Provence Cooking Vacations: Interview with Chef Christine
The International Kitchen wants our culinary travelers to feel like they’re at home when they’re traveling abroad, and Christine and her husband Erik do just that with their charming home in their corner of Provence. Situated near the town of Tavel, it also makes a great place to rest your feet while you explore all that Provence has to offer. When not exploring during our Provencal Adventure cooking vacation, Christine welcomes you to her kitchen and shares with you her passion for the food of France. Here she also shares a bit about her love of the cuisine.
What is your first memory of cooking?
My first memory is quite early in my life since my mum was a professional chef. I always spent my free time in the workshop helping her.
I recall my first recipe I follow by myself it was called Marengo Veal, just because I liked the name.
Where or from whom did you learn about cooking?
From my mum.
What is your favorite ingredient or food to cook with?
I love eggplants and artichokes, rabbit, sea scallops, and codfish. Peach are my preferred fruits and fig for jam.
What’s your favorite dish?
Whatever has sea scallop is always great. I like pork cheeks in red wine, and pork tenderloin with green tapenade sauce.
What is the best piece of advice you would give someone just starting to cook?
Do not follow too much step by step a recipe, allow yourself some creativity and never forget that you cannot make bad dish with nice ingredients, it might not come up as really wanted to but just trust yourself!
Have any funny or embarrassing stories you’d like to share?
In Provence since it can be quite warm even in Spring I recall some macaron that never raised…. or zucchini in Winter that never really cook until almost melting. Never make up a recipe that ingredient are not from the season or the region — it always has a reason.
Why do you like teaching cooking classes?
To share the passion of eating the fruit of our labor after the workshop.
What’s unique about the food from your region?
The food are like Provence, full of smell and flavor.
Anything else you’d like to share with clients of The International Kitchen?
At Jardin de Bacchus you will cook in a family kitchen and I will used only ingredient and technique that you can find and reproduce at home.
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Our Provencal Adventure cooking vacation in France features three hands-on cooking classes with Christine, as well as daily breakfast, two dinners, and a picnic lunch over the course of four nights. Excursions are on your own, but Christine loves helping guests plan their free time, and her B&B is the perfect place to relax after a day of cooking and exploring.
By Liz Hall
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