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