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Chef's journey from the Bay Area to Paris

David Lebovitz knows his way around a kitchen, and a cocktail too.

That’s why the former Bay Area pastry chef is now living “The Sweet Life in Paris”, authoring an array of best selling cook books on the perfect dessert and his metamorphosis from tourist to Parisian.

“People often ask me, ‘why did you move to Paris?’” he said. “I didn’t have an answer. I was like, ‘I don’t know,’ I didn’t speak French, and I love San Francisco,’ but what I realized over the years is that France is very similar to the San Francisco and the Bay Area. There’s a food culture.”

Lebovitz honed his skills at Berkeley’s famed Chez Panisse.

“It was the early 80s. The idea of using local foods was sort of a new thing in America, but it came out of Berkeley, it came from Alice Waters,” he said. 

Twenty years ago, he packed his bags and headed to France where he’s been sharing his culinary curiosity with millions of foodies around the world through his powerhouse blog, podcast and newsletter.

So, we asked the expat — is the City of Light ready for the biggest sporting event in the world? 

“Everybody is happy, but everyone of course is cautious,” Lebovitz said, “And because it’s France, there is a little bit of complaining, People are saying the metro is very crowded already, how is this going to happen?”

For tourists, it might happen with a little help from one of Lebovitz’s books.

When asked what the title of his book, “Drinking French” meant, he said, “French people are very social, very convivial. Starting with coffee in the morning at the café, to having a glass of wine at lunch, to having an aperitif after work.”

What about looking French?

“There used to be all these rules like, you know? Don’t wear sneakers or don’t wear jeans, speak French, and blah blah, everybody wears sneakers now,” Lebovitz said.

His best advice for Olympic tourists who want to feel Parisian is to hit up a wine bar or enjoy a bistro.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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