Spring into Action

When the warm weather first started hanging around a couple of weeks ago, I went for a hike with my best friend Jenna to see what wild edibles were coming up in the forest. 10 minutes into our hike we stumbled across the first patch of wild leeks (also known as ramps or ramsons). I had a…

Flavour and Alchemy: On Bread Baking

Most people who know me understand the love I have for bread; kneading the dough, watching yeast come to life, and finally eating it, as-is or with a nice butter or soft cheese. Wheat supports a unique alchemy; the grain’s gluten structure and starches allow microbial life (yeasts) to grow, making bread and other products possible. Wheat has…

Foraging for Herbs in Drome Region

One of my favourite moments from last summer in Grignan was between a busy lunch service and dinner at Cafe Lulu. Chef Romain, Sam and I left the town and drove out to the forest, in the foothills surrounding a neighbouring town. It was a beautiful day, the sun was aridly hot and seemed to be sucking…

2015 Year in Review

Last year I posted my 2014 in review, and set my goals for 2015. Here’s the list of goals from 2015 and my progress! -Travel! Get out and get inspired! Make plans to visit some of the restaurants I most admire: I had the opportunity to help run the kitchen of a newly opened bistro in Grignan, France…

Le Clair de la Plume – Taste of a Michelin Star (Part 2)

Read part 1 here  Between split shifts at Lulu Hazard, I am grateful that I was able to get 2 days off to spend learning in the kitchen at Le Clair de la Plume. After the owner, Jean-Luc Valadeau dined at our restaurant, I asked him if I could come for a stage (the culinary tradition…

Le Clair de la Plume – Taste of a French Michelin Star (Part 1)

Dear followers, I have to apologize for the lack of posting! Adjusting to home life has been a wonderful whirlwind, and I am excited to continue to share the products of my summer in France, as well as my current cooking career with you on a regular basis. Lots of photography and writing to come! I…

History, Sunlight and Olives in Nyons, France

As with many of the places I visited in France, Nyons had a specific feeling. I started my trip riding with friends along lavender scented roads through the foothills of the Drome region. Here, it seems like there is a small town at the crest of every hill, with vineyards spotting the valleys in between. We arrived in time for dinner…

Tasting Summer

I am happy to be back helping at Tree House Kitchen, getting ready for Chef Nancy Henley’s next season of cooking classes. We have been collaborating on recipes for teaching and general inspiration. The above plate is steamed Ontario pickerel with dill vinaigrette, marinated beet greens, roasted and raw radish, raw and fried Queen Anne’s…

A Pastry Tour of Paris

So, it’s been a while hasn’t it? Life in France was hectic for the last couple of months, but I have so much to share now that I am settled in at home! Prior to Grignan, I had been planning (and budgeting for) a pastry tour of Paris as a key part of mine and…

Working at Restaurant Lulu Hazard: Grignan, France

This is Restaurant Lulu Hazard, where I am working in the town square of Grignan. Tiny little stove in the tiny kitchen. One time the oven door came off in my hand. Although the kitchen is small and charmingly quirky, there is still an opportunity to make great food here. This is the grilled sardine…

Dinner in Valreas

The meal starts with champagne: sweet, dry, bubbly and accented by local strawberries, which taste like a farm, hay and sunlight. We wipe our pink fingers on napkins and toss the green tops in a bowl. Soon, toasted bread and a torchon of foie gras are set upon the table. Generous pieces are spread across savoury bread. Foie gras…

Sanary/Bandol Market & Thoughts on France

The last month has been a whirlwind – travelling from Paris to Lyon to Avignon, and finally landing in Grignan: my home for the next couple of months. There are lots of photos and thoughts to share from the trip around, but right now I am feeling really inspired by a recent trip to Sanary/Bandol and…