My Travel Blog

No, It Isn’t Just Food: It’s FRENCH Food!

While we’re in France food is always important.  Actually it’s important no matter where we are.  But it’s more important in France.  Lisa is a great chef, and one of the reasons is because she loves to cook.  Of course she also loves to eat so that doesn’t hurt. Part of her love of cooking has evolved from taking cooking classes.  We thought we were going to have a chef on board for five nights giving Lisa private cooking lessons, but that didn’t workout.   We were recently in the Dijon tourist office where Lisa noticed a flyer that said cooking classes given in English.

Lisa immediately sent out an email asking about the classes, and received a reply from Chef Alex Miles in short order.  She made arrangements to meet Alex on Rabelo the next morning.  He turned out to be a real kick.  Alex has had many jobs in many places, and is someone we would love to get to know better.  Originally from the Bronx, he now has dual citizenship and lives in Dijon with his French wife Elizabeth.  We set up a class for Lisa and me this coming Friday.  There will be one other student joining us.  I will be there as an observer and the official food taster.

“Alex and his wife Elizabeth.”

“Some new and old buildings in Dijon.”

“More old buildings in Dijon.”

The next evening we got a message from Alex to come join him at a friend’s house for a private concert.  The home was originally a seventeenth century mansion that has been turned into apartment flats, and a large living area for the owners.  We met Alex and Elizabeth at 8:00 PM and were ushered into a small courtyard with about twenty other guests.  A young man, sound technician, and a drummer began to play.  Alex had warned us that he didn’t know what the music would be, and if we didn’t like it we could always leave early.  We stayed for three songs and then Alex said he had had enough.  Weagreed and left.  We ended up going to dinner with Alex and Elizabeth at a wine bar that was attached to a Michelin starred restaurant.  The food was excellent, and we hope to take our friends back to try the restaurant for dinner.

“A private concert in Dijon.”

Lisa mentioned to Alex that we have been to Dijon’s covered market a number of times, and didn’t think it was all that great. He said we needed to go on Fridays, and that when we had class he would show us where the best vendors were.  Last Friday we went to the covered market on our own to see what we could find.  Less than a block from the market we passed a little cafe, and whom did we see sitting outside but Elizabeth.  Just as we were saying hello Alex cameout of the restaurant.  He told us they were just headed to the market, and he would show us some of his favorite vendors.  After the tour we now have a much better appreciation of the Dijon covered market.  The mussels, or as the French say moules, that we bought were incredible.  We thought it was next to impossible to buy fresh seafood in Dijon.

“A cheese stand at the covered market.”

“Fruits and vegetables at the covered market.”

“The Dijon covered market designed by Gustave Eiffel.”

Not only did we make moules the other night, but Rabelo has a new ice cream maker.  Last night, with my expert help, we made chocolate ice cream with cherries soaked in Kirsch.  The cherries were my idea.  It was some of the best ice cream we have ever had, and I don’t have to share.


-Tom Miller
Author of “The Wave”  and “When Stones Speak”– 
Chuck Palmer Adventure novels


About the Author:

Tom Miller graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. He is a consummate adventurer with over 1,000 dives as a recreational scuba diver, and an avid sailor who has traveled 65,000 miles throughout the Pacific including the Hawaiian Islands. Miller has also cruised the canals of Europe on his canal barge and given numerous lectures on cruising the canals of Europe, as well as sailing in the South Pacific. Piloting is also an interest of Miller's, and He has completed over 1,000 hours flying everything from small Cessnas to Lear jets.