France seems to like having special 'weeks'. Last week was a new one - the Semaine de Gout - a national event aimed at promoting kids' taste-buds. Sounds like the producers have heard of our own Jamie Oliver's food programmes. (Let's hope the kids aren't encouraged to watch Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen series, or they'll be learning something entirely different - *!!!). Strangely, in a land famed for dismissing anything culinary coming from the other side of the Channel, there's a new kid on the block in France. I'm talking about Trish Deseine, a 44 years old, Irish divorced mother of four. The daughter of a beef farmer and a teacher from Ballyclare, Co Antrim, she moved to her sixth floor Paris flat after meeting her French husband at university, tried cooking when she lost her job as a press officer and worked her way to the top of Gallic gastronomy. She now writes a bimonthly cookery column for French Elle and her practical recipes have been acclaimed by French dinner-party hosts weary of complicated recipes by Michelin-starred chefs.
This Irishwoman may have taught the French how to throw a dinner party, but getting them to shed some of their many other prejudices may take rather more time.
P.S. Don't miss tomorrow's episode of the 'Bruno' serial.