Detroit — When Torya Blanchard was a child, she was caught shoplifting from a local store on the eve of a family trip to Paris. Given the timing of the transgression, her immediate grounding was all the more painful. Only good girls get to go to Paris, her mother told her. Crushed, Torya quickly cleaned up her act, but never forgot Paris.
As an adult, she took a job at a Detroit public school where she taught French for five years until her passion for Paris and its cuisine, sparked years before by her mother’s slap on the wrist, finally bubbled to the surface.