Bouillabaisse in Marseilles

This blog of mine is inspired by National Geographic’s book  “Food Journeys of a Lifetime”. On that book’s list is to have real Bouillabaisse in Marseilles where the dish originated. Cousin Cinnamon was kind enough to drive from Istres to  Vieux Port in Marseilles.  Cin even ordered Rose wine with the dish to complete the experience. Thanks to her I can now say I had real Bouillabaisse in historic Marseilles.

Interesting to know is that the French Chefs signed a charter to define the ingredients of an authentic Bouillabaisse. Rascasse (scorpoinfish), congre(eel), red gurnard, and John Dory fish are the four main ingredients that should be present to consider the dish authentic.  It should also be served with  rouille (a mayonnaise like sauce with peppers or cayenne) on a crust of bread.

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Ice cream in the medieval town of Miramas

Summer in France is 38 degrees! Almost as hot as the tropical Philippine Islands were I come from. So to cool off I am treated to ice cream in the quaint and well persevered medieval town of Miramas.  When I get there I realize why my Italian fashion photographer cousin Alessandro Fuentebella Rabonni loves the place. It is situated on a mountain top and has an outstanding view of Istres and the Mediterranean Sea. My glaces (ice cream) order arrives and it is bigger than a water pitcher. Oh my! It is made up of vanilla, chocolate, chocolate sauce, chantilly (whipped cream historically invented by Chef Vatel), lavender and violet glaces. And for something really French it is topped with Calisson. Heavenly and divine to have during such hot weather… and guess what I finished it!!!!

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A Degustation of French Olive Oils

olive1The South of France is known for their olive oil.  My gourmand aunt brought the family to Saint-Rémy-de-Provence for some olive oil tasting. This was a real treat for me since I teach garde manger in school. One of the topics in that class is learning how to make different kinds of vinaigrette and infused oils. olive2

I have been to quite a number of wine tastings but a degustation of oilve oils was a first for me.  The format was very similar but instead we were given little tasting spoons and pieces of bread so we could sample the eight different concoctions one by one.  First pure olive oil, then we were made to try the infused ones like truffle oil and later the different pulpy and fruity vinagrettes.  Also part of the selection was trying olive, mushroom, and truffle tapenade.

olive3olive5In our family food is taken seriously. Here my nephews  and nieces are starting their gourmet lessons at a very young age.

The markets of Gordes Provence


Since time in memorial TUESDAY morning is known as market day in Gordes.  Gordes is a very beautiful mountain village located in the area of Luberon in Provence France. The village has a castle and the view from the mountain top is fantastic! In the surrounding plains below one can get a glimpse of the beautiful lavender fields, olive trees orchards, and the vineyards. The lavender fields were already harvested when I arrived in August to my disappointment. However market day compensated for upon see all the produce and food products…. I felt like I was in culinary heaven!!!

gordesMarket day with Jude Orlino, Alessandro Rabboni, Serena Sabatini, Cinnamon and Axelle Van Besauw, Francesca Rabboni, Flavio, Gian Pa0lo Rabboni with Jennifer, Elsja Borromeo and kids, and Jay Orlino at the cafe and location of Russel Crowe’s movie “A Good Year” was filmed in Gordes. (Cedric and Jasmine Van Besauw, Sam, Claire Proctor were also with us but not in the picture.  Sadly group photo was taken by fashion photographer Jackie Borromeo, the summer before he passed away.  )

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