around the stem slowly fades to a light pink right around the top curve of the fruit. Half-way down, the pink intensifies to a deep radish red only rarely permeated by thin ripples of green. Grabbing the apple by its stem, I prepare to give it one last spin to check for any major blemishes.

“On ne touche pas, Madame!”

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Real Food BC Cooks up an Appetite for Local Food on Campus

You walk into your dining hall, hungry after a long day of classes and meetings. Although the lines are long due to the inevitable 6pm rush, you decide to stick it out and remain on line to get the warm food. Finally making your way to the front, you get a piece of grilled chicken, some broccoli, and mashed potatoes with a salad on the side. Perfectly balanced and healthy dinner, right? Maybe not. The meal you are about to eat may be genetically modified, industrially produced food.

Well, there goes your appetite. Continue reading “Real Food BC Cooks up an Appetite for Local Food on Campus”