02 March 2024

RIP Peter H.

Recently, I've spent a lot of time thinking and writing about my friend Charles-Henry and his passing. Now I need to share some more sad news. Another friend of mine, the food writer and excellent cook named Peter Hertzmann, passed away back in December. Peter's wife Jill sent out an e-mail in late December letting Peter's friends know that he had died. He was in his mid-70s. Sincere condolences and best wishes to Jill.

Peter at work in our little kitchen here in Saint-Aignan on a 2007 visit.

Peter was a major figure on this blog. I first met him back in 2002, soon after we had put down the money on our house here in Saint-Aignan and while we were getting our San Francisco house ready to sell. It was a friend in Rouen (Normandy) who put Peter and me in touch with each other. I didn't see him again before we left California and moved to France. French cooking was his specialty in those years. Earlier in life, he had spent several years exploring Chinese cuisine.

One thing Peter liked to do when he was here was to go see the kitchens in local châteaux. This is Peter at Montpoupon.
Chenonceau, Moulin, and Valençay were others we went to see over the years.

Peter was among our first visitors in Saint-Aignan. He was one of our most faithful readers and one of our most frequent visitors over the years. He and Jill last visited us in June 2022. I could tell that he was slowing down, but so am I. He and Jill were here for four or five days and Peter went out of the house just once during that time. That was to do some food shopping. He was fine with letting me and Walt do the cooking.

Peter Hertzmann and Jill C. in front of the wine co-op in Valençay. Where there's food there must be wine. Peter was a larger than life guy who just barely fit into my little Peugeot. If you'd like to see some of my old posts that he featured in, follow this link.

P.S. I got so busy yesterday doing research about cataracts and cataract surgery in English and in French that I totally forgot to do a blog post. Thanks again to all of you who posted comments on the subject or sent me private e-mails. I'm pulling together questions I want to be sure to ask the ophthalmologist when I next see him. That won't be for the surgery, but for taking measurements of my eyeballs to prepare for subsequent surgery.


  1. I see your Duke University sticker on the back of the car. I wonder...how often are you stopped by someone familiar with Duke?

    1. Oh, I got rid of that sticker a long time ago. While it was still on the car, I'm not sure anybody ever remarked on it or asked about it. A French friend did, though. He said he really liked that I had it there because there are so many Peugots on the roads and in the parking lots that look just like mine. If he saw the Duke sticker he knew it was me and he would look for me in whatever store it was parked in front of. Unfortunately the poor guy died in 2009 at the age of 52. He died peacefully in his sleep; his heart just stopped beating.

  2. So sorry that you’ve lost your good friend. I just googled him and found “50 Ways to Cook a Carrot”.

  3. I read all your previous posts that featured Peter Hertzmann. Thank you for the link.

  4. We are at the age where we are losing our friends. It's good to remember the good times we had. I hope your visit to the ophthalmologist goes well.

  5. Oh my goodness. Oh, so many posts about your good times with Peter H. I remember using his website with my French-4 students, during our cooking unit :)

  6. I'm so sorry you've lost another friend; this is kind of a hard time of life, isn't it? I had wondered not too long ago why we weren't seeing Peter's comments any more. -- Chrissoup


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