Moustiers Sainte-Marie

July 31, 2012

From a distance, you could easily mistaken the ancient architecture of Moustiers Sainte-Marie for the gorgeous cliffs that rise up behind it– but take a second look, and it’s actually a vibrant hiker’s town with restaurants and exquisite pottery boutiques. After a long day’s drive, it was time to settle down for some local wining and dining in the center of town. The welcoming signs of Restaurant Les Comte had us sold. We thoroughly enjoyed a delicious burger and pesto pasta while admiring the camper’s vibe around us before calling it a night.

Pesto Pasta

Pesto Pasta

Restaurant Les Comte and a pottery boutique

Burger and Fries

Around town

Fries

Moustiers Sainte-Marie

 

 

 

 

 

Crillon Le Brave

July 26, 2012

The fresh air and rolling hills, the winding stone corridors, the hourly chimes of the bell tower and the to die for menus are all part of Crillon Le Brave, the quintessential Provencal destination. What was once ruled by Henri IV’s fiercest generals during wars of the 16th century has now evolved into one of Travel + Leisure’s top European hotels for 2012. And well deserved, my time spent there could not have been better. Lounging poolside, a relaxing massage and the impeccable service was all quite lovely, but of course my favorite was the fantastic food shoot that took place with the help of chef, Phillippe Zemour. After our morning at the market, it was down to business in the kitchen. Known for their elegant and refined style, the menu is all locally sourced offering a true flavor of southern France. Although it was difficult to leave, it’s certainly on my list of places that I no doubt will return to once again.

Setting the table on the terrace

Crackelin marinated red mullet and squid, nicoise socca and fennel aioli

Crackelin marinated red mullet and squid, nicoise socca and fennel aioli

Artichoke

Gratin of fish soup

Fricassee of seasonal vegetables, fingerling potatoes and bearnaise reduction

Roasted bull fillet, fricassee of seasonal vegetables, fingerling potatoes and bearnaise reduction

Hotel entrance

Roasted shop veal, green asparagus from olivier’s garden, stuffed potato with white truffle

Terrace view

Bocce ball

Roasted shop veal

Pool area

Asparagus

Fresh bread and rosemary

Seabream in salt crust

Seabream in salt crust

The view

Vegetables from the garden in barigoule refreshed, bacon shavings from bigorre, coriander reduction

Crackelin marinated red mullet and squid, nicoise socca and fennel aioli

Fresh vegetables

Fried cherry with basilic

Fried cherry with basilic

Apricot tart

Apricot tart

Monday Market in Bedoin

July 20, 2012

The small village of Bedoin, at the foothills of Mont Ventoux, comes alive on Mondays as locals, cyclists and visitors enjoy the weekly farmers market. As part of the photoshoot for Crillon Le Brave, I ventured over with their chef, Philippe Zemour for some fun candid shots browsing– and tasting– the local produce, meats and cheeses. After a successful morning in town, it was back to the hotel for an afternoon of cooking and shooting. More to come soon!

Morning at the market

Crillon Le Brave’s chef, Philippe Zemour

Samples of cheese

Lavender

Fresh produce

Oll & Spices

Chef Philippe Zemour & Crillon Le Brave

Foie Gras and meat

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lunch at La Coquillade

July 18, 2012

While driving from Crillon Le Brave to Moustiers Ste Marie, I was told to stop for lunch at La Coquillade, another one of France’s Relais and Chateaux accommodations. While I was slightly unsure if I translated the French scribbles into my GPS accurately, I relied on my surroundings, and was positive that we were driving into the middle of nowhere. But sure enough, in the midst of wine country, signs sprouted up and we were in luck. The dining room was actually closed due to a birthday celebration for the owner, but they were kind enough to allow us lunch in the pool area. A perfect mid-day break, we lounged poolside, taking in the gorgeous views while trying some local rosé, a fresh salad and gazpacho.

Heirloom tomato gazpacho

Fresh caprese salad

Salad

Tomato spread on toast

Vente de Fruits

July 13, 2012

One of my favorite to-do’s while traveling is driving along unknown country roads, windows down, breathing in the fresh air while listening to good music. Cruising through 700 km of France’s finest winding roads, the restaurants were scarce, but the fruit stands, vineyards and lavender fields certainly weren’t. The strawberries and peaches were some of the freshest tasting we’ve experienced. Now if only she delivered to New York.

Lavender fields

Peaches and melon

Garlic

Strawberries

Sunflower fields

Apples

Dior des Lices Brunch

July 11, 2012

Crepes may be a taste of France, but when it comes to fashion, Dior’s top of the list. So it was only fitting to combine food and fashion at Dior’s resort flagship where their pop-up restaurant adds a tranquil, chic garden oasis in the center of town. Yannick Alléno, the 3-star Michelin chef behind it all, provides a top notch meal served on (of course) Dior’s gorgeous tableware. I couldn’t think of a better place to spend a Sunday brunch, relaxing after a night out in St. Tropez.

Espresso

Croissants

Ham and eggs

Vegetarian omelette and ham with eggs

The garden view

Crepes in St. Tropez

July 9, 2012

You can’t go to France without having crepes, so this was one of my first stops in St. Tropez. After a morning of walking the narrow cobblestone streets of Old Town, it didn’t take long to build up an appetite in that strong Riviera sun. I had a great time conversing with the cook who was very enthusiastic about being featured on Camera in the Kitchen, and befriended the regulars, as they too wanted their portraits taken. I couldn’t resist. So we opted for the traditional savory, ham/cheese and the nutella to satisfy our sweet tooth. Definitely a great choice before hitting the beaches.

Ham & Cheese crepe

Salad crepe

Ham & cheese

Nutella

The local regulars

Nutella

Happy Weekend!

July 6, 2012

I’m back Stateside– with hundreds of photos, a tan and a full stomach from all the deliciousness that is France and Italy. I’ve got hours of exciting editing ahead of me, but wanted to share a couple spreads from my shoot at the lovely Crillon Le Brave, a beautiful French Relais and Chateaux accommodation in Provence that I had the honor of staying at last week. I’ll be back soon to give a full review of all the chef’s best dishes. Have a great weekend and stay cool! x

Best of Portland, ME

May 5, 2012

If only given one night out in Portland, my top suggestion would be to spend it at Fore Street Restaurant in the city’s Old Port District by the waterfront.  Although I went sans camera that Friday night, I still had to give it a shout out. Situated along a cobblestone street by the water, it’s a warehouse chic loft space that follows the farm-to-table concept with an open kitchen. Certainly worth stopping by. Saturday morning we popped into Local Sprouts Cafe for breakfast. Known for their local and organic food that comes fresh from farmers and fisherman around the state, it’s more than just a cafe, but rather a center for Portland’s creative community. Paired up with Bomb Diggity Bakery, I was able to enjoy an amazing egg and goat cheese sandwich with some english muffins for the road. Lastly, we couldn’t leave Portland without grabbing some handcrafted micro roasted coffee from Coffee by Design. In the mood for a smoothie instead? Check out Maine Squeeze!

Harbor Fish Market

Harbor Fish Market

Triple mango, coconut with yogurt, honey, orange juice and soy smoothie

Local Sprouts Cafe English Muffins

Local cage-free egg sandwich with housemade pesto, goat cheese and tomato

Local sprouts cafe

Vanilla Latte from Coffee by Design

White Barn Inn

April 25, 2012

Nestled in the quaint New England coastal town of Kennebunkport, White Barn Inn was one of my first stops through southern Maine last week, and one I thoroughly enjoyed. An intimate, classic inn setting, I was welcomed with open arms into the kitchen of Grand Chef, Jonathan Cartwright, to taste his Forbes Five Star menu. Feasting on more than my stomach could take, it was too delicious to leave the plate anything but clean. The various courses included an appetizer of Pan Roast New England Quail Breast and Foie Gras with a Basket of Smoked Leg Confit and Forest Mushroom Risotto. Parmesan Cheese Ice Cream with Crisp Fig Fitter as an intermezzo and Local Salmon Filet in a Parma Ham “Jacket” with Bacon Wrapped Scallop, Spaghetti Squash and Maple Dijon Mustard Sauce for the main course. Although it didn’t stop there, as I had to try Cartwright’s specialty smoked lobster dish and finished off with a multitude of desserts. The entire inn was more than welcoming, and certainly a must-stay for anyone traveling to the Pine Tree State. I hope to return very soon, next time booking an extra day to take advantage of their luxurious spa treatments!

A walk along Kennebunkport's rocky coastline and White Barn Inn

Smoked lobster

An extra dish from the chef

Lounge area

Parmesan Cheese Ice Cream with Crisp Fig Fitter

Inn interior

Pan Roast New England Quail Breast and Foie Gras with a Basket of Smoked Leg Confit and Forest Mushroom Risotto

Local Salmon Filet in a Parma Ham "Jacket"

Bacon wrapped scallop

Salmon

Front Porch at May's Annex

Grand Chef, Jonathan Cartwright's signature smoked lobster dish

Grand Marnier souffle with chocolate sauce

Grand Marnier souffle with chocolate sauce and sorbet

Espresso

Front porch

Maine blueberry sorbet

Breakfast Quiche

Fresh bread

Muffins

Fresh berries

Breakfast meat selection

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