In a few days I’ll be flying to Nice for two weeks at the estate in which Julia Child wrote her famous cookbook duo, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I’m already dreaming of the Riviera’s culinary landscape. What’s not to love about olives, herbs de Provence, lamb, and bouillabaisse, right?
One of my favorite experiences on the Riviera is to visit the supermarche of all supermarkets. Carrefour in Antibes is like Whole Foods, Costco and William Sonoma all under one roof…but on steroids. There are 73 check-out lines and the staff wear roller skates to traverse the seemingly football-sized-stadium offering everything that any foodie could possibly desire. There are four monstrous aisles of just yogurt alone. The place is mind-boggling. If you can’t find it here it probably doesn’t exist. Check out this quick video of the incredible store: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RXC3nbPe1o
Another special place for the food-lover to procure ingredients for a dinner or a picnique is the polar opposite of Carrefour. Cannes’ Forville Marché is a covered market in the center of the super swanky city, just a few blocks from where the star-studded film festival is held. It was one of Julia Child’s favorite places to shop, especially for fish. I’m taking both groups I’ve organized for a week’s homage a Julia here. Hopefully one of the groups will be cooking bouillabaisse that night for dinner.
Alziari's is a treasure trove for foodie gifts to bring home
My favorite olive oil producer’s shop is located in the heart of old town Nice. The Nicolas Alizari company has been producing magnifique oils since 1868. This jewel box of a store makes a perfect visit when wandering through the cobblestone streets of the historical center.
Cours Selaya market in Nice offers a bounty of fresh food products
Stunning Biot glass can be mailed home from the factory
The French Riviera offers a plethora of yummy edibles for the gourmand, however, don’t forget the mind-boggling array of Provencal fabrics to buy for your tablescape back home. Gorgeous placemats, napkins and tablecloths can be found at every outdoor market in Provence's colorful fabrics, as well as some of the area’s finest shops (but make sure you get the ones made in France and not the Chinese knockoffs). Finally, don’t forget to pay a visit to the enchanting village of Biot, where artisan glass-makers are still making the town’s famous bubble glass into stunning wine and water goblets, and over the top dinner service.