"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast." Ernest Hemingway'
Good food and outstanding wines have left an indelible imprint on me. And, thankfully so. The third-generation francophone author grew up in Paris in the 1950s and 1960s.
His grandmother arrived in France in 1912 as a young lady, 23 years old, determined to enjoy the last social season before the Great War. She left France aboard the ill-fated Lusitania. The author's father and grandparents were in Paris in the late 1920s, gloriously living the elegant life in their lavish accommodations in the 16e arrondissement overlooking the landmark Bois de Boulogne. What better way to experience Paris than in a chauffeured-driven Rolls Royce? Yes, there is more than just a link between France, its people, culture, way of life, and perhaps, more importantly, its cuisine. All of these are inextricably encoded in the author's DNA.
Not surprisingly, in his first book, A Long Look Back: A Sentimental Journey of an American Growing up in France, he writes about themes he is deeply passionate about. His boyhood days in Neuilly s/Seine and life in Paris, the city of lights. He recalls the long, seemingly endless summers spent at the old family house in Brittany. This was set against the picturesque, rugged coastline and the emerald, blue waters. This richness and colorfulness remain, for the author, a never-ending source of inspiration and deep sentimentality.
In A Foreign Port of Entry: A Collection of Travel Stories From Asia to the Heart of Africa, his second book released in August 2023, the author brings a much different but equally rich international perspective. The author grew up in France, Belgium, and deep in Africa, in the former Belgian Congo. When he lived in the Congo, it was still internally divided by political strife, bloodshed, and an uncertain future. External powers, the United States and the Soviet Union, vied for control and influence over the country's precious natural resources, from diamonds to cobalt, copper, and near-pure uranium. This young country was about to be on the world stage in a global squeeze-play. For the author, those adolescent years in the Congo were tremendously impactful. As an adult, he later traveled extensively, visiting more than 26 countries on five continents with over 75 separate visits in seven years.
As a writer, he is passionate about the visual, cultural, and historical richness of cities such as Hanoi and Cape Town, Istanbul, and Cairo. The foods from these far-flung exotic cultures and the recipes included are essential to his writing. That richness of experience is inevitably translated into meaningful stories to share.
In A Foreign Port of Entry, the author blends mystery, intrigue, storytelling, and humor with unique cuisines from far-flung exotic cultures essential for this exciting adventure.
His latest book, Memories & Footprints: Adventures in Good Taste, is a culinary journey along a road well-traveled. His latest book, Memories & Footprints: Adventures in Good Taste, is a culinary journey along a road well-traveled. The author presents a gastronomic adventure that takes the reader from Paris, France, to the fascinating port city of Antwerp, then to Brussels, the grand capital of Belgium. Having lived in both countries, the author writes honestly about themes he loves and knows well: the culture, the people, and the food. He explores culinary themes, cultural insights, regional history, exciting and elegant food experiences, and home-cooked bistro-style food.
As in previous books, he often pairs the local cuisine and heritage with short stories that, more than not, involve colorful guests but always delicious meals—how could he not? The author paints several amusing scenes on learning about his father’s cloak-and-dagger revelations when stationed as a CIA intelligence officer in post-war Paris, as a covert agent in the newly independent Belgian Congo, and lastly in Antwerp, Belgium.
The author includes a recipe section with personally selected delicious French and Belgian dishes with carefully paired wines. Now, it is your turn to cook. As a writer, he is passionate about a city's visual, historical, cultural, and culinary richness worldwide. The author has traveled extensively, experiencing over twenty-six countries on five continents with over seventy-five separate visits, from deep in the heart of Central Africa to Istanbul and beyond. The richness of those experiences inevitably translates into meaningful stories that must be shared.