Table as Altar?


For a special occasion this week, we were invited to Hugo Desnoyer’s new restaurant in the 19th:

33 Avenue Secretan, 75019, 01 40 05 10 79, Metros: Bolivar, Jaurès, Colonel Fabien

Intro on the menu: “Food is now vital to the future of our civilization, culture, and public health. All over the world, choosing what to eat expresses life choices. Hugo Desnoyer is one of the rare artisan butchers to direct and participate in the birth of this global phenomenon. He has committed himself to this cause, and to opening new avenues of development.”

From the website: “Let’s consume less, but better. By what we eat, we are all farmers by proxy.

Animal well-being, protected pastures and environment, open spaces and fresh air, limited noise and stress are the basis of quality cattle raising.

A cow grazing freely in a field maintains the landscape. This type of farming is demanding but traditional and can have a positive impact on nature.

– Water and soil are analyzed to avoid all chemical residue.

– Feed comes from natural meadowlands.

– A mixture of grains, without GMO’s, without soy, are grown in the same area (terroir).

– Breeds are preferably from the same terroir.” (my translations)

Food for thought: all indigenous cultures have rituals to sanctify food and thank living creatures for providing nourishment. The Temple in Jerusalem provided meat to the city. This custom survives in kosher practices (Judaism) and halal certification (Islam). I’m curious about why there is nothing similar in Christian culture? Instead we have industrial agriculture… When I was little, there were farmers on both sides of the family and I learned what it meant to sacrifice an animal to feed ourselves. My grandmother used to say grace at every meal, but when she passed that disappeared with her. Living in France has helped me reconnect with the earth and I’m trying to be conscious, to give thanks to all living beings, including people, who bring nourishment to my table. Every time we grocery shop or enter a restaurant we’re impacting policies and voting with our money. As for methane, a town in England powers its public transportation with this by-product. As for health and diet, I highly recommend the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, Ph.D. (see excerpt below)  So in a spirit of reverence:

DSC02562Planche de charcuterie: Chorizo, ham, bacon, pistachio and herb pâtés…

DSC02563Entrecôte and faux filet steaks, sautéed potatoes, rutabaga, chives, parsley, hollandaise sauce, mashed potatoes…

DSC02566Upstairs kitchen

DSC02561Maitre d’ Sophie greets diners

Was in an altered (altared?) state by dessert time and forgot to photograph the amazing chocolate pie and walnut cake. We drank “Côte de Py” Morgon AMC  Jean Foillard Villié 2013…

BTW There are memorable grass-fed viandes in New York State (and elsewhere):  Jack’s on main street in New Paltz, Adam’s on route 9 and Fleischer’s  at the stockade in Kingston, Emmanuel’s in Stone Ridge. Hugo Desnoyer supplies top restaurants in France. The meal was delicious and very expensive (as it should be?) Lunch menu 22€, reserve well in advance 🙂

“The cause of heart disease is not animal fats and cholesterol but rather a number of factors inherent in modern diets, including excess consumption of vegetable oils and hydrogenated fats; excess consumption of refined carbohydrates in the form of sugar and white flour; mineral deficiencies, particularly low levels of protective magnesium and iodine; deficiencies of vitamins, particularly vitamin A, C and D, needed for the integrity of the blood vessel walls, and of antioxidants like selenium and vitamin E, which protect us from free radicals; and finally, the disappearance of antimicrobial fats from the food supply, namely animal fats and tropical oils. These once protected us against the kinds of viruses and bacteria that have been associated with the onset of pathogenic plaque leading to heart disease.”
 Paragraph 4, page 13
 Nourishing Traditions, The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, Sally Fallon with Mary G. Enig, Ph.D.
To be continued…  xxxxx






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