01 July 2012

Peter Hertzmann's blog

If you don't know Peter Hertzmann's cooking — through his blog and other web sites — you really should have a look. He's truly an artisan — an artist, even — in the kitchen. Lately he's focused on the little dishes called amuse-bouche or amuse-gueule in France, on the "palate cleansers" (often sorbets) served in the middle of multi-course meals, and on the mini-desserts called mignardises served with after-dinner coffee.

Look at Peter's blog here, and at the list of his articles about France and French food here. The articles include an index, here, to the 975 (!) recipes on his site.

Since I don't have any food photos to post, here are a couple
of pictures of a sedum plant that's flowering right now
just outside our front door.

Peter and his wife Jill have come to Saint-Aignan from California for a short visit, before heading on to Paris for a few days and then to an international food professionals conference in Oxford. We've been cooking a lot, and eating pretty well while trying not to overdo it.

Yesterday we visited a local charcuterie (a pork butcher's delicatessen shop) and brought home a selection of French sausages — merguez, saucisson à l'ail, saucisses fumées, boudin noir — to enjoy with a batch of sweet potato fries out on the terrace in the afternoon. (The sweet potato fries were excellent, by the way, and easy to do.) Walt made a batch of his famous goat-cheese-and-rosemary mini-muffins to be our amuse-gueule before dinner.

We also went shopping in a local housewares store where Peter found several cooking and serving dishes that he'll use in creating new amuse-bouche and mignardise dishes in his kitchen in Palo Alto. We'd shopped there on past visits, and he says the range of dishes and the prices are much better than anything he finds in the U.S. That's one of the reasons why he loves France.

A fountain in Montrichard

Today we're headed to the Château de Montpoupon (link to photo) to see the château and it's old kitchen, of course, but also to have lunch at the nearby Auberge du Château. I've posted pictures of Montpoupon many times — here, for example — but we've never tried the restaurant, which has a new chef. I didn't take pictures of yesterday's food, but I'll try to get some today. Yesterday, we were too busy cooking and eating to worry with cameras...


  1. Thanks for the link to Peter's blog- I enjoyed it. Have a good day. I'm looking forward to photos of lunch.

  2. My students use Peter's website a bit during our food unit for French 4 :) It's so well-organized and informative!

    I'm sorry to admit that I don't know this: is Peter a professional in the world of cuisine, or is his website a personal pursuit, as yours is, for example?


  3. LOVE sweet potato fries. First encountered them at a local restaurant where they were served as an appetizer. Now they can be bought frozen at any supermarket. Surprisingly, they're pretty good.

  4. Judy, Peter is definitely a pro. He has been on Martha Stewart's TV show, he's written a book on knife skills, and he gives cooking lessons.


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