We love Michael Ruhlman’s writing, whether it’s in a cookbook, his blog or even twitter. But this article in the July issue of Conde Nast Traveler about his culinary pilgrimage to Gascony is enough to make the stomach rumble. It’s possible that we are a little biased; Ariane is quoted in the article, and of course, she is Gascon to the bone.
Settle in and give Michael your undivided attention for a little while. You will be rewarded with an appreciation for Gascony; the people, the beauty of the countryside, the way that agriculture and food are intertwined, and the intense devotion to eating, drinking and living well.
Plus, you will get a sense of the ethos that built D’Artagnan, as Ariane has worked for 28 years to bring these sensibilities to the culinary scene in the United States.
Breakfast at the Kitchen at Camont. Photo: Gentl & Hyers, Conde Nast Traveler
You may want to pour yourself a glass of wine (or Armagnac) to sip while you find out why ancient Gascony is France’s new foodie destination. And then book your trip. It’s that inspiring.
- The rolling hills of Gascony, France. Photo: Gentl & Hyers, Conde Nast Traveler
Charcutepalooza, The Year of Meat. Who could imagine that a single cookbook would inspire a nation to preserve meat competitively for a year? If it’s Michael Ruhlman’s classic book “Charcuterie” and Cathy and Kim, then Charcutepalooza is the result. A year ago, they threw down a challenge to a few dozen fellow food bloggers. Make one charcuterie item per month for a year, and blog about the experience. They figured a few online friends would poke around in the kitchen and learn together. But their numbers grew to over 300 participants around the world. It seemed like everyone wanted to be in on the fun!
We were happy to support the meaty needs of the Charcutepalooza-ers with discounted pricing all year, and to serve on the judges’ panel. The author of the best blog post—it’s hard to taste charcuterie over the web!—would win a week in France, and the admiration of fellow charcutiers. Not to mention the happy side effect of eating lots of charcuterie all year. The stakes were high, the world of meat was watching.
Photo courtesy of Peter Barrett
And since we were not anxiously waiting for duck prosciutto to age on a deadline, it seemed like the Year of Meat flew past. Before we knew it, we were reading the final blog posts. They spoke of victory in the kitchen, education at the farmers market and the highs and lows that you encounter when cooking. While all the blog posts were impressive, educational and even moving (yes, curing meat can be emotional!), the ultimate triumph went to A Cook Blog by Peter Barrett.
Peter Barrett Outstanding in His Field
We congratulate Peter on his creative, charming, knowledgeable and stunning post Gratitude is the Attitude which clinched the win. It left us breathless and hungry! His blog has always impressed us with its clever turns of phrase and ambitious recipes, and we look forward to reading more from his corner of the world. And we expect a full report from France on his blog later this year.