I received a call last week from a gentleman who said he really liked the blog and wanted to meet me. Little did I know that Cédric (that’s his name) was the PR Director for one of the grandest resorts and golf courses in the South West of France called Château des Vigiers near Bergerac. He invited me to visit him so we could discuss the culinary tours I offer. He may want to introduce said tours as well as my Food and Lifestyle Photography classes to his guests…
I had lunch with Cédric and his Director of Sales and Marketing Leonie at the château. The brasserie overlooks the golf course, the castle and the lake… My French Heaven indeed!
That same afternoon, I drove to a village nearby called Eymet. I had heard of a very good butcher in Eymet who makes the most incredible patés and rillettes. Fathers’ day was coming up and I needed a plan. You see, my dad hates presents and surprises… except when they have something to do with food! I bought enough paté to feed him and me for at least a year…
The countryside between Bergerac and Eymet is stunning. If I had to take just one picture that would perfectly illustrate what the French countryside looks like, I would take it there… And here I was, only 60 miles from Bordeaux, and everything already looked so different. This area has such a continental feel to it with the fields of barley and wheat… That made me think about food (everything makes me think about food) and how different the local eating habits are. For instance, traditionally, people in this area eat little seafood compared to us. It was difficult, in the old days, to bring fresh seafood this far inland. And although it would be (is) quite easy to ship fresh seafood there today, it has not become part of the local eating habits.
Long story short, it made me hungry for seafood and I had a seafood platter for dinner that day :0)
- Get some big mussels (as meaty as possible), clams, prawns etc.
- Put the mussels and clams in a hot oven for a minute or two to make them open and remove the top half of the shell
- Place all your seafood facing up in a baking dish on a bed of rock salt to keep them leveled
- For the stuffing, mix 200g of softened butter (unsalted), a large handful of “persillade” (I put 4 large cloves of garlic for one bunch of parsley) and two fistfuls of crushed walnuts
- The walnuts take on their flavor once roasted. So I recommend you roast them first in a dry pan before adding to the persillade and butter …
- Spread generously over each mussel and add salt and pepper to taste
- Put everything under the grill of the oven for 3 or 4 minutes. Be careful as the seafood should not be overcooked yet the stuffing should have enough time to take a beautiful brownish color
- Serve as an appetizer over warm toast
62 Comments Add yours
How fabulous that your blog is so famous! It really is lovely, so I am so happy you are getting such great recognition! Congratulations!
Thank you so much Terre! I’m planning on posting more though. I’ve been so lazy these past few months… 😉
I wouldn’t call it lazy if you are not posting. I know you are doing many other things. Your posts are always lovely and I know they cannot be easy. It takes a lot to post pictures . . . . going through the ones you’ve taken, deciding on which ones to post, editing, then posting. Not easy, and very time consuming. I get it!
I should live in Eymet I would fit right in not eating seafood. I’m sure that gentleman was totally taken with you and will offer your classes to their guests!
I still can’t believe my Cape Cod friend doesn’t eat seafood 😝☺️ If I had to pick, I’d take meat every time toi 😉
Well I can say I agree with you on that point!
Fabulous story: Fabulous photos!!!: Hope it all works out for you!!! 🙂
What lovely news! I hope it all works out for you! I look forward to seeing the “photos” of your labors. 😉
How exciting!!! Cannot wait to hear about this endeavor!!!! A beautiful post.
Thanks! I think it’ll go well….
I need to write a testimonial, don’t I? So sorry I’d forgotten!
You don’t have to do anything my dear. It’s if you want to, when you want to 😉
Of course I want to!!!
What a fantastic opportunity and very well deserved, I hope you have a fruitful relationship with the hotel folk. And oh, that seafood platter! It looks so good and your pictures, as ever, are beautiful.
Thanks Linda. Yes, I hope it all works out ☺️
Wonderful as always! I love the photo of the country road, which by the way could be in Southern California or Italy if not for the road sign:) What an honor and a tribute to your talent to be considered by someone who has to have very discriminating taste.
Why thank you my friend. Very Italian looking. You are right ☺️
I am always hungry for find food and travel after reading your beautiful blog. One day we will meet! Bon appetit my friend!
Thanks! One day we will. I know it! 😉
Yes, it certainly looks like a French Heaven! Absolutely gorgeous and a place that is forever on my bucket list! Hoping to be able to come see it all with my own eyes, but for now, your lovely photos will have to do. Sounds like a wonderful opportunity, congratulations!
I hope you do come someday! Have a lovely day!
Beautiful pictures as always, and yes the France I know is like that- for me more Lyon area though. I love the way you create an atmosphere on your photographs- very few can do it. Always happy to be back here.
I am so glad you like my little blog dear Marta. Thanks for your comment and continued support. I went to college in Ecully in the suburbs of Lyon. It is a beautiful region indeed! 🙂
What beautiful countryside! That is so cool they want you to do tours!! I love your photography! France seems so elegant, romantic, I want to see it someday!! Hugz Lisa and Bear
And you will Lisa!! It’s just a plane ride away 😉
What an opportunity for you! It is sure to go well…how could it not with your wonderful work?
Seafood here, in and near San Francisco, is also quite wonderful. Traveling in the few short miles to the City always involves seafood, cannot imagine life without it.
I adore that city. You know I used to live there between 2001 and 2005. What a fantastic part of the world. You are so lucky 😊
What a lucky opportunity for you! And your mussels look out of this world. I am very happy for you, I hope it all works out. 🙂
I’m already looking forward to your next story. As always, your pictures are fantastic.
Oh thank Jessie! I am planning to post every Monday from now on … Thanks for your continued support!!! It means a lot 😊
What an idyllic pastorale you capture! Like you my thoughts are never far from food, love this simple seafood grill
I love seafood. I could have it every day if it wasn’t so damn expansive 😉
Looks great !! Good luck. Will see you soon.
Beautiful, just beautiful 😊
Étonnant! J’adore beaucoup votre blog. Moi, j’ai un rêve d’un chateau: Le Petit Verdus, près de Bordeaux. Est-ce que vous le connaissez, par hasard?
I don’t know it but I’m sure it is lovely. Do you visit often?
I’ve never actually been to that part of France (yet!). That must sound a little fou, but I have pictures of this chateau, including interiors, and just fell in love with it. As chateaux go, it’s fairly small, but to me, it looks like home (not like a palace). I’d love to come on one of your culinary tours! (I just finished reading Chef Mimi’s post about your roast chicken with olives.) Your French heaven looks like my own idea of heaven!
That’s what so lovely about the castles around here and in the Dordogne: they are small enough that you could imagine yourself living in them. They are just a lotery ticket away… 😉
Wow, hope it all works out, so well deserved! Rosie
Ps, I went through Eymet recently for a wedding and it was lovely – but busier than the Lot!
Thanks Rosie. Yes, these villages can get quite crowded in high season…
Wonderful fruits de mer gratinés. Simple but technically difficult to cook just right. I’m curious about the walnuts, as I’ve never tasted them with seafood before.
You should try at least once. Try to get walnuts from Italy or the Dordogne. They are tastier.
Have never seen those, only from USA or Chile. Will look for them!
Wow, this is truly heavenly – both dish, location AND future possible collaboration. Exiting news, and congratulations !!
Thanks Sabine! I’ll take you there for lunch if you come here someday 😉
I´ll take that as a promise 🙂
Exciting times indeed Stephane. We will be down that way in July (8th to 21st). Are you around by chance?
Yes I am except for the 19th, 20th and 21st. I’d love to see you guys!!
I’ll make a plan when we get in. It’s my turn to cook, I believe. Sharon will be delighted.
He’d be crazy not to get you in! Hopefully we’ll hear soon that plans are in place. As for the rest, the photos were as tasty as I’m sure the food was.
I think it’ll work. It is a very special place with very special people… Do you like seafood? I still remember the shrimp cocktails at the Ritz in Chicago… Delicious to say the least… That’s something we don’t have here: cocktail sauce. I brought some back from Miami last year but have eaten it all already…
We do like seafood. Sounds as though cocktail sauce is to what cheap, yellow mustard (French’s) is to my b-i-l. We always bring it when we come over. 🙂
Beautiful pics as always! And what an opportunity, Stephane! Looking forward to an update.
Thanks Tamara! Many writers live and work in this part of France. The environment is ideal for calm and inspiration. You’d be right at home here Tamara!
Wow! I stayed in Eymet when my kids were very small. Almost 30 years ago! It was beautiful and one of best holidays ever. Great news about the possible work with the resorts. Congratulations Stephane. Well deserved!! 🙂
Yes, Eymet is a beautiful place. 30 years is a long time though. Maybe it’s time you came back for another French vacation 😉
Well I’m going to Nice for a few days in September but I’ll have to think about returning to SW sometime 🙂
You should! I’ll be in Nice with friends in early October… I love Provence! 😉
Wonderful! Congrats on the future possibility 🙂