Friday, August 28, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
After 20 years of hanging out in Provence, I've learned to keep a few things secret. So now you're asking yourself then why's he going to tell us about this restaurant? Well I've decided I have to learn to share--they do say giving is better than receiving (though a Cartier watch wouldn't cause a problem for me anytime).
The principle plates vary from basic pizzas to dorade, ribs, duck, stuffed quail and carpaccio de boeuf with a terrific sauce.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
My friend Peter Gillespie, who lives near Aix, just returned from Arles raving about this year's Rencontres. If you've never experienced this citywide celebration of photography and graphic arts, Peter says this should be the year. He sent me this short update.
As anyone will tell you, summers in Provence are affairs of the heart: a time for day tripping, slow meals under the shade of a plane tree and long lazy evenings with friends. But Provence is also a land with a passion for summer festivals. From late June to late September, hundreds of events are scheduled offering something for everyone: from music (piano, opera, dance, hip hop) to the performing arts (folk dancing, street theater, open air concerts) and an endless run of art exhibits.
In 2009 the buzz has been all about the Picasso-Cezanne exhibit in Aix (May 25 to Sept. 27, at the Musée Granet) and the 40th anniversary of Les Rencontres de la Photographie in Arles. Les Rencontres is a two-month celebration (July 7 to September 13) of photography, with 66 exhibits in venues ranging from the church of St. Anne and the St Trophime cloisters to the SNCF rail yard where Arles, through an urban renewal project, is reinventing itself as a center for publishing and photographic arts.
Among the headline exhibits are major retrospectives of the work of Willy Ronis and the fine arts publisher Robert Delpire (500 photographs and over 150 books and prints), a poetic exhibit by American photographer and poet Duane Michals, an exhibit of the work of Japanese photographer Naoya Hatakeyama and James Allen’s collection of United States post card photos, “Without Sanctuary,” presented as a memory of mob violence and racially motivated lynchings in the Jim Crow South.
Additionally, lovers of photography will be interested in the work of 15 photographers nominated for a “Discovery 2009” prize of 25,000€. The nominated photographers are listed on the festival website: http://www.rencontres-arles.com/
Les Rencontres is much more than an exhibit. It's a citywide celebration and it's almost certainly too much to see in a single day. Whether you're an avid photographer or simply looking for a reason to explore Arles, the Rencontres, with lunch at any number of inexpensive sidewalk cafés either on the Place Voltaire or the Place du Forum, would certainly be worth your while.
Admission is by pass, which may be purchased for the day or for the entire season. All but a few of the exhibits require admission. For ticket pricing and information about on-going special events, contact the Arles Office of Tourism, 04-90-18-41-20 or the Rencontres office: 04-90-96-76-06.
Photo: Hyper 08 by Denis Darzacq (denis.darzacq.revue.com/) His work is on display at Le Capitole until August 30th. The gallery is at #14, blvd. Emile Zola in Arles.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
The blog developed a huge following and Julie got a book deal. And now it's been turned into a movie, with a screenplay by Nora Ephron, who also directed. Meryl Streep plays Julia Child and everyone says she's brilliant. Stanley Tucci plays Paul Child the adored husband, the man responsible for giving Julia her very first taste of France. (He was in the foreign service and they accepted a posting to Paris.)
In France, Child "found herself" in the kitchen. She studied cooking at the Cordon Bleu and in Provence, then returned to the US and introduced Americans to French food though her books and TV shows, the first of which, The French Chef, you've probably seen parodied once or twice. Child broke barriers left and right, charmed everyone she met, paved the way for celebrity chefs and did scores of great things for the food world. (Her kitchen is now in the Smithsonian.)
The movie also follows the lives of Julia and Paul Child during their years in France (1948-1954), through Child's memoir, My Life in France (a wonderful book). Ephron, the critics say, has woven the two memoirs together beautifully...two strong and talented women finding professional purpose through food.
Julie & Julia opens Friday in the U.S. and I'll be there for sure, with a gaggle of my foodie gal pals beside me. It opens in the U.K. Sept. 11th and in France Sept. 16th. Reviews and features are all over the internet so I won't bother to give you a link. But I will do as Julia always did and wish you a hearty "Bon Appetit!"