A few weeks ago, I got to tell my long story about how I ended up in Paris on my favourite podcast Radio Cherry Bombe. Although it really is like any other coming-of-age story set to a slightly soundstage-y backdrop, I talked about the moment where I finally decided I would move back to Paris for good and commit to the complicated life of being a professional illustrator. And I would not look back, doing whatever I could to manifest that dream. Luckily Paris has introduced me to many other wonderful women who have moved to this difficult city and have created and pursued their own projects with great zeal and grace.
My great friend Kristen Beddard of The Kale Project’s new book Bonjour Kale: A Memoir of Paris, Love, and Recipes (Sourcebooks) is a heartfelt story of starting over in a freakishly foreign place like Paris, sans job, sans projects. The biggest cultural difference was she couldn’t even find her ideal comfort food, kale. Kale in France had disappeared throughout the decades as it become an unpalatable taste of wartimes. In the meantime, it had even become a decorative plant. When I moved to Paris 8 years ago, I chuckled seeing kale cozied in next to the pansies in my neighborhood flower garden. (Foraging for Dummies, right up my ally!)
I can truly say that Kristen was one of the courageous people who brought a new wave of eating to the French plate. Three years ago, I tried and tried to pitch veggie-based cookbooks to editors and it was firmly always “too soon”. But now there is cashew cream served in carnivorous restaurants, organic grocery stores outnumbering their contemporaries, a general curiosity about things like chia seeds and how to eat better to feel better. And that’s no small feat in a country steeped in tradition like France.
In honor of the release of Bonjour Kale today, Kristen let me illustrate one of her favorite recipes from her book, a kale gimlet. It’s a sweet and spicy ode to her single days before her monumental move to Paris.
Order Bonjour Kale HERE.
Oh, and I also illustrated the cover, too! 🙂
Kale and Tequila Gimlet (from Bonjour Kale by Kristen Beddard, Sourcebooks)
1/2 bunch kale
1/2-1 inch piece fresh ginger
1 1/2 shots lime juice
1 shot tequila
1/2 shot Grand Marnier
Agave syrup, to taste
1 handful cilantro
6 ice cubes
Juice the kale and ginger in a juicer. Measure out one shot of the juice. Pour the kale-ginger juice, lime juice, tequila, Grand Marnier, agave syrup and cilantro into a shaker with the ice. Shake vigorously. Pour and enjoy!
Yield: 1 drink
Yes, I published a coloring book, Edible Paradise: A Coloring Book of Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables (Universe). But what do I actually know about coloring? To fully embrace the experience from black and white to color, I took on the looming task of coloring in 3 copies of my book (And they’re almost finished. To be continued soon…) I not only noted that the many ladybugs on each page begin to move around by the time I started the third copy, I also compiled 6 tips for effective and beautiful coloring.
Still in need of that April Fool’s Day je ne sais quoi for your special someone? Before Saran wrapping the toilet seat, take a note from the French tradition of offering the farcical gift of fish on the first of the month.
Download and color in a very special card here…https://www.dropbox.com/s/879pbpykolg8y0m/1er%20Avril_Jessie%20Kanelos%20Weiner_thefrancofly.com.pdf?dl=0
My book baby is born today, Edible Paradise: A Coloring Book of Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables (Universe). Now go forth and color!NYC! Don’t miss my signature and coloring extravaganza this Thursday, March 17th from 5-7pm at The Vale Collective in Williamsburg.
Columbus, OH! I’ll be signing books Wednesday, March 23rd at 6pm at Book Loft.
Chicago! Come color with me and get your book signed March 26th at 2pm at 57th Street Books.
Book tour alert! I’m on my way back to the motherland to celebrate the release of Edible Paradise: A Coloring Book of Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables (Rizzoli’s Universe Imprint). When I won’t be stuffing my face with all the burgers, bagels and enchiladas La France has yet to perfect, I hope to meet you. Come show some francofly love, buy a book and get it signed.
Here’s a fun little interview about EP and all things Paree…http://www.s-w-e-e-t.com/culture/art-design/news/a308/an-american-in-paris-who-draws-everything-she-sees/
P.S. Stay tuned for an NYC event.
Ever wondered what it looks like when a coloring book author colors in her own book? As my weekends and all my free time can attest, it looks a little something like this. Flaunting my book around town, my friends and family have experienced a bit of premature performance anxiety seeing my edition limitée copy of Edible Paradise: A Coloring Book of Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables (Rizzoli’s Universe Imprint) But fret not! This like a serving suggestion for when you receive your copy.
When I was in the process of dreaming up the book, I didn’t think of it solely as a black and white artifact. Working so passionately with color in the rest of my work, I definitely thought of the color breakdown by seasons, the potential for good shading and all the little details (hello ladybugs!) to bring the still lives to life. So coloring in 3 limited edition copies brings the project full circle for me. But more about that very soon!
And celebrate the countdown to the release date March 15th, 2016 on Instagram.