Tag Archives: Two Bordelais

TWO BORDELAIS are back in Bordeaux

Denise and Jean Pierre Moullé, former executive chef at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, have, as I’ve said before, the best culinary tour in France. They’ve been sharing their home, friends and family in the region around Bordeaux with Americans from New York to San Francisco for over 20 years. As most of their guests stay here at La Forge I get to spend the week with some of the most interesting people around my breakfast table. You might want to check out their web site: http://www.twobordelais.com/

This weeks tour was no exception as you can see from the photos.

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A week in the Basque Country with the “Two Bordelais”, Jean Pierre and Denise Moullé, this september was a delight for everyone on the tour. With François Bartaburu’s B&B in St Palais as our home base we rode though and trekked the hills and valleys of the Basque country visiting the local artisans and farmers: walking sticks and table linens as well as fresh smoked trout, black pig hams and aged ewe cheeses…everything was even more delicious after our walks. Having lived for many years in the Pays Basque I was happy to share my adopted “pays” and friends with everyone.

As Denise wrote on their website:  http://www.twobordelais.com/

“When one thinks of France what comes to mind is not necessarily the diversity of cultures that make up our small country. The Pays Basque is certainly one of the most striking example. Its persistence to keep alive its unique culture in a country that has long wanted a unified idea behind the word ‘France’ and in a world that seems to be more and more homogeneous, the Pays Basque makes us respect the differences it has been able to cultivate.

We want you to meet the local people and invite you inside private homes. We want you to learn how they live with their past history, share their passions of today and their dreams for the future.”

With Jean Pierre, chef at Chez Pannise in Berkeley, CA ,our meals were delicious with the local produce and his expert hand…in hand with his daughter, Elsa, an accomplished chef herself.

Among other local foods Michel Goicoechea’s  smoked trout,

“les Truites de Banka”,  was one of our favorites.

The trout, raised in almost their own natural stream bed,

take up to five years before they are caught and smoked.


for information on the 2012 tour check the web site: http://www.twobordelais.com/

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I was delighted to see my classified ad in the new Christian Science Monitor this week. Because I came to France 40 years ago due to a Monitor ad, I hopeful that this one will entice new guests to come to France as well !

I knew when I started this blog that I might not write every day…or even every week, but now it’s almost a month since D day, when I last wrote. Many guests have come and gone to my B&B at La Forge…I have more and more French guests through a wonderful web site http://www.guidesdecharme.com/

We had several cooking classes during the past month, with two wonderful cooks: Xavier Fages, a teacher at the restaurant and hotel lycée in Libourne, and Jean Pierre Moullé from Chez Panise in Berkely, CA and his group from http://www.twobordelais.com/

I’m going to use this blog to keep you up to date with what our cooks are doing as well. Take a look at our new recipe file !

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Taking a group of americans  to discover the gastronmy of the French pasture land with my friend Jean Pierre Moullé, our stop along the Normandy beaches turned out to be one of the most emotional moments of my life here in France. High above the cliffs I looked down on those beaches where hudrends of young american soldiers arrived laden with arms and the conviction that they were going to free Europe from Hitler’s hands. For most of them it was their first time out side of their own country. Hundreds stayed forever in this gentle Normandy countryside and I met them in the white fields of crosses covering acres along the French coast. They were mostly they same age as I was when I first arrived in France 24 years later….and I stayed too…to live in a France freed by them.  The French, though they sometimes seem to forget, are ever greatful to those young men.

The Peace Museum in Caen is a wonderful “merci!” to them all….don’t miss it when you come to Normandy !

For the next tour to Normandy with Jean Pierre and Denise Moullé check their web site: http://www.twobordelais.com

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