After all of this incredible eating, we were looking forward to learning how to make some Provencal fare ourselves. At this point in the trip, only a few days in, we were definitely feeling food overload. While we complained about our sore and protruding bellies, we weren't really complaining. How can we say no to any of this cuisine – ind-blowing in its appearance and delectable in taste? We can't (and don't). And that's that.
Now it was our time to flex our muscles in the kitchen. We arrive at Maison de Fogasses, a 16th-century French mansion in Avignon owned by the jovial Corinne Guyon. This mansion-restaurant is so eclectic – so many rooms, each with a different vibe. Guests can rent out the home for events or cooking classes and enjoy the rooms, the backyard, the art gallery and studio, the fashion boutique.
We eyed the long table, set out with fresh ingredients and an assortment of tools and aprons. Oh boy here we go. Our chef-teacher Caroline Millet looked stern and I got a pang of nervousness. What if I messed up ingredients, what if I chopped off a finger? She took us through how to prepare an artichoke (not an easy feat!), how to prepare tomatoes so the skin rolls off, how to sear red and green peppers, and how to make tapenade – my job (yikes). Give the tapenade to the olive hater.
However ... well ... I'd rather not include a spoiler alert for my own feature, so I will point you to my cover story in the Toronto Star travel section on July 26 chronicling my adventures in the kitchen, which includes epiphany – yes an epiphany!
The amount of oil I poured in to make the tapenade, mon dieu.
After learning how to properly slice peppers and cook them, we added a softened slice of young garlic that had been marinated in vinegar for three months and then olive oil for three months. It tasted surprisingly sweet.
Published journalist, world traveller, big thinker, fun haver