Behind the Scenes in Provence

Provence Confidential has been blogging about restaurant launches, cooking classes, food festivals, Provençal wines and spirits as well as tradition and folklore since 2008.

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Marché de Noël

Marché de Noël

With Val Joanis and Chateau Estoublon downsizing their famous Christmas Markets, the opportunity was wide open for another vineyard to step in. Corinne & Emmanuel Gensollen, who recently purchased Le Domaine de Brillane www.labrillane.com from Rupert Burch, have scheduled a Christmas Market featuring regional delicacies on December 4th, 2011.

Open season: Truffles!

Open season: Truffles!

The official opening of the 2011-2012 Tuber Melanosporum season kicked off today in the town of Richrenches with a procession by the Brotherhood of the Black Diamond and a special mass blessing these elusive gems. Interestingly truffle are placed into the collection basket as opposed to coins or bank notes. Producers, brokers and just plain old admirers were on hand to attend an entire day dedicated to the first truffles available.

Ritz Escoffier School Paris

Ritz Escoffier School Paris

Auguste Escoffier, who served as the first Executive Chef of the Ritz in Paris said "good cooking is the foundation of true happiness". So after having tried out dozen of cooking classes in Provence I thought it was time I gave the Ecole Ritz Escoffier, the reference in French culinary arts, a try.

Free-Range Escargots

Free-Range Escargots

Snail farming or héliciculture in French (from the scientific term Helix which is one of the varieties of snails that can be farmed) is making a come-back. They aren’t really completely free-range as the giant pens have an electric fence so that they don’t just wonder off and so that their natural predators, like hedge hogs and birds don’t get there first.

Wine Rally

Wine Rally

The 10th Annual Mont Ste. Victoire Wine Rally takes place on Saturday October 15th 2011. The rally is one of the most enjoyable ways of discovering the AOC: Côte de Provence Sainte Victoire. Team up with some friends and select a designated driver. Then you are off for a full day excursion to visit the different vineyards at the foot of Cezanne’s favorite mountain.

Food & Art

Food & Art

Three Star Michelin chef, Alain Passard of l’Arpège in Paris has published « Collage & Recettes » which is an illustrated cookbook of 48 recipes featuring his own collage work. The collages were recently on exhibit in Cassis where Mr. Passard spent a long weekend as the guest of honour at the grape harvest festival.

Star Studded Grape Harvest

Star Studded Grape Harvest

From September 22-25th, 2011 the town of Cassis has organised a festival dedicated to wine and flavours. Targeted to those passionate about both food and wine, the Star Studded Grape Harvest offers tastings throughout the town and surrounding vineyards.

Gladiator Games

Gladiator Games

This UNESCO world heritage site in Orange will be holding Gladiator Games on Saturday September 10, 2011 from noon until 4:30 pm in the Antique Theatre. Unlike the TV show on NBC these Gladiators will be wearing traditional armor like those worn during the Roman Empire.

Art Exhibit

Art Exhibit

Montreal artist Margot McPherson who now resides in Roussillon, overlooking the ocre cliffs, will have her "Invasions Barbares" collection on exhibit at the Chateau in Gordes from August 27th through September 2nd.