Subscribe RSS

Archive for the Category "France"

Au Revoir Jun 21

505

Au Revoir
We bid farewell to the staff & our home for the last week. Tomorrow we take an overland transfer to Barcelona, Spain for more sightseeing . . . and more food & wine – tapas & cava!
left to right: hotel director, assistant captain, captain, moi, cruise director

For more delicious details, contact:
Jacintha Perera, culinary escape artist
Gourmet Getaways, a division of
www.IslandGetawaysTravel.com
916.897.9597

Category: Europe, France  | Comments off
A Movable Feast Jun 20
Serve It Up A member of one team carefully portions out the soup as others do the same with their items.
485 (2)
A Movable Feast
Food & wine were all carried next door to the adjacent bistro,  owned & operated by our culinary host, Chef Julien. A cute little place to have lunch. What do you think?
476 (2)
We enjoyed a private happy hour – with more wine  -before strolling back through town to our ship at our leisure.

For more delicious details, contact:
Jacintha Perera, culinary escape artist
Gourmet Getaways, a division of
www.IslandGetawaysTravel.com
916.897.9597

Category: Europe, Food & Wine, France, General Travel, Gourmet Getaway  | Comments off
Let’s Get Cooking Jun 19

Mis en Place
We are at Le Studio de Cabestan, a cooking school, in Avignon. Everything stands ready for our small group visit this afternoon.

477

Let’s Get Cooking
Chef Julien Cabestan quickly assigned tasks to participants in this hands on experience, beginning with some basic prep work for our menu of Provencal appetizers.

479

Collaboration
Here, he discusses the ingredients while demonstrating technique for a smooth brondade. Would YOU rather participate or spectate?
Notice that glasses of local rose has been offered to everyone during the cooking process What’s in your kitchen?

483

Cuisinart
Chef Julien checks the ingredients & the equipment for our fresh gazpacho before he rotates through the culinary teams again to discuss plating & finishing touches.

482

For more delicious details, contact:
Jacintha Perera, culinary escape artist
Gourmet Getaways, a division of
www.IslandGetawaysTravel.com
916.897.9597

Category: Europe, Food & Wine, France, General Travel, Gourmet Getaway  | Comments off
Vin et Chocolat Jun 17

440

Vin et Chocolat
An onboard tasting event. Luxurious French Valrhona chocolates with different wines. Consider the following pairings.
1) Sauvignon Blanc w/ milk chocolate. A surprise to us all. Yum!
2) Merlot w/ Caraibe dark chocolate 60% cacao
3) Cab/Cab Franc/Merlot blend w/ Guanaja 70% cacao
4) Chateau Vignot / St Emilion Grand Cru w/ Guanaja 70% cacao

Which do you think you would like?

For more delicious details, contact:
Jacintha Perera, culinary escape artist
Gourmet Getaways, a division of
www.IslandGetawaysTravel.com
916.897.9597

Category: Europe, Food & Wine, France, General Travel, Gourmet Getaway  | Comments off
Market Fresh Jun 14

Market Fresh
On the walk into the village, we discovered it was market day.

469

Pecheur
I was surprised to see a fresh fish vendor at the farmers market. She had a specialized vehicle for transporting & displaying her perishable goods. Note the pop up side panel on her truck transforms into an awning.

468

Local Flavors
Question: Does anyone know/recognize what these edible slabs are?
Hint: it is a regional specialty available in different flavors.

471

Cash & Carry
Answer: Nougat
Made in the area & sold by the gram. Yes, measured in metric & very popular. I noticed this young man was doing a brisk business.

472

For more delicious details, contact:
Jacintha Perera, culinary escape artist
Gourmet Getaways, a division of
www.IslandGetawaysTravel.com
916.897.9597

Category: Europe, Food & Wine, France, General Travel, Gourmet Getaway  | Comments off
Chateau de Grignan Jun 13

Chateau de Grignan
It’s a short drive to the village of Grignan. Built during the 15th & 16th centuries, the hilltop castle is an excellent example of Renaissance architecture. It contains a collection of Louis XII furniture & Aubusson tapestries.

455

Follow the Trail
Our guide walked us through the maze of narrow streets toward the castle.

458

Uphill!
The steep route to the top can be an imposing sight. It’s going to be a workout in both directions.
Several people chose to explore the village or shop in the market instead.

459

View from the Terrace
If you continue to the top, you’ll be rewarded with great views. On a clear day, you can see the Vivarais mountains in the the Ardeche from the castle terrace. I noticed a life size garden maze (see the swirled hedges?) in the foreground & full size modern soccer field in the midground.

463

For more delicious details, contact:
Jacintha Perera, culinary escape artist
Gourmet Getaways, a division of
www.IslandGetawaysTravel.com
916.897.9597

Category: Europe, France  | Comments off
Going to the Dogs Jun 12

Going to the Dogs
Let me introduce Ariel & Belle, a couple of specially trained, hard-working canines. Let’s see what they do so well . . .

450

Truffle Hunters
These beauties work with their handler, at the Ayme Truffle Farm in Grignan, to detect the prized black & white truffles, hidden just below the surface.

444

Buried Treasure
VIDEO: Truffle hunters, Ariel & Belle on the job, in their orchards in Provence, actively searching for the valuable nuggets. They are French so they naturally respond to commands en francais :)

Gourmet Gold
The fruit of their labor: a fresh seasonal black truffle, which we are about to sample, after the live demonstration, inside the farmhouse.

448

Taste Treat
Thinly shaved black truffle drizzled with white truffle oil & extra virgin olive oil on toast points. The hors d’oeuvres literally flew off the plates. Served with glasses of local wine, of course.

449

For more delicious details, contact:
Jacintha Perera, culinary escape artist
Gourmet Getaways, a division of
www.IslandGetawaysTravel.com
916.897.9597

Category: Europe, Food & Wine, France, General Travel, Gourmet Getaway  | Comments off
Steel, Oak & Glass Jun 11

Steel, Oak & Glass
Viticulturist Alberic Mazoyer spoke to us about their production using modern stainless steel tanks & old-fashioned oak barrels. You can see pallets of bottled wine behind him, wrapped & ready to ship locally.

423

Wine Cellar
Monsieur Mazoyer escorted us through the private reserve room on the way to the tasting room to sample their regional wines.

424

For more delicious details, contact:
Jacintha Perera, culinary escape artist
Gourmet Getaways, a division of
www.IslandGetawaysTravel.com
916.897.9597

Category: Europe, Food & Wine, France, General Travel, Gourmet Getaway  | Comments off
Cotes du Rhone Jun 10

Cotes du Rhone
Continuing to sail south, a drive through the country & we are now in the village of Cornas, home to small wineries such as this one owned by Alain Voge. It’s tucked away down a narrow side street so you would need directions or  a guide to show you the way there.

420

Walk in the Vines
We were led around the back in to the vineyards where the village of Cornas, with its prominent church steeple, served as a beautiful backdrop for our discussion.

431

New Crop
We were seeing spring’s first green growth on the bottom of these antique vines that have grown here for generations.

433

Young Buds
The promise of things to come. By summer, there would be full lush foliage & finally a harvest of fruit in the fall. All of this before the wine making process can even begin.

438

For more delicious details, contact:
Jacintha Perera, culinary escape artist
Gourmet Getaways, a division of
www.IslandGetawaysTravel.com
916.897.9597

Category: Europe, Food & Wine, France, General Travel, Gourmet Getaway  | Comments off
Romancing the Stone Jun 07

Romancing the Stone
Back down at ground level in the Old Quarter of Vienne, we walked over to the Abbey St Pierre, now a small archaeological museum which houses a surprising collection of local Roman artifacts.

413

Pottery Barn
Amphorae are containers of a distinct size & shape, used in ancient times, to store & transport both liquids & dry goods, commonly used for wine.

415

 

For more delicious details, contact:
Jacintha Perera, culinary escape artist
Gourmet Getaways, a division of
www.IslandGetawaysTravel.com
916.897.9597

Category: Europe, France  | Comments off