Dear Friend of La Garrigue,
Well, April has been much busier than planned and May looks like it's going to keep me under pressure again; no rest for the old frenchman!!
The highlights of the month, beside my monthly trip to France meeting up new wine makers and sampling the local gastronomy, was the Olive Oil dinner at La Garrigue on the 26th of April. The feedback was very positive and the olive oil, now available at Henri's in Stockbridge, made all the difference. I thought the food was pretty good too but the other star of the show was the bread supplied by my friend bread-maker extraordinaire, Jock Sharp from Woodlea Stables Crossgates near Dunfermline; possibly the best bread I ever tasted.
The week before I was in Clermont L'Herault at the olive oil mill, tasting and choosing the oil for the dinner and creating a new partnership for my Wine Tour Experience. I hope you will join me sometime next year, as the wine tours for 2017 sold out in few weeks. Mind you, if you are a friend of La Garrigue you now can rent my Holiday home in Combret near Millau and tour this unspoiled region of France in your own time; have a look on the website www.languedocwinetours.co.uk for more information.
Of course we are now officially in spring and, in spite of the weather, we have made our menu more seasonal with some new creations on our a la Carte menu with asparagus, artichoke, lamb, and a couple of new desserts now part of the offering. We also have a special offer on Open Table for our lunch menu and I hope you will take advantage of it and treat yourself.
This week is a bit special for me as Morgan and Weiwei are on holiday on the French Riviera, leaving me in charge for a week! It is nice to be trusted but at the same time it makes me realise why I decided to try to take it easy and start planning my retirement....wishful thinking!!
Of course, I will be away again for the May Wine tour so I hope they enjoy their time off now. I will be back for our special event on the 25th of May: a Creole evening inspired by a trip to the Reunion island last year. I brought back some exciting spices and local rum as well as a taste for exotic cuisine. I will be in the kitchen for the evening preparing some typical dishes with a “Jean-Michel's twist” which will include vanilla, banana, cumin, cane sugar, mangoes, tamarind, palm hearts, lychees and more, certainly enough to make your taste buds go crazy. You can see the menu on line, and I hope you can join us.
This will leave me only a couple of weeks to plan our next event; a dinner hosted by Liz Crawford, from the Domaine de La Senche in the village of La Laviniere . I meet up with Liz and her husband Guy last month and went to visit the vineyard and the cellar on my last trip. Their top cuvee “Somi” is now on our wine list and is doing well. The dinner planned on the 8th of June will showcase the white, not yet bottled I am told, and another red as well as the olive oil produced on the Domaine.
As you can see “J'ai du pain sur la planche” as they say, so I may as well get on with it.
Sorry to leave you so soon,