After months of production and endless hours in development we are happy to announce the launch of our cooking series and our first digital cookbook Laurent Gras: My Provence. To celebrate this milestone event, we chose to share a first glimpse of the product with some of the top editors, writers and food bloggers in New York City.
We hosted our preview event at the French Consulate’s Salon Rose, which seemed to be the perfect location to honor of our first chef. It’s opulent rooms and décor complemented the traditional Provençal-themed dishes coming together in a beautiful embodiment of French culture.
As guests arrived atop the Consulate’s grand spiral staircase, they were greeted with a glass of Rosé and passed hors d'oeuvres and offered a demo of our first e-book, My Provence, by award-winning chef Laurent Gras.
During the cocktail hour I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with writers, editors, bloggers and New York City food enthusiasts. The Alta Editions team was on hand to give product demonstrations and gather feedback. Delicious passed hors d'oeuvres from Feasts & Fêtes were a big hit. Who can resist warm parmesan gougères and delicious salmon canapés?
After the cocktail hour, guests were ushered into the Salon Rosé for lunch. The large Renaissance-styled interior is covered in French art while a Baccarat crystal chandelier cast the room in a warm glow. An 18th Century Gobelin tapestry from the Palace of Versailles hung on the wall providing our luncheon with an elegant backdrop while the large French windows provided guests with a breathtaking view of Central Park.
Guests dined on preparations from the cookbook including Artichoke Salad, Fresh Cod with a Potato and Olive Oil emulsion and a trio of desserts: Mocha Tart, Cherry Clafoutis and an assortment of Vanilla Rum, Coffee Whiskey and Chocolate Bourbon Pots de Crème, giving a glimpse of mouthwatering dishes found inside the eBook. The event was also highlighted by speeches from chef Gras, co-author Mitchell Davis, and Alta Editions producer, Christopher McBride. Consul General Philippe Lalliot also gave a beautiful speech expressing his excitement and pride for the new French e-book. He then introduced Laurent Gras, who shared the inspiration and foundation of much of his cooking, his hometown of Antibes and the surrounding region of Provence. “These first experiences taught me how to cook, and they also taught me how to honor the local ingredients that were the inspiration for the recipes of the Riviera. They reinforced my roots. In addition, they helped me realize that the sort of precise work cooking requires—a combination of concentration and creativity—is what I enjoy most.”
Gras’s speech reminded us that the foundation and essence of every recipe and cookbook is the wholesome ingredients and techniques used to create them. After his speech, Gras invited co-author and Executive Vice President of the James Beard Foundation, Mitchell Davis to take the podium. Mitchell’s charismatic speech illustrated the innovation and energy that has been put into the production of this cookbook by the writers, photographers, developers and entire Alta Editions team. We were honored and moved by Mitchell’s speech and for the opportunity share this event with such an amazing and talented group of people. We are looking forward to what the future brings for both this amazing cookbook and the series, whose second edition is slated for release this fall.
Thank you everyone who shared this milestone with us!