"The GIFTS OF NATURE—GENEROUS, RICH IN FLAVOR—constitute the largest and most precious part of the pantry."
La cuisine du marché 1987.
Burgundian lushness pressed seductively against the village of Vonnas.
Weathered tables at local markets. Dappled light through trees. A high summer garden stitched together like a verdant quilt.
It began with a woman—la mère Blanc. The gastronome Curnonsky christened Elisa "the best cook in the world." Imagine that.
Knowledge tended by generations.
Her grandson Georges wove a light and exquisite thread through it. Nouvelle cuisines natural evolution.
He turned his inheritance into a temple to ingredients.
PRINTANIERE AUX SUCS DE LEGUMES—painterly whorls of vegetal colours.
VINAIGRETTE TIEDE DE JEUNES LEGUMES A LA CORIANDRE ET AU GROS—tiny glistening jewels from the garden.
BIGARREAUX AU JUS DE CERISES NOIRES ET A LA VERVEINE GLACEE—cream melting into crimson velveteen juices.
Chefs in great modern kitchens on this side of the Atlantic in the late 1980s studied it for inspiration.
His influence is obvious in restaurants near and far from me.
I worked in kitchens with men who worshiped him.
Farmers and gardeners enjoying the apricot glow of adoration.
Time is like a long country lane.
Intimacy with history is one of the lovely outcomes of committing to a career.
Almost 25 years later, I still pull this cookbook from my shelves and can return to the first time I went through it as a young apprentice.
A brand new world before me.