Archive for the ‘Provencal Food’ Category

My birthday Sicilian themed lunch

Posted on: February 15th, 2016 by Philip Reddaway No Comments

menu60th saffronrisotto beans-tomatoes lilyartichokes duck:cepsmeatballs tomato&basilsorbet chocolatemeringuesbirthdaycake SicilianwinesJust back from a fabulous birthday treat week in Sicily ( Palermo and Taormina) so, inspired, the girls ( Jude and Lily) prepared a magnificent 7 course Italian/Sicilian meal in my honour. Wow..what can I say! Amazing: we started with antipasti of caponata, berlotti beans with dried tomatoes, spiced pumpkin; then a superb saffron risotto ( simple ingredients but perfect execution); then the main – two different kinds of meatballs (pork/fennel and duck/ceps) – then a palate cleanser of tomato sorbet with basil ( thanks here due to new high powered Vitamix!); then gorgonzola cheese; chocolate filled meringues to follow and home made pistachio ice cream; then coffee/petit four…then siesta inevitably.  Just fantastic! wines were Drappier non-dosage Champagne, a Sicilian Grillo/Viognier blend; a Planeta DOCG Cerasuolo di Vittoria red; a Glenmorangie whisky with the coffee.Thank you family!

Truffles & Rhone Wine Tour report

Posted on: January 24th, 2016 by Philip Reddaway No Comments

Just finished our 2016 truffle & Rhone wine Tour…lovely guests and a great week. Only wee negative being the paucity of local truffles in the region, the extremely dry summer last year less than ideal for the cultivation of our “black diamonds”. Having said, there were sufficient to indulge my lucky group in some stupendous gourmet experiences -the absolute highlights…Nicolas Monnier’s (our Luberon base truffle hunter) wonderful truffled eggs provencal style; Le Fleur Bleu’s (great restaurant at Crestet) homemade ravioli, poached egg with a truffle bearnaise; Bernard Bijaoui’s ( our neighbouring Olive oil farmer and creative chef) creamed truffled potatoes served boldly on their own as a starter – just amazing. My insider sources (Jacky the local Romany truffle man) tells me that the shortfall of local truffles has been addressed via a major airlift from the Espagne truffle regions – certainly the prevailing price hasn’t skyrocketed  – both Carpentras and Richerenches markets were selling best quality at 850E per kilo this weekend. Incidentally spotted my largest ever truffle at Richerenches – a 620gms whopper, around a 500E buy! We didn’t neglect the serious wine tasting – domain visits at many of my personal favourites: Versino, Solitude, St.Cosme, Saint Amant, and Philippe Gimel. Lovely to see Philippe more relaxed in his new abode – a giant shed this side of Malaucene, very well organized already, he’s now in walking distance for me, great! Added bonus for the guests was the Bernard Bijaoui visit: a larger than life character on great form ( including a “post a few glasses” sing song!); a comparative tasting of different olive oils and a vertical of three vintages of Bernard’s own terrific olive oil…then a top class lunch , Tunisian style, prepared by the man himself, with little bit of help from Jude as assistant chef. Great time had by all. Looking forward to next years event.

Wild boar delivery

Posted on: December 30th, 2015 by Philip Reddaway No Comments
Wild boar loin joint

Wild boar loin joint

 

Wold boar leg

Wild boar leg

Our very generous neighbouring farmers the Belle family have just delivered a (thankfully beautifully butchered) couple of Sanglier (Wild Boar) joints. I am thrilled as it’s a meat that I just love. The Belles hunt for boar and other game up on the slopes of Mt. Ventoux and this year their Christmas week haul was no less than 6 boars, a near record total. In the last few years the boar population has increased exponentially – farmers and vignerons now regard them as a major pest and culling by the chasseurs is very much encouraged. Mainly nocturnal beasts the boar is not an animal you will want to run up against outside your car – though not usually aggressive to humans they will surely give you a fright, the male can run to over 300K in weight. One little known curious fact is that the Wild Boar is an expert wine taster – exceptionally sensitive to unripe tannins they will reject grapes that are not optimally ripe – I have even heard winemakers say that when they are considering which plots to harvest next during the vendange those that were being attacked by the boar the previous night are a useful indicator! And for those looking to shed a pound or two post-Christmas, the meat is one of leanest red meats available. Thank you so very much famille Belle.