Bon Appetit: A Culinary Journal through France
As world travelers and photographers, Henderson Productions joined forces with our friends from Poggio Amorelli B&B to explore culinary France. Master Chef contestant Angela Perkins contacted chefs in five distinct regions and asked us to design and document the trip. We knew it would be a journey for our senses: to see, taste, smell and touch France. Above all else, we aimed to enjoy the adventure. We are delighted to report those goals were met and more. Along the way many chefs gave us permission to include their recipes to help you recreate some of our experiences. We invite you to appreciate the bounty of their gifts. Bon Appetit et Bon Voyage.
Travel Note: Arriving into Paris is easy regardless of where you’re coming from. For our part, we opted for the flight on Icelandair via Reykjavik, Iceland. For the first day in France to work, you should attempt to arrive before noon. If arriving later, consider spending a night near Paris to recover from jetlag.
Arriving at Giverny around 3:30 we headed straight toward Claude Monet’s House and Gardens as much as possibly avoiding the distractions – both touristy and floral – along the walk. It was so very good to stretch our legs. We were advised to see the house first as it would be closing before the gardens and hustled into Monet’s studio, bedrooms, kitchen and living areas capturing mostly the views from inside out.
The springtime gardens exploded with blooms of every color and size and type. Pictures will never do it justice. Initially, I thought it was overdone and couldn’t have been accurate for his view in the early 20th century until we saw photos of him walking in similarly planted gardens and knew the reason he stayed here until his death was unlimited possibilities to explore nature in all forms. Wisteria was dripping from an arbor onto a rose garden that will soon be awash in the blooms which can only be produced on old stalks. Tulips of all types were planted in color-coordinated beds to make them all pop at once. Azaleas were in full flame and the sun coming out as we walked just exaggerated the colors even more. We strolled, smelled – the lilacs, oh the lilacs – and photographed our way to the waterlily garden with selective color during spring but everything you could hope for in an historic garden so well depicted in paintings.
The green bridges were perfectly placed with draping willows and water lily pads on the water’s surface. Anyone would appreciate the beauty of this scene, but I was especially struck by how close to the house the pond was located with only occasional glimpses of the house but the ability to be completely obscured in multiple directions. How wonderful to have been an old man surrounded by such splendor.
We regretfully left the gardens and settled in to an early evening dinner of soup and cheese. We’ve already fallen into a habit of 2 café crem (coffee with cream), one beer, and un carafe – meaning table water (which is from the tap and free vs bottled which is not). The Hotel Baudy was a place the younger artists came to stay and carouse and eat when trying to get an audience with the master.