France’s southernmost region, Provence, is an area of remarkable natural beauty, but it's also a culinary wonderland for the food-lover. Bordering Italy and the Mediterranean Sea, Provence is a gastronomic symphony combining France’s best olive oils, spectacular wines (Chateauneuf du Pape, Bandol, and a plethora of Rosé in 50-plus-shades-of-pink), truffles, a mind-blowing selection of goat cheeses, and colorful outdoor Provençal food markets. Both the rugged beauty and this treasure trove of food brought Julia Child to Provence in the late 1950’s.
Julia Child changed America’s way of eating and both of her ground-breaking cookbooks, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, were written in Provence. During this time American cuisine was built around convenience. Women, who were joining the workforce for the first time, didn’t have time to cook. Frozen and canned food were mainstays for working mothers. Quick and easy were themes: canned sloppy Joe’s, frozen fish sticks and TV dinners were all popular, and even orange juice was instant. It was a sad time in our country’s food history.
In 1961 Julia's first volume of Mastering the Art of French Cooking was published. But, it wasn’t until two years later with her television debut on The French Chef that American housewives first saw a brave new world for cooking. With her disarming personality, Julia demystified not only French cooking, but cooking in general in regards to using fresh foods. By the 1970’s Julia had become a celebrity, making food and cooking as much a part of American pop culture as rock ‘n roll, fashion, and art.
The villa in Provence where Julia wrote both volumes of her revolutionary cookbooks still exists. In fact, Wine-Knows has leased it in September 2022. Participants will dine at some of Julia’s favorite restaurants, visit her beloved olive oil producer, and shop at the local outdoor markets she so loved. Moreover, there will be excursions to her most treasured hilltop towns and seaside resorts.
The trip has been perfectly timed for Provence’s most idyllic time of year….after the height of the tourist season and at the most favorable time for perfect weather (late summer/early autumn). One week has only two openings for culinary travelers to visit “mecca.” Why not celebrate the COVID vaccine’s arrival by booking a trip for 2022?
Provence has played a huge part in shaping the current foodie scene in America. Come join one of Wine-Knows' 2022 groups on a wine and culinary adventure to honor Madame Child.
Viva Julia Child! Viva Provence!