- Picnic in Provence: A Memoir with Recipes, by Elizabeth Bard – This is the follow-up to Bard’s best-selling memoir Lunch in Paris and I liked it even more than the first book. Bard talks with raw honesty about the strain her book caused in her relationship with her mother-in-law who felt that Bard had disclosed too much that was private. She lays bare her feelings of inadequacy as a parent of a young son who clearly prefers his daddy. But the book is really about finding her place in France, but in Provence instead of in Paris. Bard and her husband move to the Cereste in the south of France where they decide to break with their prior careers in order to open an artisanal ice cream shop, Scaramouche. I’m not a big ice cream person, but Bard’s description of how they sourced the best local ingredients and experimented to create the most luscious combinations made me want to try a scoop of everything. If you’d rather eat ice cream than read about it, Scaramouche has now opened a second shop in Paris (22 rue la Vieuville, in the 18th). It’s closed for the winter, but I definitely want to check it out this summer.
- Chef’s Table: France – This Netflix Original series explores the stories of four very different Michelin starred chefs. Each chef is completely different in the style of cuisine and back story, but each clearly infuses each dish with love as well as skill. It’s an enchanting short series – and I’m not even a foodie!
- TripFiction – I’ve always loved to prepare for a trip by reading about my destination beforehand, whether it be a travelog, history, memoir, or historical fiction. And when I come home, reading about places I have discovered helps prolong the pleasure of the trip. I just discovered Trip Fiction, a website dedicated to this proposition. Search your destination and tailored recommendations pop up that you can purchase through the site. I checked their recommendations for France, and they are goodies. Even if your travels are only of the armchair variety, you will find plenty to enjoy here. Bon voyage!