Imperfect = perfect

Whether it’s in my photography or in the way I welcome people here for our culinary adventures, I always try to create the best possible sensory experience, but I also make it a point to keep things as casual (OK, casual chic) and authentic as possible.

Back a different man…

Film photography has slowed me down in my creative process and has forced me to get out of my own way. I will continue to shoot digital of course, if only for the simplicity of it all, but I have now officially become a diehard film photographer!

The power of love, laughter and… persillade

I simply sear my scallops to a golden brown (about one minute on each side on medium to high heat) and then dump my persillade on top. I also like to add a bit of lemon juice to give it an extra kick. To die for!! Note that scallops are like calamari: they have to be cooked quickly so they don’t feel like rubber in your mouth. Some people slice them in half before cooking them. I don’t because they end up being thoroughly cooked before they have enough time to brown on the outside.

The best of Provence – The South East corner of my French heaven

But let’s talk about what’s really important: THE FOOD. Our two favorite meals in the area were at “La fourchette” in Avignon and “Le bistrot du Paradou” in the village of Paradou. La fourchette had the most exquisite traditional dishes, all cooked to perfection. Escargots, pieds paquets, grenouilles… While this gave us the traditional French dinning experience, the other place was even more fun

The simplest and fastest lamb recipe you’ll ever come across

Peter just started working on his very own vintage Bentley. All he has right now is a chassis, 4 wheels and the engine. I will document the whole process and post the photos on my car website. Peter’s shop is filled with Riley’s and Salmsons and Bentleys and all he plays in there is prewar music. Walking in there is like turning back time…

The wonders of the Basque Country

The Basque country (Pays Basque) is well known for its hot peppers (piments d’Espelette) and its incredible cheeses (mostly sheep and/or cow). The “piment d’Espelette” is not very strong, but it is extremely flavorful. I use it on cheese, meats, sauces and vinaigrettes as well as in most marinades. The name Espelette comes from the village around which the peppers are grown. Farmers hang them to dry on the façades of their homes. It is very decorative and gives a great authentic feel to the area.

My two cents on portrait photography – 25 tips on portrait photography

OK, I’m certainly no Richard Avedon, but portraits are my favorite thing to shoot. I like to capture the fleeting emotions, the energy, the love, the passion… Hunting for the perfect subject and capturing that one special picture…

I thought I’d share a few ideas with you on the subject. None of this stuff is new (I don’t think), but I hope some of it will be helpful to you…

Amira Willighagen and the red cabbage salad

So, like only she would have the guts to do, Corrine contacted Amira Willighagen’s agent to get her to come down and sing. Amira is a 12 year old opera singer who won Holland’s got talent 2 years ago. Quite the little star in Europe right now!

Crème Vichyssoise: the French gazpacho – Eat like the Batman!

If potato leek soup wasn’t (even then) anything new, the French Chef of The Ritz-Carlton New York (the original one), woke up one day and decided he would serve it cold. His name was Louis Diat and the year was 1917. Louis was born near the town of Vichy in France. Soup is a feminine word in French “UNE soupe” and since ladies who live in Vichy are called Vichyssoises… there you go :0)

Something that maybe you didn’t know about France…

The “something that maybe you didn’t know about France” is that, although the modern cars we produce are absolute crap, we used to be number one before the war when it came to luxury cars. The Brits had Rolls and Lagonda, the Americans had Duesenberg. We had Bugatti (yes, FRENCH!), Talbot, Hotchkiss, Delage, Delahaye, Salmson… We even had Facel Vega and Alpine in the 60s!

From Cap Ferret to the Dordogne – Mimi and Gabriella’s visit to My French Heaven

As you all already know, my greatest pleasure in life is to share everything I love about France with my guests and my friends.

My dear friend Mimi (Chef Mimi Blog) came back to visit me last week and brought along one of her dearest friends, Gabriella.

All we did for a week was eat and drink and laugh. Oh we laughed so hard… When people ask me what I do for work, I just tell them I don’t actually work… They always look at me and smile (you know, the “oh poor thing” smile. The suckers think I’l kidding. The joke’s on them ;0)

Martin and the invisible moon

We had a four day weekend this past week and my friends Quitterie and Laurent invited me to join them at their beach house in Cap Ferret. Cap Ferret is located on the coast, West of Bordeaux. It feels a lot like the Hamptons without the crazy ass mansions…