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.
Vancouver: Artisan donuts
After centuries of making fun of our cuisine, the French have suddenly embraced all things Anglo with a passion. In Paris it seems that everywhere you turn someone is dressing up hot dogs or piling gourmet ingredients onto burgers.
Vancouver: Eating on The Drive
It was ten years ago that I founded Edible Paris and Les Petits Farcis, my Nice cooking classes, after an inspiring trip to Montreal. It has also been ten years since I last set foot in Canada.
Ten days in Guatemala
Guatemala, where one of my oldest friends has lived on and off since the 1970s, seemed the perfect destination to satisfy my thirst for adventure.
"I love you mozzarella"
Like all border towns, Ventimiglia attracts hordes of shoppers in search of a bargain. This mostly involves cheap alcohol - can someone explain why Pastis costs less in Italy than in the south of France? - and handbags or sunglasses that come with fake labels and the risk of a hefty fine should the border police decide to do one of their frequent spot checks.
A weekend in Bastia
Nonstop sunshine, rustic cakes made with chestnut flour, honey tasting of sun-scorched wild herbs, sausages of boar and donkey: these are a few of the things I expected to find in Corsica, and over the course of the weekend more than one of these preconceived ideas would prove to be false.
Sunday at the Marché de Wazemmes
Lille is a city with many charms - great beer, friendly people, a freshly restored historic center - but these are not necessarily obvious on a Sunday, when shops and restaurants pull down their shutters so that families can gather round a steaming pot ofcarbonnade flamande
, beef cooked in beer until caramelized, or share a potjevleesch
, an assortment of jellied meats.
New York and a fresh start
I have always taken New Year's resolutions very seriously. This year, though, too many are whirling around in my head: Blog more often. Listen to my acccountant. Start each day with sun salutations. Meditate. See more of nature. Teach my son to cook. Let my friends know how much I appreciate them.
A new chef at the Louis XV
It was potatoes that first cemented my friendship with Franck Cerutti, chef for ten years at Alain Ducasse's Louis XV restaurant in Monaco.
Ready, prêt, go: Eating on the run in London
For the school holidays, I took Sam to London to brush up his English. Well, that was the official excuse.
Sunday in Liguria
When I want a complete change of scenery, I get in the car and drive for 40 minutes. As soon as we cross the border into Italy, everything is suddenly different: the people, the language, the music, the clothes, the coffee (especially
Les Cévennes, donkey and all
Les Cévennes is a region barely known to tourists and even less so to foreigners, and that's the way I like it. Even so, it would seem a tiny bit selfish to keep quiet about my latest holiday in those wild mountains between Nîmes and Montpellier, which was different but every bit as extraordinary as last year's
Lunch at the Abbaye de la Celle
I had my first taste of the Hostellerie de l'Abbaye de la Celle a few years ago when Philippe and I, with two-year-old Sam in tow, spent a few days meandering through Provence, stopping at all the country auberges run by Alain Ducasse.
A tantalizing taste of Genoa
I had only half a day to explore Genoa, but thanks to a well-informed friend and the thoroughly researched book Food Wine: The Italian Riviera and Genoa
I put every minute to edible use.
Genoa is a place that, until now, I had always driven through without stopping: with so many charming towns to choose from along the Italian Riviera, somehow it seemed too big and daunting.