Anthrow Circus

French Cooking School Teaches Those in Need


Accounts of people “lifting themselves up by their bootstraps” have been around for more than a century, since the phrase took on its current meaning. Critics say that hard work is not enough, but true stories of success from unlikely starts abound.

Thierry Marx, French chef of the year in 2006, is one of those stories. He was a poor student from a bad neighborhood. His grades weren’t good enough to get into hotel school, and he dropped out of a school for building trades. “I was furious…,” he told The Figaro, a French newspaper. “I messed around, got into fights. I ran away, I escaped to Paris … Champigny-sur-Marne, the city where I lived, was a ghost town, a wasteland.”

Meeting Azerbaijan’s New Ambassador to France


A byproduct of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and media focus on the war’s developments is that growing tensions between other former Soviet republics wanting their place in the world are largely obscured. The rumblings that have serious local effects aren’t reaching the world’s eyes and ears while the louder conflict drowns out these smaller ones.
Thirty-one years after claiming its independence, Azerbaijan is trying to move through a slippery world of history and judgments and war with its neighbor Armenia to become recognized as a neutral, non-aligned country, a friend of both NATO and Russia.

The French Caught Up in the Ukraine War


Some of the Ukrainians fighting Vladimir Putin’s Russian army are also French.

When Putin’s threats toward Ukraine increased in seriousness in mid-February, France encouraged its citizens there to leave. As war damage increased after Russia’s invasion began Feb. 24, there was a second wave of emigrants, said Sen. Hélène Conway-Mouret, the senator for French citizens living in other countries. But some French, she said, usually with dual Ukrainian citizenship, “made the choice to stay … and fight.”

Teurgoule: Rice Pudding the Norman Way


This happens when I have been alone too long—the words start to leak out of everything and they will not stop. I cannot look around, I cannot take a single step, without it becoming prose, and it is not welcome. It thrusts me into a place where language imposes this acute separation between me and everything else—leaks its ink out of the bark, the pavement, the sky, flowing directly from itself to me in the form of a stream of words, and it will not let me rest.

Gratin Dauphinois

Bon Appétit: Discover France’s Gratin Dauphinois


In a Culture Keeper first, at least in recent memory, we bring you a recipe! In a video report narrated in French (never fear, non-French speaker, we’ve included some English text for you), Bill Diem takes us from the market to the kitchen to a dinner table surrounded by friends ready to enjoy the evening’s star dish. Along the way he sheds some light on the history of this representative of France’s reputed culinary traditions.