Photo by Courtesy of the Embassy of France
Nora Pouillon, Timothy Bouley and Ashley Koff
Nora Pouillon, Timothy Bouley and Ashley Koff

“I think it’s important to eat good food and to socialize at the same time; it just goes together. I think that’s one thing that we have lost in this country – to eat together and share our secrets and share what we think during the day especially with kids,” Austrian born restaurateur Nora Pouillon told an enthusiastic culinary group who were invited to dine at the Residence of the Ambassador of France, Gérard Araud. “I grew up going to the Lycée Français and I cannot thank the French people enough for introducing me to the right way to eat. In school, we were served a 3-course meal. You learned to sit at a table of 8 or 10, not only to eat properly with a knife and fork, but also to have a conversation with somebody you might not really like.”

“It was a wonderful education because not only did you have to peel an orange with a knife and fork, but you had also to say, ‘What are you doing this afternoon?’ and ‘Who are you?’ By having this conversation,” she added, “at the end of the meal you found out that this person is somebody like you.” Nora is the owner of Restaurant Nora in NW Washington, DC; a pioneer and champion of organic, environmentally conscious cuisine; and the author of My Organic Life: How a Pioneering Chef Helped Shape the Way We Eat Today. (see our interview with Nora and video below)

Pouillon is a favorite of the First Lady for her healthy menu choices and was acknowledged by Debra Eschmeyer, Executive Director of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign and senior White House Policy Advisor for Nutrition. “To the Department of Agriculture, to the Department of Health and Human Services, to everything that folks are doing at convenience stores to the biggest stores in the United States to ensure that families have health care products, we thank you,” said Eschmeyer.  “On top of that, the first lady has used every tool at her disposal including digital media to making sure that all parents are changing the school food, ensuring access to healthy food for everyone.”