I’m in food heaven.
I was invited to three different cooking classes today. After zumba class yesterday, a fellow zumba lover invited me to the class I went to today. There was no address except something vague like, “Brasil 9”. I thought it was a restaurant and since we were going to be cooking, I didn’t dress up…just jeans and a sweater, and an absurdly warm jacket for the 22 degree weather today. I was sweating like a beast. Super classy. We shared a taxi to a residence in downtown Belgrade where we were buzzed in beyond a large gate.
Right into the home of the Brazilian Ambassador. Unlike some other embassies where residences are separate, the residence was part of the embassy. It was the size of a mall. The house had its own staff and separate wings that must have had their own area codes. Entire blocks of homes could have fit inside this home. It was massive and immaculate. We began with some appetizers that were as artistic as they were appetizing then continued to the lower level into a kitchen where I met the chef for the Norwegian Embassy. (He’s a popular guy, apparently.) Max (I believe that was his name) gave us our menus: black sesame sponge cake, cucumber infusion, salmon tartar, salmon confit, pea spheres, potato roesti, and a dessert concoction of carrots, coconut, oranges and coffee.
I might have had an orgasm. Not saying I did, but for those of you who know how much of a foodie I am, you know how much I loved being in that kitchen, learning kitchen-y things. (Yes, I just made a word.) I loved every single second of it. I also learned of a fellow known affectionately as “The Smuggler”, a chef who can get you any kitchen tool or ingredient you need. There is some magical place near a hotel where he gets most of his stuff and I intend to spend our retirement money there. All of it. (Sorry Chris.)
To think, I almost wore my yoga pants today. I was barely a step up from pajamas when we finished cooking and proceeded the to the formal dining room. I had just sat down when one woman said, “French or British?” I had no idea what she was talking about. The group explained that French seating etiquette has the host sitting at the ends of the table whereas British seating etiquette has the host sitting in the center, with guests along either side of the host. (Or vice versa, I think I got it right.) Coolly uncultured, I sat at what would have been the place of honor to the right of the Ambassador. Her charming, entertaining husband on the other end, I stayed where I was until she later joined, sitting to my left. She was lovely. (I was in my own world, taking a place of honor I did not know existed…la..de..da..da..dum…um….er……) Nothing says charm like me, in jeans and an old sweater. I might have resembled a delivery person, and if I did, they graciously took pity on me and allowed me to share an amazing meal.
Overall, it was a fabulous, memorable experience and I realize that Chris is in the wrong line of work and that one of us needs to start working for an embassy, pronto, if only so I can get stellar cooking tips.