As we were headed towards the conference center on our second day in Nice, I was, as usual, holding up our small group by taking photos of anything that struck my fancy. My colleagues had long since gotten used to walking ahead and having me catch up after I feebly attempted to capture the sense of the old city waking up each morning.
That day my attention and fancy had been grabbed by the delivery of four small crates of zucchini blossoms to a small bistro along our route. Dewey, extremely delicate and the topic of much discussion on the blogosphere that I had read recently, I snapped a photo, thought about how lucky the diners would be that evening and scurried along.
As it turns out, we returned ten hours later with empty stomachs and a strong curiosity about how the chef had transformed the produce of that morning. We arrived around 9pm and the place was bustling. After the complementary kir, we shared two orders of the beignets des courgettes. I tested everyone’s patience as I made our whole group wait a few extra moments as I snapped this photo of the finished product. From the farm to our plate – my own before and after culinary adventure.
The beignets were a bit heavy – maybe too much batter for the peppery, fragile blossoms. But paired with a homemade aioli, dry red wine and interesting conversation, they were the perfect beginning to my first Provençal meal. Luckily our hotel was downhill from there – I could roll all the way home.