The mission is simple. My goal is to be in Paris for 2 weeks by next Fall, enjoying a green tea macaron from Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki, stare wordlessly like a kid in front of Laduree's pastry cases, and eat my way through the City of Lights.
Getting there though is a tad more complicated, and that is where I'll be using Project Sweet Tooth. It's where I'll document my journey getting to Paris, making my way around, as well as all the baking and eating throughout it all.
So, first order of business, what road blocks stand in the way of me and the Land of Croissants & Champagne?
1. The first obvious obstacle is funding. Taking a rough estimate of the flight fees, housing costs, and (of course) the food budget, the trip will set me back around 4-5k. Without a source of constant income, this is where I'd need to get creative and summon the wise entrepreneurial spirits.
2. The second (and more enjoyable) obstacle is figuring out the itinerary. So far, I've got Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki, Laduree, Fachon, the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. Simply not enough to fill two weeks—or two days even. No worries though, as I am well armed with a copy of "Gourmet Shops of Paris: An Epicurean Tour," written by Pierre Rival and Christian Sarramon.
3. Housing: where am I going to stay? In my fantasy, I would be living it up like Marie Antoinette (pre-beheading) by staying in a palace not unlike the Versailles. Realistically though, I'll be looking into a mixture of options for different cultural experience. Bed & Breakfasts is a must have, as well as a night in a nice hotel, but strangely enough, I'd like to stay at a nunnery. And, I'm looking into couch surfing—a concept that sounds both sketch and awesome at the same time.
4. Language. Need to make a trip to the library stat.
5. Last, but not least, training, because two weeks of non-stop eating is essentially a gastronomic marathon. Athletes train for months to prepare for the triathlon, working out daily and learning all there is to know about the race. I too, will train by baking and learning about a different dessert each week with my arsenal of cook books. So, when the time comes, I will be able to discern between the boring from the fabulous in order to make the right ordering decision. Not to mention it'll help me gain a greater appreciation by knowing first-hand how difficult it is to create the perfect tarte tartin, crepes, creme caramel, etc.
Now, I have no intention of getting diabetes by stuffing myself with rich desserts weekly, so this is what I propose. Since most recipes serve 6-8, I'll be recruiting a team of "sweet-tooths" to taste, rate and consume the extra portions. In exchange, they'll help me gather ingredients for my next project—in essence, continuing the circle. So, if you have a passion for desserts, leave a comment or contact me and we'll make magic happen!