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What person would you most like to dine with in Paris? No rules, Jesus to Dieudonné M'bala.

Bernard Pivot is my choice.
I was reading his essay on the latest James Bond book in the JDD today and although I've only met him once briefly at the Book Fair he strikes me as the sanest, most interesting, most ego-free, clearest writer on the planet. How does he know so much? Probably because he's 6 months older than I am.

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  1. It has to be just one?

    I'd pick one of the art or literary greats for whom Paris was a big impact on their career... it's cliché, I know...but Edith Piaf...Hemingway...Van Gogh..Renoir...

    ...but possibly someone like Benjamin Franklin or Thomas Jefferson, whose ideas were shaped so strongly in Paris....

    ...or perhaps someone not such a major player -- Rose Valland, the French employee of the Louvre who quietly spied on the Nazis and tracked key information as to the whereabouts of plundered art, or Agnès Humbert, who was a key player in the early days of the Rèsistance.

    The list is too long-- can we make it a dinner party?

    2 Replies
    1. re: sunshine842

      "It has to be just one?" I said "no rules" so it can be more than one, but I prefer dining with just one.
      As for Soupie's wife, I'd like to dine again with her too.
      Re "Rose Valland," Monuments Men opens here next week; I wonder if the French love of Clooney/Damon will outweigh their resentment that the film has the Yankees (save the Dujardin character and Vallard) finding the art.
      PS The Vivrement Dimanche that just ended with all the above, really was precious, esp the Dimiti guy, Harry Ettlinger, who lives in NJ.) http://www.france2.fr/emissions/vivem...
      But we're off topic

      1. re: John Talbott

        according to the book (which was an excellent read) it was primarily an Anglo effort (US and UK) -- simply because most everyone else was trying to recover enough to just breathe.

        But then again, I've heard about the kerfuffle that erupted several years ago when that documentary dared reveal that no, France had not entirely saved herself....she had a lot of people helping.

    2. Particularly perceptive Parisian participants Parigi, Ptipois and Parnassien.

      4 Replies
          1. re: jock

            Pourquoi? Perspicacious palates. Pleasant personalities.

          2. Dude, my wife!

            A night out, just the two of us. Now that's stuff dreams are made of.

            1. Everyone who posted and is mentioned on this thread so far, plus Calvin Trillin.
              I did research for Pivot and had an hilarious exchange with him. Will tell you, JT, in person. I reserve for him a soccer match instead of a meal.

              1. My #1 choice would be R.W.(Johnny)Apple. The gargantuan meal, with more than sufficient wine, would undoubtedly be garnished with delicious conversation based on his life experiences.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Laidback

                  "R.W.(Johnny) Apple."
                  Sorry, Laidback, I didn't know you back then in 1967 and on.
                  Apple was a great friend, recounteur and companion.
                  He introduced my wife, Paga and Elan to Michel Guerard, Senderens, Passard and lord knows what else.
                  My great Apple story is that one night after eating out in (Gosh) Asnieres, we came back to Paris at 12 or 12h30 and he (famously known as 2 lunch Apple) said how about a drink at the zinc, at which point, he and we, put down some serious wine and ham.
                  Yah, I'll hope to met up with him in Valhalla.
                  I miss him.
                  My remembrance is here http://johntalbottsparis.typepad.com/...

                2. My first choice would be the love of my life, Susan. My second choice would be some on the regular contributors to this thread. Do you ever get together?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: hychka

                    "My first choice would be the love of my life, Susan."
                    Actually, me too, but not your Susan.

                  2. Bernard Hinault.

                    Last Frenchman to win Le Tour.

                    Guessing we could fill a couple of hours over good food and wine with cycling talk. He must have some fascinating stories.

                    Jeannie Longo would be at the table too. She's just all around amazing.

                    Does it really have to be just ONE person?
                    That's not much of a dinner party. LOL.

                    1. The Todd family. Octagenarian Olivier (ex-editor of the Nouvel Observateur and l'Express and biographer of Camus and Jacques Brel), sociologist son Emmanuel, and historian grandson David. Anglo-French intellectualism at its best... Science Po meets Cambridge. Lunch at la Maison de l'Amérique Latine.

                      The earthy and fiesty Christiane Toubira, the current minister of justice and darling of the left and the rather glam Rachida Dati, the ex-minister of justice and fallen idol of the right. I wanna find out who's the daddy of Rachida's kid. Dinner at Les Climats ('cos Mme Dati is also the mayor of the 7th)

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Parnassien

                        was I hallucinating? I thought the paternity came out into the open a couple of years ago.

                        (Without getting into anything else, she's a lovely lady -- I'm guessing she's at no shortage of volunteers....)

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          A father was named ... but he was too old to be considered a suitable impregnator so rumours persist... lots of people want a more glam and younger lover for their Rachida.

                          1. re: Parnassien

                            of course, we all know who most folks think it is...but thus far there seems to be no proof.

                        2. re: Parnassien

                          "The Todd family. Octagenarian Olivier (ex-editor of the Nouvel Observateur and l'Express and biographer of Camus"
                          Sartre, I believe.
                          I actually dined with him many years ago. I mean Olivier, not Sartre.

                        3. I'd like a dinner with either Anne Sinclair or Segolène Royale or Valérie Trierweiler.

                          All of them powerful women !

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Maximilien

                            Anne has at least wised up.
                            Not sure I could stomach Valèrie (read any of the excerpts from the bios? I realize that they can't be 100% true, but geez.)

                            I used to know someone who worked closely with Christine Lagarde. *She* would be an interesting dinner companion, if the stories my contact told were to be believed (nothing juicy...just interesting).

                            1. re: Maximilien

                              So would my dear husband. Particularly Segolène.

                            2. I think DCM and A.A. Gill at L'Ami Louis would be fun......


                              1. My first wife (passed 1990) at Pierre Gagnaire.
                                She'd absolutely love it.

                                2 Replies
                                  1. re: Parigi

                                    You would have liked her, Nancy.

                                1. My father, of Polish descent, who was the antithesis of a foodie (I get my love of food from my Sicilian mother), ate to live, and found oregano much too spicy!

                                  But when I told him many years ago that I was going to spend a semester in Paris, he shared his fondest memory of the city with me. He was there Post-Normandy (WWII, Army) and all he could remember were the women on bicycles, whose skirts would fly up from time to time. No Eiffel Tower, no Notre Dame, nothing like that, but as he said, he hadn't seen a woman in a long, long time. :-)

                                  I don't know where I'd take him, but some place with a good choucroute garnie, because he would definitely enjoy that, and a quiet place so we could chat. He was a shot-and-a-beer man, so I'd ply him with those because that was the only time he ever truly opened up and told stories of his colorful (pre-my mother) past. Boy, do I miss him.

                                  1. Borrowing from the title of this thread, and coming from now dismally foie gras-free California, I got to thinking about where you would take Jesus for a meal. And, more philosophically, would Jesus eat foie gras?

                                    4 Replies
                                      1. re: mangeur

                                        He's prob'ly on a paleo diet anyway.

                                        1. re: Maximilien

                                          He's big on bread & wine, also known to share a fish or two.

                                      2. Serge Gainsbourg, Jean Rochefort, Françoise Dorléac, Boris Vian, Antoine Doisnel, René Goscigny for a fondu, with appropriate forfeits based uniquely on the personallity/gender of the person(s) who drop their bread in the cheese.

                                        1. Pierre Desproges, I would let him choose the restaurant, and would never put a drop of water in my wine.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Rio Yeti

                                            Oh, if I may choose a Yankee as well, I think Frank Zappa is my second choice.

                                          2. 1. Calvin Trillin,
                                            2. Jim McCauley the late Professor of Linguistics at the U. of Chicago. A friend of Trillin's and subject of a (Trillin) essay on Asian food).
                                            3. The late A.J. "Joe" Liebling, one time New Yorker essayist and noted gourmand. Lived, worked (and by his own account) did a great deal of eating throughout France for a number of years.
                                            4. Zero Mostel-another noted gourmand (and subject of another Trillin esay on eating) just because I think he would mix well with this group.
                                            5. Orson Welles-is any explanation needed? I think Orson would be well cast in the role of host for this party.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: mchametzky

                                              I have dined with one from your list, in Paris. It was fantastic, and he wrote about it. :)

                                            2. Andre Citroen, well cause he was an innovator and French. Non French, the author Isaac Babel. A great story teller, so a good dining companion as well as a man who loved good food. But, really if it was possible by brother who passed @ 42 yet introduced me to so much in Paris/France I don't know where to start.