16 February 2014

Uzes and a scallop's salad

Well, Uzès isn’t in Provence but it seems much alike: sunny, warm, with that sense of laziness that belongs to South. We went to see some friends for the week-end  so I could have a look at the market ( I can’t do without ….) 

Do you see that strange vegetable named christophines? It’s an ancient one, it travelled to Algeria from France and then it’s coming back. The vendor explained that it’s not much tasty “fade” as we say in France and gave me a recipe to cook it that I did not retained as it was the classic French way with lots of cream, butter and all the stuff. I found it not really interesting even if sometimes I like to cook in the classic French way.
After the market tour we were effectively hungry, so we found a place that seemed really good and in fact it was. The sun was really warm that day, even if at the end of January, but they added also some special lams to warm-up more so we could have lunch outside. That’s something I really appreciate of living here: we can eat outside the most of the year. That restaurant serves mainly main dishes, or tapas. We had a choice of various ones, that in the photo is foie-gras but  the salad with scallops and citrus was the best, so once we came home I tried to make it,  with some variations of mine. I guess that a big portion of this can make a meal, and a good one.

Before the recipe I’d like to show you some shots I picked in the afternoon, when we went for a little walk in the countryside. 

 Some roses in the garden….quite out of season but this year we are having a very mild winter, and a cock that’s completely blind: he lives with the family and stays in the house a big part of the day. Otherwise he has to be kept in a cage as there’s another cock in the garden and…you know…2 cocks don’t match together! 

And now the recipe: this is really a gorgeous salad, I had a chance to find many different Citrus at the organic shop but you can change them with whatever you find. The one we ate at the restaurant had grapefruit, lemon and oranges: I found tangerines,kumquats, which I adore and a bergamot.


100 gr of soncino salad (otherwise called mache) or rocket
Fennel and rocket sprouts
1 orange
1 lemon
2 tangerines
2 kumquats
1 bergamot
1 avocado
4 scallops
Fresh ginger
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
a pinch of good salt ( Maldon or fleur de sel)
a pinch of Sichuan pepper

Put the scallops in the freezer so as to have them firmer.
Wash he salad and set apart. Peel the tangerines (or the grapefruit) and cut them in slices, cut  the kumquats too. Divide the avocado in two, remove the core and with the help of a spoon separate the pulp from the peel, overspread with lemon juice ( half of a lemon) and set apart.
Now you can start with the vinaigrette: squeeze the orange and the bergamot ( or  half lemon ) pour into a bowl, add a pinch of salt, a pinch of Sichuan pepper grounded, a teaspoon of fresh ginger grated, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, whisk together. Cut the avocado in slices, so do with scallops. Dress the plate with scallops and avocado, generously scatter with vinaigrette, add the salad, the sprouts and the tangerine’s slices. Pour on the top the remaining vinaigrette and serve. This salad is filled with vitamins, minerals and proteins and its colours bring a ray of light on your winter table, so enjoy: it's healthy and delicious!

7 February 2014

Workshop in Provence April 2014

Do you love Provence? Do you love wandering in nature, admiring flowers and wild herbs?
Would you like to learn a bit of wildcrafting? Learn to forage for wild edibles
and how to turn all their earthy goodness into amazing meals?

Then "come get some dirt under your nails" in the Luberon.
— Saturday, April 26 - Friday, May 2, 2014 —

Five days of learning, cooking, eating, sipping, and much more
with Giuseppina of Venice in Provence Cookery School in Goult
and Terresa of la cucina di terrESa in Paris.
                   For more information and bookings please contact Giuseppina or Terresa.
                                                                              ::      ::
What we'll be cooking :

Cooking classes will be centered around wildcrafting, featuring dishes that "celebrate the vegetable kingdom”—both wild and cultivated, but not strictly vegetarian. Upon request a simple meat or fish dish can be included in mealtime menus, but will not be part of the cooking classes in Provence.

All dishes taught will be inspired by Provençal and regional Italian cuisine, as well as our own creative additions.

Program : April 26 - May 2, 2014

Saturday, April 26

Arrival day. We’ll welcome you with a scrumptious dinner and an assortment natural wines from the region to compliment our meal

Sunday, April 27

We’ll head off in the morning to the Coustellet farmer’s market, one of the best in the region, where you’ll meet local producers and learn how to choose the choisest fruits and vegetables from their seasonal offerings. We’ll return to the school and cook up a light lunch. You’ll have time for a short rest before heading out for our first wildcratfing trip

Giuseppina will introduce you to her “secret gardens.” We’ll fill our baskets with wild vegetables and herbs. Then back for a late afternoon cooking class where you’ll learn how to transform the wild plants we’ve gleaned into a savory dinner.

Monday, April 28

The day will be dedicated to discovering and learning about natural wines. TerrESa will initiate you into the world of natural wine and share with you her knowledge of this fascinating, poetic world.

We’ll have lunch at La Tour Cassée, a typical bistrot de pays, with great artisan fare. Then on to visit a couple natural winemakers to taste and procur our wines for the week. We’ll also visit an artisan cheesemaker and bring home an array of cheeses for dinner.

The evening cooking class will focus on how to improvise a savory dinner with “what’s at hand.” We’ll sip on some of the wines from our morning excursion and TerrESa will talk about paring natural wines with vegetable dishes.

Tuesday, April 29

We’ll start the day with a tour of the farmer’s market in the nearby town of Apt, visit a small farm or artisan goat’s milk cheese producer. Then a late morning cooking class and afternoon picnic (weather permitting).

The evening you’ll be free to get some rest, take a stroll around the village, and have dinner in one of the local restaurants.

Wednesday, April 30

We’ll start the day with a cooking class, preparing pasta, bread, pizza dough for Thursday’s gala dinner. After lunch we’ll spend the afternoon foraging then return to the kitchen for the 2nd portion of our cooking class and dinner.

Thursday, May 1

It’s market day in Goult! We’ll meet at 9 am at Café de la Poste, in the heart of the village, for a typical café-croissant breakfast then on to the marketplace to buy victuals for the day. We’ll take a tour of the village before heading back to the school to cook lunch.
You’ll have time for an afternoon rest before the evening cooking class where we’ll prepare an amazing “Italian Fiesta” for our last night together: antipasti of all sorts, delicious home-made pizzas, Italian sweets and more.

Friday, May 2

Five days have quickly come and gone. We’ve met people, made friends, learned many a culinary secret to add to our treasure of kitchen knowledge. It’s now time to bid each other farewell… But beforehand we’ll have a last café-croissant at Café de la Poste then say arrivederci !

The school :

Located in the village of Goult, the school sits perched on the top of the hill, offering a magnificent view of the surrounding mountains and villages. It comes complete with an authentic Provençal garden and meandering olive grove.
Goult is a charming village situated between Gordes, Menerbes and Bonnieux, in the center of what is called the “Golden Triangle."

The teachers : 
— My name is Giuseppina Mabilia, I was born near Venice: my roots, my culture, everything I am comes from there. I stumbled on Provence some years ago, fell in love with the land and I decided to stay. That brought on a real change to my life. My greatest passion has always been cooking. One day someone asked if I could cook for them during their holidays. That’s how my story
Today I'm a well-known personal chef in the Luberon and I’d love to share with you everything I’ve learned and experimented through these years: cooking delicious, elegant and tasteful recipes that highlight the gorgeous ingredients of the region with a touch of Italian lifestyle. I’m also very engaged in using local ingredients. My primary sources for food are local farmers, les marchés paysans, and what I call “my supernatural market:” wildcrafting in nature.

— My name's Terresa Murphy and I'm on a mission to undress vegetables, which I've been doing since 2008 during my vegetable cooking classes in my cozy kitchen in Paris, where wanderlust brought me many a year ago
It's all about coaxing the sublime flavors from the local produce I procure from marketplaces across the city and mingling them with other artisan ingredients—as close to their pristine selves as possible—to create delightful dishes of layered textures, savors and colors that will sing on the plate and palate.
Nothing too fancy, as “down-to-earth” is my touchstone, reflected in the inspiration I draw from the inventive flare of Italy's rustic regional cuisine and its many medieval recipes that I've gleaned over the years.
                :: ——————————————————————————————— :: 
Tuition and payment :

Tuition is 1850 euros per person.

A 40% non-refundable deposit is required at the time of reservation. Classes are limited to 8 students.

If we must cancel the program for any reason, we will refund all fees and deposits in full. Related travel costs will not be reimbursed.

Paypal is our preferred method of payment, as it is safe, easy to use, and allows for payment in your local currency. A request for payment will be sent to you through Paypal at the time of your registration.

What's included :

— 1 to 2 cooking classes each day.

— Outings each day (wildcrafting, farmers’ markets, artisan cheese producers, natural wine vineyards). We will have a mini-bus at our disposal for these excursions so that we can all travel together.

— All lunches and dinners except for Tuesday evening, which will be a free night for participants to do as they wish.

— Café-croissant breakfasts on Thursday and Friday

— Beverages (mineral water, coffee, tea, herbal tea) during the classes.
Natural wine from the Luberon and Ardéche regions with all meals, specifically chosen for each menu.

— Recipes from the classes in PDF form, list of the wines and related links, as well as any information gleaned throughout the week to be sent in a follow-up email to the class.

— Pick up and drop off at the Avignon TGV train station if coming by train from Paris. There will be one pick up and drop off scheduled (train information sent upon reservation).

For those arriving on an earlier or later train, there is bus service from the TGV station to Goult. Tickets are 2 euros (bus information and schedule sent upon request), with pick up at the bus stop in Goult.

For those preferring to rent a car, there are rental agencies at the TGV train station, as well (driving directions to the cooking school sent upon request).

What’s not included :

— Train tickets to the Avignon TGV train station.

— Lodging for the week. Upon reservation, a list of accommodations in the village (BBs, hotels, small apartments) will be sent to you, as well as any further information needed to help make booking as simple as possible.

Legal liability :

Students must sign a legal waiver (standard to the industry) upon arrival freeing Giuseppina, Terresa and their staff from any legal liability. We assume no liability for injury, delay, inconvenience, irregularity, loss or damage to person or property or additional cost resulting directly or indirectly from the following causes: fire, acts of government, thefts, delays, cancellations or for any other events over which we have no control.

No refunds will be given for any excursions or meals a participant misses or decides not to take.

Travel Insurance :

 We recommend that you purchase separate travel insurance in the event you must cancel your trip, as well as accident and health insurance, baggage and personal effects loss or damage.