When a clan of foodies means business!

Intox the dog and Geoffrey's BBQ

The whole clan drove up to Poitiers last Sunday for Victor’s 8th birthday. Victor is the eldest of my grand nephews. He loves food just as much as the next guy in the family. Oysters are his favorites… I bought him a gold fish he decided to name Oascar. Oscar is very small but very red. But then again, evrerything about that day was bright and colorful. The garden, the food, the people…

Oysters from île d'OleronChampagne

My niece Aurélie, Victor’s mom, has the “Ialwaysbuytoomuchcheese” syndrome. The syndrome runs in the family as both my sister and I have it. Her husband Geoffrey has the “Ibuywaytoomuchmeat” syndrome… A match made in heaven really :0)

Their dog – her name is Intox – is very young. This was one of her first big family gatherings with us. The smell of the BBQ really got to her. She thought she’d died and gone to heaven.


Besides the oyster and the best wines and Champagne we could find, the menu included rillettes, patés, kilos and kilos of the most amazing beef (with shallots of course), my very own gratin Dauphinois, then the cheese, tarte tatin (apple pie) and a chocolate cake we’d made with Belgium chocolate and salted butter from Guérande. Needless to say that we were all pretty full when we left the table around 5pm. Hanna, my cousin’s Texan girlfriend, could not believe we all, including the kids, could stay seated at the same table for so long… Of course, we all swore that we wouldn’t have dinner that evening… Of course we eventually did! Cold cuts with mayo will be the end of me I swear!

ChampagneOscar and the cake

This was yet another incredible family affair bursting with color, fragrances and love in what I’ll always call my French heaven…

BeefBBQBBQGratin DauphinoisCheese and wine

I used a new recipe for the Gratin Dauphinois (potato gratin). By new recipe, I mean using a different technique. The ingredients are always the exact same!! Everyone absolutely loved it and had several helpings (even the one claiming she was on a diet):

For 6 foodies:

  1. Get 4 pounds of potatoes. Try to get them from the farm and make sure they are the kind that hold together when cooked. The ones you’d use for stews or raclette or salads are perfect.
  2. Peal and clean the potatoes.
  3. Slice them thin (1 or 2mm). Do not put them in water!!! The starch they contain will contribute greatly to the texture and taste of your gratin.
  4. Rub an oven dish with quite a bit of soften butter and sprinkle nutmeg, black pepper and salt all over the dish (half a teaspoon of each). Add half a glass of milk.
  5. Lay down a first layer of  potatoes. Each layer will be about half an inch thick.
  6. Sprinkle salt, black pepper and nutmeg again. This time, also add a big clove of garlic (chopped) as well as 5 tablespoons of heavy cream (the thick kind).
  7. Repeat the  layer process until you run out of potatoes (use two large cloves of garlic total).
  8. Spread a big cup (250g) of cream over the last layer
  9. Put your dish in the oven at 400°F for 45 minutes to an hour. Your gratin is ready when the top is golden brown and the potatoes are really REALLY soft (use a knife to check) all the way through.

I might actually make a video soon to show you the exact process… I always think a recipe is simple, but then I write it down and it sounds complicated…

Mom and cheeseTarte tatin



  1. OMG this is stunning. What a beautiful tale of food and family. The photography is great. I could really use a meal like this, now! They’re kind of priceless.

  2. So, Stephane, how’s your diet going?!! LOL.
    It all looks much too delicious to be good for you, but I’d be there, in a flash! Dauphinois, champagne, cheese, tarte. And the puppy!

  3. This looks gorgeous! Its wonderful when family and food come together in a gathering like this. You can relive old memories and make some new ones. What is the last picture in the blog of?

  4. Oh la la….magnifiques.
    Les pommes gratinés, le boeuf….tous!
    Vous avez raison de diner avec la famille. Ce sont les temps speciales! (J’espère que mon français est assez bon ici.) j’oublie les mots quelques fois. Le français est un peu difficile sur un iPad. :-)

    Nous avons eu Nôtre fête à l’école aujourd’hui. On a passé de bon après midi. Les élèves français m’ont aidé. Ils retournent/ revient en France la première semaine de Mai. Bastian joue au foot…et il va faire ça quand it va chez lui. Franc va jouer au golf à Jacksonville, FL. Bastian est de Fréjus, et Franc est de Toulouse…je crois.

    • Typically they are perfectly cooked when the top reaches the perfect color. Otherwise, yes, I would cover them. But then the steam would damage the crispy shiny crust…

  5. I would always choose to celebrate exactly like this. Beautiful food and wine, family young and old, close friends, spirited conversation and no rush. I bet your family dining tables could tell a tale or two! Beautiful pics, but I’ve grown to expect no less.

  6. I made the mistake once of putting the potatoes in water as I was working ahead for Christmas lunch. They never thickened. Now I just make them ahead covered in cream and plastic wrap with no problems. They bake perfectly later. I am looking forward to our visit this summer.

  7. What a wonderful, wonderful gathering. The food, the family and friends everything is just perfect.I must try your Dauphinois recipe, it’s one of my favorites. My malady is Imaketoomuchandbuytoomuch of everything.

  8. My mouth just waters looking at these photos!! I love to cook – but boy, is it great when someone else does it!! That meat looks delicious and BBQ – Yum!! I’m sure everyone had a great time and probably all slept well after that meal!! The euphoria of a delectable and heavenly meal!! Thanks for sharing the recipe for the potatoes will definitely have to try making them!!

  9. That all looks so good. I’m off to make the meal but sadly nothing that will match that. Family meals together are some of the best of times, but in these days when people are so scattered, also now some of the rarest.

    • You are so right Dorothy. Here in France, most of the families live within 2 hours of each other. It certainly makes those gatherings much easier to organize…

  10. Your Mom still looks great….for any age! Must be all that fine food and “sensual” eating. And I don’t notice anyone with a weight problem!

    • I don’t know if I had mentionned it, but she had cancer after you left. She is fine now, but it really took its toll on her…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s