Say Cheese! La Fete des Fromages de Savoie

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13th Annula Party for Savoie Cheese

13th Annula Party for Savoie Cheese



Where can you find an abundance of Abundance?

In the French Alps of course!






Along with Tomme de Savoie, Tome des Bauges, Reblochon, Chevrotin, Beaufort, Raclette and Emmental de Savoie, Abundance is one of the cheeses that is made in the Rhone Alps region of France.

Savoie Fromage Emmental

French wine and cheese


And while you may not think July is a month for eating cheese, think again.

La fete des fromages de Savoie is an annual festival held in the French Alps each Summer.

This year marked the 13th celebration which was located in Saint Offenge, France.



Savoie Mont Blanc Tent



The wonderful day of fromage festivities included music, dancing, games for children, animals (all well taken care of) and lots of local cheese.

Vive les French Alps!


Visit my FB page to view the video slideshow of the day! 


Festival Mondial des Cultures du Monde de Chambéry Featuring the Ballet de Savoie!

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When I lived in NYC I often went to the theatre. I loved seeing Broadway musicals, off-Broadway plays, the ballet and the opera. I really took advantage of all the culture and diversity NYC had to offer.

So when I heard about the 51ème Festival Mondial des Cultures du Monde de Chambéry, which translates to the 51st World Festival of World Cultures in ChambéryI had to find out more.

For the past 50 years, dance troupes from over 200 countries have come to the Rhone-Alps region of France to perform traditional dances with live music accompaniment.

Festival Finale with all countries

Festival gala with all countries

This year, the festival runs from July 8th through July 14th and features dance troupes from France, (Savoie and Alsace), Burkina Faso, Columbia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Slovakia and Ireland.

The regional dance troupe, Ballet de Savoie is not a classic ballet group. They are a group of young men and woman between the ages of 15 – 25 years old that study and perform traditional Savoyard dance while promoting and conserving the heritage of the Rhone Alps region.

Ballet de Savoie performers with Carey Taylor - Le Prince

Ballet de Savoie performers with Carey Taylor

Robert De Marchi, the Artistic Director, who has been with the group for over 20 years has beautifully combined Savoyard traditional dance with innovation to create the future of traditional dance.

51ème Festival Mondial des Cultures du Monde de Chambéry Robert De Marchi, Artistic Director, Ballet de Savoie

Robert De Marchi, Host and Artistic Director, Ballet de Savoie

Robert De Marchi and Carey Taylor

Robert De Marchi and Carey Taylor








Robert took time out of his incredibly busy schedule to sit with me and have an interview. Unfortunately, FB Live kept crashing after multiple attempts, so we did a traditional Q &A instead.

  • Tell us about the group.

Robert: The group is presenting traditional dances in a much more modern way. The choreography reflects today. It is a unique group because it is based on people between 12 – 25 years old who are involved in keep Savoie traditions alive.

  • What types of dances are they doing?

Robert: The dances are traditional Savoie dances coming from the 19th century with roots from other dances including the Polka and Scottish dances that are only done in this region.

  • As the Artistic Director, what is your main role in the group?

Robert: My role is to bring all of the dancers, who are joining the troupe as young as 15 years old, to the same capability and technical and artistic capability and then creating everything that it takes to ensure a very good show. Today the Ballet de Savoie is very well known internationally.

The gala was packed as the Ballet le Savoie opened the show! The traditional costumes, creative choreography and solid synchronization were all consistent during their performance.

All the dancers were fantastic! Their smiles, characterizations and high energy really set the bar high for the rest of the performers.

I love dance and have danced in competitions myself, and for me, doing something new isn’t as difficult as making something ‘old and traditional’ ‘cool and fun’. They succeeded and it is no wonder they are well received and respected when they tour throughout the world.

Last year, Ballet de Savoie toured the USA for 3 weeks and this year they were already in the United Arab Emirates and will be in Eastern Europe in the upcoming months.

They will be performing at the festival this week and have prepared a very special free performance exclusively for the Fete de National in Chambery, France on Friday, July 14th.

For those of you who are not in Chambery, France for the festival and can’t wait until next year to see them, you can visit the Ballet de Savoie website to discover more about them and find out when they will be dancing their way to a city near you!

Franck Angelino Catella and Carey Taylor

Franck Angelino Catella and Carey Taylor



* A special thanks to Robert De Marchi and Franck Angelino Catella for the warm welcome!








Le Resistance – This is not France, this is Haute Savoie.

When I lived in NYC I would wake up early, take my dog for a quick walk, then go to the gym, shower get a coffee,  breakfast and make it to work before 9am.
Marc Le Prince Thomas Marque Savoie Juice Organic Bio Auchan Carefour

Life here is different and there is no need to wake up early, but yet I still do. Why or in French, pour que?

The realization…My husband wakes up with the sun, about 5am. He is a modern day fruit farmer in a region known for the apples and pears.

He can tell you the type of tree by a glance as we drive by, or by the smell of the leaf. He knows all the varieties of fruit that are known to man.


When we walk around the orchards, he explains tree processes to me and picks a piece of fruit from the tree.

It may sound simple, but for me it’s magical.
Marc is extraordinary in so many ways.

I come from a world where I could effortlessly navigate 3 mobile devices while running in heels and eating breakfast. I know about people, business, media, digital marketing, communications and creativity. I create solutions, strategy and forecast what will sell and how it must be positioned but have no idea how many varieties of pears exist or why the high altitude makes fruit special.

14195453_915817481861284_8475456349957957201_oMarc and his family know more about the land, plants, vegetation, water, and climate than any Harvard professor and Google combined would ever know.

With generations and generations of Savoyardism, it’s no wonder a mountain is named after them.

They are Savoyard first and French second – and they will proudly tell you that their history is not French, but French Savoie, Division 74 & 73. It is a beautiful and chilly combination of endurance and loyalty.

They are farmers. They look out for one another but keep outsiders out. I sometimes question, how did I get here?11907135_729791390463895_8941048662679119608_o

Most people who move here, to the French Alps, do not 1) move from NYC OR 2) move into a farming family that dates back before America was ever discovered.

I had spent time in France prior to meeting my husband and enjoyed the countryside. And contrary to the “rude” French stereotypes, I am happy to say I have never had a bad experience in Paris, St. Malo, Loire, Cannes, or any other place I had visited in France.

However, when I moved here, I was ill prepared for the ‘not so’ welcoming reception I received.  I soon realized that I did not move to France, I moved to Haute Savoie. I didn’t marry a French man, I married a Savoyard.

And despite my desperate attempt to try to understand the language, when attending dinners in the countryside, I couldn’t make out a sentence. I was embarrassed, empty, felt shutout and dumb. I tried to reassure myself that in a matter of time I would start understanding conversations and wouldn’t have to ask my husband for translations over and over again.

Was it the dialect? Was it the pronunciation? Was it the fast paced sentences? I couldn’t tell where one word ended and another began.

Was it the past, future, simple, future perfect, passé compose, imparfait verbs? Were they eating their words? Was there too much wine at dinner? Nope.

It was Patois.

Patois-Savoyard is the regional dialect is spoken in Savoy (departments seventy-three and seventy-four). This dialect is included in the European Charter for Minority Languages.

Libre Savoie France Free SavoieMy husband’s grandfather was forced to learn French in school but elsewhere they spoke this language. In their homes, at the stores, with neighbors, with local farmers.

Perhaps Patois was a way to hold onto their region. After all, the French Alps were the last division to become French and were split into 3 with Italy and Switzerland claiming the other 2 parts.

Suddenly, the French graffiti on rocks and trees in the area scrawling “France Get Out” and “Free Savoie”  began to make sense.

My curiosity led me to learn more about the region and slowly I started to understand that the “coldness” was a misinterpretation.

Yes, the people seemed a bit closed off, but these are people who were farmers and had to fend for themselves, wary of outsiders.Free Savoie Tree

It wasn’t until the snow covered mountains became “chic” that anyone ever ventured here for a holiday vacation.

I also realized that my favorite mushroom picking spot is “the place le resistance.” During WWII, the people of the region not only fought but also WON against the Nazi’s. Hence, le resistance.


“The History of Liberty is the History of Resistance,” said Woodrow Wilson.

These local Savoyards fought bravely, courageously and their toughness was incredibly admirable. My own grandfather was in the American Marine Corps in WWII and I am grateful to have heard stories from him from the time he served (1940 – 1945).

With this new found understanding, I not only was able to more easily accept people but also greatly respected the lineage.

In the words of Dr. Steve Marabeli, “Do not be discouraged by resistance, be nourished by it.”



A New Yorker in the French Alps!

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A New Yorker in the French Alps!

“Those who don’t jump will never fly.”   – Leena Ahmad Almashat

I am a New Yorker in Haute Savoie.

It still happens by habit.  After I wake up in the morning, I grab my coffee to-go cup, my sunglasses, my phone, my earphones and my dog. Before the first track of my playlist is over, I realize I can’t get my egg whites with spinach, tomato and feta.  I can’t even get egg whites. I can’t even get salty food. Where is the bodega?

Evian Championship 2016!

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Evian Resort - Evian Championship LPGA

“We all have the power to influence somebody . . . in five minutes you can change someone’s life.    If you embrace it, it can be a powerful thing.”                                                             –  Stacy Lewis,  USA Professional Golfer

I love sports and had the opportunity to attend the 2016 Evian Championship located in nearby by Evian les Bains, France.

The Evian Championship has been going on since 1994 and features the top players in women’s golf, LPGA. 

The 3 C’s

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The 3 C’s

 “I like my money right where I can see it…hanging in my closet.”                                                       –  Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

As a New York girl, when I came to France, I was aware of the 3 C’s, or the unabbreviated, 3 Christians. Now, we are not talking about the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, or the Catholic Church. We are talking about the non-denominational, Christianity of fashion!

Christian Lacroix , Christian Louboutin and Christian Dior.

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