Cannes You Taste It?

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity that celebrates the most amazing marketing campaigns from around the globe. As part of a Ketchum creative crew sent to soak it all in and report back the best creative morsels to colleagues and clients, I traveled to France hungry for some new inspiration.

What I actually found was that some of the most beautiful examples of creativity were not formally competing. Instead, they were found in the window displays and on the dessert menus of the best the French Riviera had to offer. Here are my top three favorite purveyors of works of edible art that I was lucky enough to experience:

Chocolate treasure boxes, Jean Luc Pele.

Stop #1 – Jean Luc Pele, a local chocolatier, designs the most beautiful chocolate creations I have ever seen. From the treasure chests filled with tiny delicacies to the macaron towers constructed with every flavor in the rainbow to the flowing chocolate fountain wall, there is no way a passer-by could resist. Each day, I allowed myself two macarons, coercing myself to choose one from their sweet collection and one from the salted collection. Caramel with sea salt is all you need to know, period. Check out the gorgeous menu items at http://www.jeanlucpele.com/fr. [Read more…]

Mushrooms Do Not Come In Blue Boxes: Reflections from Cooking School in Italy

This past spring, my very insistent Aunt Barbara somehow convinced me to buy a Groupon to go to cooking school in Abruzzo, Italy.  Who does that??  Well, we did…and it was a trip of a lifetime.  For one warm, whirlwind week in August, we were treated like family – not guests – at Palazzo Tour D’Eau in Carunchio, and my taste buds will never be the same.

ItalyA four-hour drive from Rome, Abruzzo is a beautiful, mountainous region near the Adriatic Sea, where things are still done “the old way” and no one is rushing to modernize.

Each day of our eating extravaganza consisted of one part cooking, one part exploring and one part recovering from our delicious meals.  Our field trips included everything from a visit to the local salume maker to truffle hunting with dogs to a private tour of a local cheese factory.  A few of my daily highlights:

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