Thursday, April 8, 2010
the chef upstairs... and the artist below
Six degrees of separation is a truly amazing thing. You see, I'm staying in the town of Eymet, France in a studio apartment... rented out by someone who has known my father for 30 years. It's not like this trip was planned with that in mind, heck, we'd never even met until I landed in town and we spent an afternoon together. Just another funny coincidence.
I'd like to introduce you all to The Chef and The Artist. They live in the studio above the one I am temporarily staying in; they purchased the entire building and renovated it from the inside out; the result is a quaint, beautiful, inviting home. But it's their warmth that is even more endearing; I arrived and they invited me to spend the afternoon sightseeing, visiting their new renovation project and then The Chef invited us up for dinner. Oh, how I do heart chefs :0)
On the menu; a light shrimp salad - fresh shrimp in a marinade that included mustard, shallots, garlic, oil; everything perfectly seasoned. Accompanied by blanched asparagus (my favourite of all vegetables), all laid on top of creamy buttery lettuce. Sigh. The perfect start to a meal - well, actually, the bottle of Veuve that we opened and toasted too was the absolute perfect way to start a meal, but this was the perfect entrée.
The Chef then quickly prepared duck breast for us... simply made, perfectly made; accompanied by simple potatoes - simple only in the fact that they were potatoes. Again, perfectly seasoned, cooked to perfection (with a bite but not undercooked). A French meal to be shared among new friends.
While I enjoyed the culinary delights the Chef offered, I was also able to admire the work of The Artist. Hung above their bed is a painting that just enthralls me... the geisha. The largest of a series of geisha's - this one just smiles as we sit and chat and get to know one another.
I fell in love with this painting on first sight, just as I had already fallen in love with another one of her paintings. A large tableau hung in the main entrance - three friends, arms wrapped around each other. If I stand outside on the street and look in the large window, I look into The Artist's studio; filled with images that you admire, not only for their beauty but also for the talent that created them.
What a team eh? Culinary artist in the kitchen and a talented painter... kind, generous and lovely to boot. I sure lucked out with this visit.
Merci à vous pour votre générosité :0)