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How my Texas-style brisket got me on French television :o

Once a Texan, always a Texan. 2020 was a wild year for all of us. I have the great fortune to say that I got to spend three years of my life living in a dream city, thanks to a scholarship that brought me to Paris, France on an artist residency. Unfortunately, that dream was cut a little short, no thanks to the coronavirus. However, one of the good things that came out of this experience was that France 3, a television network in Île-de-France, was doing a segment on how the pandemic was affecting international students, specifically those confining in Paris during Christmas time.

Since I lived in the Fondation des États-Unis as a Woolley fellow, or as the residents called it, The American House, I often received e-mails to all kinds of super cool opportunities specifically for Americans living in Paris. On Christmas Eve, 2020, a woman named Marion from France 3 television called me on the phone. She heard a rumor that I was cooking brisket...

Cooking brisket for Christmas dinner has always been a very important tradition in my family, and I wanted to continue that tradition even though I was far away and the pandemic prevented all of us from flying home. I decided to bring that tradition to my American colleagues who were also quarantining with me on the 5th floor of The American House. On December 23rd, I walked to about 3 or 4 different boucheries in Paris asking if they sold poitrine de boeuf, cow chest, or as I call it, Texas-style brisket. After finding the right cut, I surprised my close-friends at Christmas dinner with a brisket that had been cooking on low for 16 hours in my handy dandy mijoteuse éléctrique (slow-cooker) that I had found on sale at Lidl, the Parisian mini-version of a Target. The meat was literally falling off the bone... It brought me so much joy to be able to make cook this very special food for rmy friends, and I am very grateful to France 3 for having captured that moment for life.

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