Introduction to Dancing Tomatoes

Let me tell you about Dancing Tomatoes.  It all started with a little bag of homemade cookies. 

It was Paris, March 2020.  I had my suitcase packed for Iceland, where I was going to write.  Sami, the creative director of Dancing Tomatoes, was on his way to Finland to work with a theater production. 

Instead, we got lockdown. 

I had just moved to Paris a few months before.  I didn’t know anyone in my building.  So I started baking cookies, and I left a bag of them in front of my neighbor’s door.

I opened my door the next day and a book resting against it fell in.  It was from my neighbors with a note, “All we need is love. Thank you.” Signed Sami and Ricardo.  My neighbors.

That began a Covid-Whatsapp friendship.  We discovered not only a personal affinity, but complimentary skills and passions.  And so, Dancing Tomatoes was born. 

It’s a natural fit.

I’m a professional trained chef and cooking teacher, journalist, researcher, lecturer on the history of French Gastronomy. I know my stuff.  I love to cook, I love to cook for you, and I love to share what I cook, so I promise you you’re in good hands.  Sami is a talented professional who wears many creative hats, and is dedicated to providing a warm, tactile experience. 

I’ve traveled the world interviewing farmers, fishermen, cooks, chefs, wine makers, and more in quest of those who are passionate about their work.  I search out people who practice sustainable, ethical work methods, that have our health and the health of the planet in mind.  Every time I step into a field, a tasting room, a kitchen, a barn I have one thing on my mind.  What will I learn from this person, and how can I transmit that, and the passion I inevitably find, to a cook, a reader. How can I create a connection?   My reasoning is this: if you catch the passion, the ethic, the point of good local, seasonal ingredients, you’ll support your local grower, and a local grower who makes a decent living produces wonderful ingredients and makes for a healthy society. That symbiosis – you and the grower – will ultimately help you cook delicious things for those you love.  And all of that makes the world turn more smoothly. 

I’m often asked what’s the hardest thing about cooking?  I say “nothing”.  Cooking is simple.  I know.  Some people roll their eyes when I say that (Sami).  But it is simple, once you know a few things.  And it’s even simpler when you have a friend in the kitchen.  So, I’m going to show you, and I’m going to be your friend.

As your friend and teacher, I’ll make cooking accessible.  I cook in a small kitchen, I  use equipment everyone has in their kitchen, and I use readily available ingredients, at least most of the time! Sometimes, I’ll find something special or weird or unusual that I have to show you, but I’ll make sure to tell you where you can get it OR I’ll wait until you are here and then I’ll show you! 

At Dancing Tomatoes you will see that cooking and eating well depend on just a couple of things: the vital key of quality ingredients along with clear instruction. And those combined are the heart and soul of Dancing Tomatoes. 

A note: at Dancing Tomatoes we call ourselves an ethical business. What that means to us is that the food we use is sourced locally and seasonally (for the northern hemisphere), that we put our money into the hand of the producer whenever we can.  This includes the ethically sourced products in our shop, the apron you will get when you sign up for classes, and the information I give you, for it too has been sourced ethically.  I’ve had more than thirty years of experience honing my kitchen and procurement skills, set my foot on a lot of farms, fishing boats, fruit orchards.  I want share all of this with you in Dancing Tomatoes.

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