Taking the Fear out of Fish

Last week a group came with a special request for a workshop with a fishy focus. This is the one where we go the day before to the fish counter of the local supermarket, armed with an inventory/list of loads of different seafood (names in English, French and German to cover all local eventualities), so… Continue reading Taking the Fear out of Fish

Is there such a thing as affordable Burgundy?

After a recent weekend down there, I’d venture a hesitant ‘yes’. The first thing that was highly affordable was our B & B, Les Sept Nains near La Rochepot, a real find (not mine but one of our party’s) and a bare 20k +/- southwest of Beaune. It’s run by a young Bourguignon/Brazilian couple, Yvon and… Continue reading Is there such a thing as affordable Burgundy?

Alsace vs Baden: which side of the Rhine has the best food?

When we gravitated to the Upper Rhine region over 30 years ago, most of the sound and fury on the food front was coming from Alsace. Back then there were three triple-Michelin star restaurants (L’Auberge de l’Ill, Le Burehiesel and Au Crocodile) plus a host of young chefs following in their wake. Fine food in… Continue reading Alsace vs Baden: which side of the Rhine has the best food?

In search of Paris’s best baguette

Every year since 1993, Paris’s professional organisation for bakers and pastry chefs has staged a competition for the city’s best baguette. In past years the prize has gone to such well known bread luminaries as Lionel Poilâne, Eric Kayser and Dominique Saibron. This week the 2012 winner was announced: Sébastien Mauvieux of the eponymous boulangerie… Continue reading In search of Paris’s best baguette

Alsace wine is all white, right? Wrong!

When you consider the wines of Alsace, it’s probably fine, fragrant whites that come to mind. That’s understandable. The Alsace wine grower has six white grape varieties — Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Muscat, Pinot Blanc and Sylvaner – to play with. Most growers make wine from all six, with multiple cuvées of each. But there’s… Continue reading Alsace wine is all white, right? Wrong!

Asparagus: white or green?

Even after 30 years living in the Upper Rhine region where white asparagus rules, I have to admit green asparagus is still the one that does it for me. I love everything about the green: its fresh colour, assertive flavour and crunchy texture. Best of all, unlike the white varieties, it doesn’t need peeling. All… Continue reading Asparagus: white or green?

Crazy about lovage

Lovage – Liebstöckel or Maggikraut in German, livèche or ache des montagnes in French – is a fragrant herb that takes me by surprise every spring. During the winter it goes doggo, dying back completely and disappearing almost without trace into the ground. Then in around March (in our climate), its serrated pale green leaves thrust… Continue reading Crazy about lovage