Saturday, June 16, 2007

Cadeaux de la Vie, Gifts of the Life

When I first started my blog, my intention was to
write only about Country French antiques and
decorating. I've come to realize that is not possible.
Since deciding to follow my "Path of Passion"
(my path is cobblestone by the way) in life,
there are no distinct lines that separate personal
and professional. Those lines are now blurred.
Just as an Opera House gives impetus to a city's
cultural life, my shoppe, gives to me. It is one of
my many "Cadeaux de la Vie."
Several years after leaving my corporate job of
26 years, I was participating in a survey and
one of the questions was, 'what do you do in
your free time?" I giggled, you know that kind of
giggle you do to yourself when something is
utterly delightful. Free time as opposed to what?
That was a moment of epiphany for me. To
realize I no longer separated my life into
fragments, with labels.
So, as I blog, I want to share with you many
personal gifts I have received journeying down my
"Path of Passion." Not the type of gifts that come
packaged in ribbon and bows, but gifts given by
people, that originate from the heart.
This is the story of my 34th wedding anniversary.
My husband Carl and I had discussed a week before
where we would dine to celebrate the occasion.
He would make the reservations. We would have
an aperitif at the shoppe after closing, leave Zoe
(our Cavalier King Charles) there, have a nice dinner,
then return to the shoppe to pick up Zoe.
It was a good day at the shoppe, several new
clients, interesting conversation and a special
delivery of two dozen red roses.
The arrival of a white horse drawn carriage
on the doorstep of my shoppe at 6:30 pm.,
should have been my first clue that this would
be no ordinary anniversary.
My husband was simply setting the stage on
which he would give me, a gift from the heart,
one more time.
It was a wonderful beginning, a "Savour le moment,"
Touring along at a horse's gait, through the
streets of the Original Highlands, Zoe by our side,
and our flutes bubbling with champagne. An
hour long heightening of the senses. A new
perspective on a neighborhood, I've seen so many
times before.
Upon returning to the shoppe an hour later,
for what I thought would be to change modes of
transportation and continue on to the restaurant,
we were greeted by Chef Gregoire Guiot and
his assistant Lisa.
My husband, knowing I love all things French,
decided he would arrange for a French Chef
to cater an intimate dinner in the garden, at
the shoppe.
Enter Chef Gregoire Guiot.
We met Greg about a year ago, when he began
frequenting my shoppe. Lucky for us, his kitchen
is right around the corner. More evidence to
support the "Law of Attraction" is fact.

As I stood there, in a dream like stance,
soaking in the ambiance, Karen Carpenter's
voice was purring the melody of "We've Only Just Begun."
I tried to photograph into memory all the details,
the draped linen tablecloth, the silver reflecting
the candlelight, crystal stemware asking for my hand,
gold rimmed Limoges china dressing the table,
but the lens of my eyes were getting blurry.
My husband, standing by my side as he has for the
last 34 years, began to do that giggle, you know,
the one that accompanies the feeling of utter
delight. He knew at that moment that he had
given me another Cadeaux de la Vie.
Lisa and I cried together, for she knew too, that my
husband was giving me something special.
A part of his heart. My husband, Carl is a
"Cadeaux de la Vie."

There was no need on this night, to travel to France
to experience some of the best cuisine in the world.
Born in the Lorraine region of France, Greg
started his apprenticeship at the age of 14, studying
under world class pastry chefs in Auxerre and Paris.
After refining his culinary skills in Chicago and
Lexington, Greg came to Louisville and opened
"Mirabelle Gourmet Catering."
It was an honor to watch Greg as he performed his
passion, table side. Typical of the French, he
understands that partaking in a meal should indulge
all the senses. Not only was the French liaison
evident in his speech, but in his craft as well.
The only caterer I know of, deserving of
Trois étoiles au Michelin. I'm still dreaming of the
Steak au Poivre and crepes.
Greg and Lisa pampered our hearts throughout
the seven course meal. All of my favorites, shrimp,
moules, cheese, and potatoes dauphinois.
I was indulging like Marie Antoinette. That night
was very special for Carl and me. Greg and Lisa
went above and beyond to make it a memorable
occasion. They gave a part of their hearts.
Greg and Lisa are a "Cadeaux de la Vie."

One does not plan such feats alone. As I would
later learn, Norma, my right arm at the shoppe,
was in on the scheme. In her gentle and
motherly way, she made certain that all
details would be attended to. Norma and
her husband, Richard, readied the linens
and erased all traces from the crystal, of special
moments that had proceeded ours.
Simple things, when spoken
with the heart, become opulent.
Norma and Richard are a "Cadeaux de la Vie."

So many "Cadeaux de la Vie" have me.
Many thanks to my husband Carl, Greg and Lisa
from "Mirabelle Gourmet Catering," and Norma and
Richard for an evening I'll never forget!
Most of all Thank You for being a part of my
life, my passion!!
Oh, there were an additional ten roses in the
centerpiece. That made 34!
And if you ever need a caterer, I personally
guarantee that "Mirabelle Gourmet Catering"
will far exceed your expectations.
Visit Greg's website at

Be sure to check back, we will be posting details
shortly announcing a series of classes, in the
French Culinary Arts, featuring Chef Gregorie Guiot
of Mirabelle Gourmet Catering, hosted by
European Antique Market.


ShabbyInTheCity said...

Have you read the book Blame it on Paris? It is a wonderful true love story that happened to this southern girl~ Author Laura Florand has a blog

M&Co said...

Ahh this is sooo beautiful! What a story of love and appriciation! Oh gos I'm a hopeless romantic ;-) Have a beautiful day :-)