I have come across many a native French person inquisitive about why I chose to leave the beautiful City by the Bay, San Francisco, for the City of Light, Paris. My one-word answer is CHEESE. Camembert, in fact, is the cheese that changed my life. One taste of a beautiful example of this cheese at the age of 16 in France really did change my view of the world. The taste lingered so long in my mind that I knew I needed to make France a part of my life, if only to live closer to Camembert. You may think this is funny, and it definitely is, but is there really any better reason to make dramatic life-changing decisions? I don’t think so. Now that I am settled in Paris and have the opportunity to spend days wandering around looking for cheese, as this also just happens to fit into career as a professional food photographer, I still get overwhelmed by the beautiful cheese boutiques of Paris. Spring has sprung here in Paris and I can’t think of anything better to do than uncover a circular box of Camembert with a fresh baguette and a bottle of wine. Technical Details – Canon 1Ds Mark II, 100mm Macro Lens, ISO 100, F 5.6. For more photography by Clay McLachlan: Beyond the Bread Basket: Recipes for Appetizers, Main Courses, and Desserts by Eric Kayser, Clay McLachlan and Yair Yosefi French Cooking: Classic Recipes and Techniquesby Hubert Delorme, Vincent Boue, Clay McLachlan and Paul BocuseEric Kayser’s New French Recipes by Eric Kayser, Yair Yosefi and Clay McLachlan and Clay’s newest award-winning book with bonus DVD, Encyclopédie du Chocolat in French, featuring secrets of the greatest pastry chefs: Christophe Michalak (Plaza Athenee), Gilles Marchal (Maison du Chocolat), Christopher Adam (Fauchon), Jean-Paul Hevin and more. An essential book and DVD with Clay’s step-by-step photographs to guide beginners and experts in preparing over 100 demonstrated techniques.  Bonus: a DVD 1 hr 30, a real course to master the most difficult pastrymaking. All the expertise of the Ecole du Grand Chocolat Valrhona, which attracts professionals from around the world.

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