Invitation to Monaco for the one hundredth anniversary of Martell’s Cordon Bleu Cognac

David Lebowitz started working in restaurants at the age of sixteen, until he ended up at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, working with Alice Waters and co-owner, Executive Pastry Chef Lindsey Shere as a mentor.

David wrote six books. The first two were the critically acclaimed Room for Dessert and Ripe for Dessert which are now out of print and considered collectible. (If you are looking for a copy, check out used book sites.)

The concept: basic, honest ingredients; fresh fruit, good quality chocolate, real vanilla, and pure butter. I don’t believe that baking (or cooking) should be out of reach to people and strive to share recipes that are do-able for a majority of cooks and home bakers.

In March 2012, David got invited to Monaco for the one hundredth anniversary of Martell’s Cordon Bleu cognac.

An interesting detail besides the amazing hotel he describes:

Anyhow, since the Prince of Monaco was going to be coming to the dinner, we got briefed about protocol when in the presence of His Royal Highness. When he came into the room, we were supposed to stand until he was seated. Photographs were interdit, except at certain photo-ready moments, which is a good idea since no one looks good – or wants to be photographed – when they’re eating. (If you’ve ever tagged anyone on Facebook eating, do them a favor and after you read this, go untag them.) And we weren’t supposed to go up to him and say “Hey, how’s it going?” without him initiating a conversation. Fair enough. And when I get my own crown, I’m going to call the shots, too. And send my minions out to untag any photos of me eating as well.

Aside from a stain stick, another thing I didn’t have on hand, or even think about bringing, was a swimsuit. The moment we landed and exited the airport, and the warmth hit us, flowing from the gentle blue Mediterranean, the idea of jumping into the water seemed to be the first order of business after lunch, rosé – and, um, a bit of Cognac

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