I'm fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, doing work I love, surrounded by a circle of true friends that is growing all the time. So happiness should come easily, right? Sometimes, though, it's not that simple, and like anyone else I need to remember what makes me happy even as I get swept up in the swirling currents of life.
Lemon soufflé cake
It will be two more months before I can bite into a juicy French gariguette or ciflorette berry that signals the real beginning of red fruit season. In the meantime, thankfully, there is citrus fruit: vivid lemons, the last of the local clementines, bergamot, bitter oranges for marmalade, and - just occasionally - the deeper orangey-yellow Meyer lemon.
By the time I have chatted with my favorite farmers and sipped coffee on a sunny terrace with the friends whose paths inevitably cross mine, I often find that there is no time left to cook lunch.
Uplifting yoghurt cake with bergamot and pear
I am aware that I have neglected this blog for a long time, and without making any reckless promises I would like to remedy that this year. I am going to start with a baby step: a short post about a simple cake that may change your life.
Ten things you need to know about olive oil
Of the dozens of olive varieties grown in Provence, the caillette
- informally known as the Niçoise olive - is perhaps the most beautiful and subtle.
On being vegetarian in France
A few months ago, my son Sam declared himself a vegetarian. Now, if we lived in California this might not sound unusual, but this is France, proud land of steak-frites
and tête de veau.
Sunday lunch at Holland Park
Tempting as it was to linger on the beach on Sunday morning, I wasn't going to miss the opportunity to visit Holland Park, an intriguing new garden center/restaurant that has been open just a couple of months.
L'Ecole des Filles
The surreal extravagance of our last meal in Liguria left us with a quandary: how could any restaurant live up to that experience, which was all the more incredible for having caught us off guard?
Time for mirabelles
When summer decides that it's over in the south of France, it doesn't fool around.
La Table de Claire: the aftermath
Becoming a bistro chef for a weekend at La Table de Claire seemed like a brilliant idea until I found myself facing a mountain of vegetables with my back to five flaming burners on one of the most stifling days of the year in Paris.
My restaurant début at La Table de Claire
I have often wondered what it might be like to cook in a restaurant, but until now had never been curious enough to actually try it.
I usually think of pissaladière as one of those dishes that it's best not to toy with too much, so when I saw that it had been reinvented for the Hi Beach by ultra-creative chef Mauro Colagreco of Le Mirazur in Monaco, I couldn't resist ordering it.
My feelings about Le Fooding
It was easy to scoff at Le Fooding when the movement first emerged in Paris ten years ago.
A pint-sized garden
Some boys love trucks, others go mad for motorcycles: my son is crazy about cacti and just about anything else that grows.
Navarin d'agneau - Spring lamb stew
Easter weekend was the perfect time to cooknavarin d'agneau
, a dish that I first came across many years ago while working as an interpreter at the Cordon Bleu cooking school.