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Dutch cheese and tokaj

Posted on April 23rd, 2012

April 22nd saw France voting in the first round of the Presidential election.  It is illegal to predict the vote before 8:00pm, or risk a 75,000 euro fine,  so the social media was full of “Edam cheese at 27 Euros; Tokaj wine at 25 Euros”, allusions to voting for socialist Francois Hollande and centre-right incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, who is of Hungarian descent.  The far-right National Front candidate, Marine Le Pen, is referred to as a rodent. Ten candidates fought it out, including communists, greens and some without official party backing.  To stand, each candidate requires 500 signatures from lower or upper house representatives and regional councillors.  With no seats in national government, Le Pen could only muster 120 signatures and was forced to appeal…

A Cooking Course

Posted on April 12th, 2012

Eric Sapet is chef and owner of La Petite Maison, an excellent,cosy Michelin-starred restaurant in Cucuron, on the south side of the Luberon mountains.  Before moving south, he gained experience at multi-starred Parisian restaurants such as La Tour d’Argent, La Marée and Jacques Cagna. In Provence he managed several top-flight kitchens including Le Mas des Herbes Blanches, Le Moulin de Lourmarin and Maison Gouin, before striking out on his own.   At Cucuron, in addition to running his busy restaurant, he conducts cooking courses for small groups.  On our day, he (and we) prepared l’Esturgeon Académicien – sturgeon wrapped in cabbage leaves, stuffed with mousse of salmon and puree of spinach, accompanied by asparagus and parmesan.   Everything was prepared from raw ingredients including…