Provence

MEET MARCO, LE PROPRIÉTAIRE DE CAFÉ GABY

If you have been to Lourmarin, you know Café Gaby. Located in the center of the village on Place de l'Ormeau, where main street Rue Henri de Savornin meets Rue du Temple, Café Gaby is the hub of this charming Luberon village.

Men meet at the bar when the sun first rises
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“WHO’S AFRAID OF PETER MAYLE?”

We—or rather those of us of a certain age—grew up asking ourselves "who's afraid of the big bad wolf" and later, as adults, were compelled to ask the same question about Virginia Woolf. I've never had the occasion to pose the question about Peter Mayle, internationally known English author of a long list of wildly popular books about Provence, most notably A Year In Provence, and recipient of many honors, including the prestigious Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honor)...
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NEWS FROM AUBERGE LA FENIÈRE: REINE SAMMUT PASSES THE REINS TO DAUGHTER NADIA

After 40 years at the helm of one of Provence’s most renowned restaurants, La Fenière, Chef Reine Sammut and sommelier husband Guy are handing over the reins of the cuisine to Nadia Sammut in October. Nadia, who is the third generation of Sammuts at La Fenière, credits her grandmother and her parents for her culinary knowledge and passion for food but brings her own personal experience and education to the table, too: growing up with celiac disease and learning to cook creatively sans gluten...
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SUMMER IN PROVENCE…AND A SURFEIT OF TRUFFLES?

In all the summers we’ve spent in Provence, I have never seen any mention of summer truffles. Maybe I was drinking too much rosé to notice something I thought only surfaced in the winter—silly me—but, this summer, Tubera aestiva were on my radar…and on my...
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THE MUSÉE EXTRAORDINAIRE CELEBRATES ITS 40TH ANNIVERSARY

Forty years ago, Georges Mazoyer (1925 - 1996) opened his Musée Extraordinaire in the tiny Luberon village of Ansouis. Deep-sea diver, artist, and world-wide traveler, this extraordinarily unusual man spent ten years refurbishing the small space--a former stable--adjacent to his studio and filling it with the souvenirs of his adventures. Encouraged by friends to share his passion for underwater life, the museum was a labor of love that today is carried on by his daughter, Nicole, and her husband...
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SLEEPY ANSOUIS: ONE OF “LES PLUS BEAUX VILLAGES DE FRANCE”

In most tourist books about Provence, rarely is more than a small paragraph devoted to the charming village of Ansouis. In some popular books—notably Rick Steves’ Provence and The French Riviera—the village is not even mentioned although, remarkably, the old standard Michelin Guide: Provence includes a full page about Ansouis.It’s no wonder this beautiful village is also referred to as “sleepy and “quiet.” (Read: surprisingly few tourists.) Selfishly, I would like to keep it that way, but having spent a week there this past summer, I could see that it was not the somnolent...
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MEET MADAME CÉZANNE

Post-impressionist artist Paul Cézanne, born in Aix-en-Provence in 1839, spent most of his sixty-six years in his beloved Aix and he died there in 1906. He grew up there, studied law at the university, took art classes at the city’s Musée Granet—even won a second-place prize for his painting at that museum—and famously painted nearby Mont Sainte-Victoire some five dozen...
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PROVENCE’S LES TREIZE DESSERTS: NOT JUST ANOTHER ARTICLE ABOUT THOSE 13 DESSERTS

Regular readers of The Modern Trobadors know that thirteen desserts—Les Treize Desserts de Noël—are traditionally served on Christmas Eve in Provence, after the big supper—Le Gros Souper—which, actually, is more lean than “big” with its emphasis on herb-laced broths, seafood, and vegetables rather than meat. Ah, dear TMT reader, you can probably recite to your clueless friends what the thirteen desserts consist of and why there are...
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IN PROVENCE, OYSTERS AT CHRISTMAS ARE LIKE TURKEYS AT THANKSGIVING

It’s Christmastime in Provence and there is an unmistakable flurry of activité de Noël throughout the region.

In homes, the wheat grains has been planted in shallow bowls in hopes that it will grow straight and tall, foretelling an abundant harvest and prosperous year; the Santons have been arranged in the crèche; three white table cloths have been ironed in anticipation of le Gros Souper; and preparations are in process for...
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