Walnut Wine and Truffle Groves + Lunch with Danièle

• 17 May 2010

Just a couple of weeks ago this book was released much to our delight! It not only features one of our favorite Frenchies, but it showcases the best elements of the Dordogne region--the day markets, the night markets, the sights, the best restaurants, and of course...recipes! It's a delightful book for anyone who is interested in simple Southwestern French cooking or who has stayed, or is going to stay, at La Maisonnette in the future (note: we left a copy at the cottage for guests to peruse).

A week and a half ago, Danièle (the aforementioned favorite "Frenchie") invited us to lunch at her rustic home in the country. I've been there several times in the past, but always just to say "hello" or to attend one of her fantastic cooking classes (mentioned here and here). It's not every day that a former palace chef invites you to a meal! We were instantly excited with the invitation and I forecasted it to be one of the highlights of our trip. Danièle is one of the most amazing people I've ever met and her energy and drive is most inspiring. Not being a fluent French speaker, I always appreciate that she speaks fluent English. In fact, this is what's made her cooking classes possible in the past!

p.s. I recently discovered a great article about Danièle and the Dordogne over at Travel & Leisure's site. Although I don't agree with all of their recommendations, their description of Danièle is spot-on and the article really gives you a taste of what country life in France is all about.

1- A simple, country French place setting.

2-If Danièle isn't cooking on an open fire, she is using it to warm the cottage. She is one industrious lady!

3-White asparagus, fava beans and a poached egg smothered in black truffle sauce made from truffles found on her own property. One of the best dishes I've ever consumed in my life.

4- Fussing over us like a mother hen while she told us tales of truffle farming. Of course she first made sure we were warm with herbal tea, blankets and chairs near the fire. An amazing hostess indeed.


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