An introduction to French culture
through the discovery of the richness of of French cheeses !
Harriet Welty Rochefort is a long-established
journalist and writer in Paris. She has written many articles
and books about the French (see her site).
To help her fellow-Americans better understand France and the
French, she organizes tastings. By illustrating the infinite
variety of French cheeses and French wines she gives a lively
but very informative journey into these two French symbols.
Her husband Philippe, a Frenchman (the webmaster of this
site) participates and brings a French touch to the tasting.
The tasting may be organized for a small
or a larger group.
- "Savour Formula" : For
4 to 8 people, it is very homey, with at least 15 different cheeses
and 5 different wines, followed by a salad and a light dessert.
These groups are generally a family or friends traveling together,
but you can join an existing group if there is room left. Participants
enjoy the unique experience of being in a Parisian apartment
where they are made to feel comfortable and at home).
- "Discover Formula" :
For 15 to 30 people, on their premises, the formula is different
: these groups are generally groups of students and they prefer
a smaller choice of 5 to 10 cheeses and 3 to 4 wines.
- "Theme Formula" : same
as "Favour" but with a discussion with Philippe focused
on a specific theme such as "Doing business in France"
or "French history"
- "Tailor-made" : for a
couple, or for a very large group. Consult
In all cases the tastings lasts 2 1/2 hours,
including an introductory speech by Harriet and a Q&A session.
Book for the next Wine & Cheese Tasting
Pricing : cost + fee
You choose the formula with Harriet and
discuss the cost, which depends on the number of cheeses and
the quality of the wines: consult
her. If you wish, you can shop with Harriet.
Examples (per person) :
- "Savour" : Fee Euros 50 + cost
- "Discover" : Fee Euro 20 + cost
- "Theme" : Fee Euro 70 + cost
- "This woman literally wrote
the book (two, actually) on the French, delving deep into their
eating habits and their fascination with cheese. Born in Iowa,
she married a Frenchman and never went home. She now gives what
she calls "Cheese Chats" at her home in Eastern Paris.
The chats are an intimate look at what goes into making cheese
and where each comes from, but the proof is in the pudding. Welty
Rochefort serves a large variety of cheese, each with a home-made
card that explains its origin, while sharing what she knows about
them and what she knows about the French. "I like to serve
this one in front of people," she says starting off the
tasting by scooping out a spoonful of cancoillotte from a plastic
tub. This cow's milk cheese from the eastern part of France is
gooey, she pours it off the spoon onto a hunk of a baguette.
Later to illustrate the difference aging cheese can make, she
serves up a older and younger Comté, a cow's milk cheese.
The young one is soft with a fruity flavor and its older brother
has an earthier note. The course goes by quickly and its informal
nature makes you forget you're learning." (Joe Ray in the
Santa Fe New Mexican, 2007)
- "Guided by Harriet we shopped
for interesting, seasonal cheeses, ripened to their moment of
perfection and difficult to find in the U.S. The assortment represents
France's rich bounty and included a Perail des Cabasses (sheep
in the Aveyron), Mont d'or (cow in the Jura) and Paupinette fermier
(goat from Charentes). What followed was an extraordinary lunch
at Harriet and Philippe's home, where each cheese was presented
with a carefully chosen wine. The afternoon was instructive and
memorable because of the marvelous meal and our charming, informed
hosts." (Patricia Hanrahan, Washington, D.C.)
- "Thank you for the Wine
& Cheese Tasting. It was the highlight of Gary's trip and
it was one of the most enjoyable things I've done in the nearly
two years I've been in France. You're truly gracious hosts and
lovely people, as well as engaging conversationalists .
What a memorable afternoon it was." (Randy Lemmerman, Paris,
- "Fantastique! What a wonderful
and intimate way to learn about cheese and wine ! Your tasting
and discussion was the highlight of our recent trip to Paris!
Our group learned an appreciation of wine and cheese pairings
along with an overview of the locations where they were made.
Our afternoon was filled with great food, wine, stories and laughter.
You both made our group feel comfortable in your home. I'm already
trying out my "fromager" skills in the local cheese
market... thanks to you I'm now a confirmed Goat Cheese addict!
Your course is a "must do" travel trip for those looking
for an authentic French experience! Thank you for your hospitality
and knowledge. "Jusqu'à notre prochaine rencontre...
until we meet again." (Kim Jackson, Boston, MS.)
- "The time that the Robinson
gathering spent with you will be the most talked about of the
trip. Certainly the wine and cheese was fantastic! You both went
to extreme with the number, variety and quality of the cheese
but two other wonderful things happened : we gained an understanding
of the French people and we met one the nicest Frenchmen with
a most lovely American bride who is French. I read a good portion
of one of your books and it reinforced what you discussed during
the tasting. There is much in the French culture to learn and
emulate. Thank you so much for opening your home... you and Philippe
did a wonderful thing for us." (Gene and Lois Robinson,
|To related pages : intercultural
on food, French attitudes, more about the webmaster, etc...
of the page
Back to home
Rochefort writes articles and books about France and the French.
Order her books :
- "Joie de Vivre", Secrets of Wining, Dining and Romancing like the French, St.Martin's Press, New York, 2012
- "French Toast, An American in Paris
Celebrates The Maddening Mysteries of the French", St.Martin's Press,
New York, 1999
- "French Fried, The Culinary Capers
of An American in Paris", St.Martin's Press, New York, 2001
Harriet and Philippe also give
Franco-American intercultural differences.
More on Harriet's books (excerpts, upcoming
events, testimonials, etc..)