La Borderie

• 26 August 2008

Before we left for France, the Husband signed me up for a cooking class offered near our accomodations in the Dordogne region. Apparently, a former personal chef to Francois Mitterand (former president of France) lived about an hour from Beynac and offered modestly priced day-long cooking classes at her home--the same home, in fact, that her grandparents lived in during their lifetime. They called it La Borderie. There is something so endearing about naming one's home, don't you think?

Anyway, we met up in the morning at an outdoor food market in Sarlat. She taught me how to choose vendors and introduced me to some of the local specialites like duck, foie gras, unique cheeses. I had a wonderful time following her around and learning a few new tricks for next time...

In the afternoon I drove out to her property (thank you iPhone gps) around 3:30 p.m. and spent the next several hours cooking and eating with Daniele in her kitchen. Lucky for me, no one else signed up that week so I had this amazing cook all to myself. Oh happy day! This had apparently never happened. What fortune...

What I loved most about Daniele was that she exhibited zero pretention. She was so down-to-earth and modest about everything, even about the fact that her circle of friends included Alice Waters and Julia Child. She is also a mother of 4 children, which I found incredibly inspiring. Women are so capable! When I asked her what her favorite adventure was (she's had many), she said raising her children. Those words resonated deeply with me. Are you for real I thought? Yes...yes you are.


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