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Meet Lorie Fangio of A Taste of Paris in McKinney

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lorie Fangio.

Lorie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I have been teaching cooking classes, writing and talking about food for almost two decades but it all changed one day when teaching a French pastries class.

Traveling to France to take cooking classes, and to study how the French eat and live has been a passion of mine for many years. Sharing stories of the experience was a regular occurrence during cooking classes. We were busy making sweets and I was telling the class that my beautiful copper pots had been carried by hand on the plane from France when a long-time student asked: “when are you going to take us with you?” I stopped in my tracks for what seemed like an hour and I felt this weird stirring in my gut.

That night I had a dream in vivid color about bringing my love of food and France together in boutique culinary excursions. I cleared my calendar, made a plan and invited my students to join me. Nine women took that leap of faith with me; A Taste of Paris was born and I have never looked back.

Has it been a smooth road?
Starting a business is hard work. When I woke up that morning with the boundaries of my dream defined; I knew it would be a lot of work, but honestly, I had no idea. I did not know, what I did not know and out of that came an unexpected challenge.

I work alone. Just me at my lonely desk. There is no one to collaborate with or brainstorm ideas or anyone help sort through problems when they arise. This has been an adjustment and is really hard on me at times so I rely on my faith a lot. I also have the support of my family, friends and my eager students to help propel A Taste of Paris forward.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the A Taste of Paris story. Tell us more about the business.
A Taste of Paris currently has excursions to 5 regions of France with a few more in development.

As a teaching chef, I have always loved bringing people together around good food and that is essentially what we do on A Taste of Paris trips. These boutique, food and wine-centric excursions for small groups of 7-12 travelers, each have a carefully curated assortment of intimate cooking classes, food, and wine experiences, markets, museums and sightseeing, all with me as the guide. I personally accompany every single participant. I am known for action-packed days and for squeezing every ounce of goodness out of each city we visit.

My vision for A Taste of Paris was that the trips would leave a lasting impression on travelers. When you immerse in the way the French eat and live, it changes your view of food and eating. What I did not expect was the impact participants would have on me. Each of their stories is a precious gift that I cherish.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I do see subtle changes to the travel industry. Many people want to be guided by their phones instead of a human. With a human guide, you get context, stories, and passion that cannot be conveyed through a device.

As long as A Taste of Paris continues to source the very best that France has to offer, I think my business will continue to expand!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Lorie’s Headshot – photo credit L’amour de Paris; All others are taken by Lorie Fangio

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