September 2011

10 years, 6 months

Can't believe that 10 years has passed since 9/11. I still remember the day vividly though...
It's also exactly 6 months since the earthquake and tsunami which hit Japan in March.So many lives lost and so many people's lives shattered.....

May there be peace to all those who passed away and all those who have lost so much.



I love good food and wine and have always enjoyed it,but my experience in France was a whole new ball game.

There were so many things that I had tasted and just couldn't believe how delicious they were. And it's not just the tastebuds which are involved! It's actually a feeling that you get from it - which I've never experienced with food before.

Gallette_resize.jpgAnd it wasn't even food specially prepared in fancy restaurants! It could be simply the fresh croissants /baguettes in the morning ,the pates from the butcher or the fruit from the market. My stomach would never give me the signal that I was full as it seemed that the pleasure I'd be getting from my tastebuds would totally overtake my brain! A very dangerous situation to be in! That's why I now understand why gluttony can become a sin!

Rose%20and%20Raspberry%20meringue_resize.jpgThere are so many delicious things that I remember from this trip. The chicken and lemon terrine from the butchers,eggs poached in red wine, the pear tart that I had on my birthday,the salmon mousse appetizer (which had a poached egg in it) from Fauchon, the super thin and light gallette at a tiny restaurant in Paris and of course all the beautiful wines to go with it!

There are two things that I will never forget though,because of the feeling that I had got from them.
One was a "rose and raspberry meringue gateau" which I had at the cafe of the Musee Jacquemart-Andres in Paris. The beautiful surroundings played a big part too but there was something so exquisite about the taste that it just felt like it had taken over all my senses. It was the perfect combination of the perfume of the rose, the tartness of the rasberries,the richness of the cream and the sweetness and texture of the meringue. Pure heaven!!

The other one reminds me of a scene in the film "Ratatouille". In the film this really mean restaurant critic asks for the speciality of this French restaurant and the chef brings out,what seems to be an arrangement of a simple wholesome "ratatouille" . The critic takes a bite and it immediately takes him back to his childhood and fills him with the warmth of his mother's love and his heart just melts.

Morgon%20Cheese_resize.jpgThis happened to me on the first night that I had arrived in Morgon. The owners of the Chateau, James&Sarah,had prepared us a wonderful dinner with the beautiful wines that they make,and at the end of it,they presented us with a cheese board. It was one of these cheeses that had blew me away. I really can't describe why it was so special. It was just a creamy,not so salty cheese,but for some reason it reminded me of my mother. Not of my mother's cooking but of my mother! It was just a really gentle but soothing taste.

So,I'm hooked. This trip has been a real eye opener in so many ways!
I am so glad that I don't live in France though. If I did,I would be in big trouble as I would become so big that I don't think I'd fit in front of the piano anymore!

Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful!

I've been working really hard for this concert in October and have been busy getting the administrational side of it done but I think it's now under control and feel that I can now sit down for a moment and write a bit about my summer.

Chateau_resize.jpgI came back feeling totally refreshed and inspired after my trip to England and France. It is always so nice seeing old friends and enjoying London and absorbing the cultural vibe there. This year though, there was an added dimension to my trip where I was given the opportunity to play the Elgar Piano Quintet with the Bridge Quartet in a Chateau in the Beaujolais region - a place called Morgon - in France. My whole stay there can be described in one word - BEAUTIFUL. Everything about it was absolutely beautiful - the scenery,the sky,the food,the Chateau,the people and the music. I felt so lucky to have been given the chance to play the Elgar and I was so excited about playing it even when practicing it on my own in Japan. Morgon%20SKy_resize.jpgIt was such a treat then to play it with the Bridge Quartet and I thoroughly thoroughly enjoyed it. It is such a beautiful piece. The piano - an Erard - was also perfect for the solo Liszt pieces that I had played and I was truly inspired not only by the sound but also by the surroundings. The atmosphere was so warm and welcoming and it just seemed like the perfect evening.

Vineyard_resize.jpgThe time that I had spent in Morgon really has given me a lift. I think the affects of the earthquake and tsunami which happened here in Japan in March really has taken a grip on everyone and I have been finding it hard to separate myself from it. Not that I want to or will forget about it,but I feel that my experience in Morgan has given me a chance to start on a clean slate and start again afresh.

I'll have to write about the FOOD in France in a separate blog . I never knew food could bring so much pleasure. I now totally understand why gluttony is a sin!