Friday, February 15, 2013

Another Fine French Cookbook Giveaway!


Here in Provence, chef Reine Sammut and her husband Guy oversee a glorious sun-drenched realm called the Auberge de la Fenière. The property is home to a four-star country-style hotel with 16 rooms; a fine-dining restaurant serving up traditional fare in a contemporary setting; a country-style bistro called La Cour de Ferme; a cooking school and more…all of it tucked into a gorgeous, unspoiled corner of the Luberon region, between the villages of Lourmarin and Cadenet. 

L’Auberge de la Fenière is known for the beauty of the surroundings, the charm of the main old mas (farmhouse), the warmth of the welcome and the quality of the cuisine. It’s also known for great impromptu parties, with Guy’s rock band on stage. Mention Reine and Guy Sammut in these parts and people smile. I don’t know them personally but I’ve long admired their accomplishments. And yes, her name means ‘’Queen’’—how great is that?

So when Reine’s publisher (Hachette Livre, Editions du Chêne) got in touch recently to see if I’d like to give away a few copies of her new book, I couldn’t have been more delighted. Reine Sammut: Mediterranean Cuisine comes out officially next month…but it's already popping up in bookstores and can be found on Amazon here.  It’s Reine’s second book, it’s available in French and in English, and it looks fantastique!

Born and raised in Frizon, a small village in the east of France (in the Vosges), Reine arrived in Provence when she was 14. She planned to be a dentist but fell in love with Guy…and his family…and Provencal food. She started to work at Guy’s family’s inn, the Fenière de Lourmarin, alongside his mom Claudette. Step by step, she mastered the flavors, techniques, ingredients and signature dishes—and became a serious Provençale chef.  (She also delves into the cuisines of Sicily, Malta, Tunisia and other Mediterraean neighbors.)

Eventually, Claudette passed the business to Reine and Guy…and they’ve been welcoming friends and strangers here for a remarkable 35 years. Daughters Julia and Nadia have their own careers but are often around as well.

To help her produce the 256-page book, Reine chose author Anne Garabedian (who who started cooking and baking seriously at age 10) and her husband, photographer Jean-Philippe Garabedian (also an accomplished cook). The two spent a full season at the Auberge, to capture in glorious detail the experience of learning to cook with Reine in Provence.

‘’We didn’t want to create an impersonal book, with recipes and a accompanying photos,’’ Anne explains. ‘’Rather, we wanted to tell the story of the cookery course so that readers would feel as though they’d taken part. A cookery course ‘as if you were there’, with recipes, tips, variations, know-how, and accounts from delighted students.’’

Peter Mayle, a neighbor and good friend, wrote the forward to the book. Peter says:

‘’I have admired and enjoyed the cuisine of Reine Sammut for at least 10 years – years during which I never had a disappointing meal, or even a disappointing mouthful…. I hope Reine will forgive me when I say that,  for me, what she produces from her kitchen is home cooking, but home cooking elevated to the highest degree of sophistication and refinement. It is generous, it tastes wonderful and, as you will see from the pages that follow, it is remarkably accessible. You don’t need a kitchen filled with test tubes, a team of assistants, or a university degree in multi-sensory perception. Good ingredients, enthusiasm, and close attention to Reine’s tips and advice will help you achieve a level of cooking that will surprise you.’’

OK, on to the free books!  The publisher and their US distributor, ACC Distribution, have offered me two to give away. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment under ''comments'' below. The more creative your comment, the better! And please be sure to leave your email address too or we won't be able to reach you if you win; signing in with your Google address is not enough.

Meanwhile, if you want to experience the Auberge de la Fenière, you can read all about it here. And if you go, don’t be surprised to find Mr. Mayle at the next table.  ‘’One of the great treats of spring, for my wife and I,’’ he writes, ‘’is the prelude to that first lunch eaten outside on the terrace of La Fenière,  menu in one hand, a glass of rosé in the other, taste buds tingling with anticipation. Heaven!’’

Photos: The book (which is available in French and English), the Auberge de la Feniere, Reine Sammut...and photos from the book, which is meant to capture the experience of a class at Reine's cooking school. All photos except landscape by Jean-Philippe Garabedian.

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40 comments:

  1. I would love to won this book to add to my collection. Especially because it comes from the Luberon, where I have dined many times. The photo of the squash flower is going to be a recipe I will look forward too.
    I wish me luck.
    cigalechanta@hotmail.com

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  2. I love authentic French cooking...the recipes look like they would stretch me beyond my comfort zone! Thanks for offering up such a great giveaway! SDawsonH@yahoo.com

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  3. Hi Julie, You always have such great give-aways, but I wish you had a way for us to give our email address privately, as most websites do. I prefer not to leave it publicly. (The book does look wonderful!)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Karene,
      Thanks for the compliment and comment. I know the email address is a problem. There are four ways for readers to comment on my blog; that's what Google's Blogger program offers. But people often choose a way that leaves me no way of finding them. For example, I clicked your name and it took me to your site but I see no email address (or content) there! I'll have a look around some other blogs and see if there's a better solution. All the Best!

      Delete
    2. Thank you for trying--you're right--I haven't publicized my email yet. And I just set up my blog, but haven't posted anything yet either (as you saw!). I just know that when I have entered other contests, we are asked to leave our email for the administrator, but it says it won't be made public. Thank you for looking into it!

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  4. Hi Julie,
    Would love to win this book. We love Provence, and spend a month there every year.
    AlpillesGal

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  5. Ah, j'aimerais bien gagner ce beau livre, car j'aurais toujours souhaiter apprendre cuisiner comme en Provence! Hopefully commenting in French is considered "creative" enough to win! Although if I do win I would like the book in English please. Thanks for the chance! wendy.blue@mail.mcgill.ca

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  6. Dear Julie, Love your postings and would love to have this book. Cheri (hletergo@aol.com)

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  7. Julie, I feel greedy applying for this book since I just won another, but I spent a day at Reine's cooking class several years ago, and I know that this will be a great book because she is a magnificent chef and cooking instructor. I would love to have her cookbook to add to my collection.
    Geraldine Ventura
    gerrybonj@aol.com

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  8. I wonder if we, without the benefit of a Mediterranean climate, can really take advantage of such a wonderful culinary "course". We don't have those wonderful melons from Cavaillon, or the deep red delicious fraises de bois, the unique taste of lavender honey. It would be intriguing to try to capture the flavors and dishes of beautiful Provence. I would love to try.
    Jacqueline Bucar (jdbucar@maine.rr.com)

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  9. I wonder if we, without the benefit of a Mediterranean climate, can really take advantage of such a wonderful culinary "course". We don't have those wonderful melons from Cavaillon, or the deep red delicious fraises de bois, the unique taste of lavender honey. It would be intriguing to try to capture the flavors and dishes of beautiful Provence. I would love to try.
    Jacqueline Bucar (jdbucar@maine.rr.com)

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  10. On my first trip to Provence I hitch-hiked through the region and enjoyed steak frites on a glass plate at the camping ground. More recently I stayed in an apartment in Cucuron and enjoyed sumptuous food all around the Luberon. Food always tastes better in Provence!
    grussellt@gmail.com

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  11. On my first trip to Provence I hitch-hiked through the region and enjoyed steak frites on a glass plate at the camping ground. More recently I stayed in an apartment in Cucuron and enjoyed sumptuous food all around the Luberon. Food always tastes better in Provence!
    grussellt@gmail.com

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  12. What a magnificent book...I would love to own this book. Thanks for having the giveaway.
    Kristin
    rockymountainbirder at gmail dot com

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  13. Voila ..to the french and esp Provence for their wonderful food and wine.. dotti
    cahilldot@aol.com

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  14. This looks like my kind of book.....fingers crossed i win!

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  15. Jules

    The book sounds great and let me know when we are going to the cooking school together!

    Robert

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  16. Bonjour Julie....love your posts and your giveaways....I love a chance to add to my growing French cookbook collection....I'm a Francophile to the Nth degree and trips to Provence are what I live for....I try to travel to France three times each year and cover as much ground as possible. L’Auberge de la Fenièrear is definitely going to the top of my list of places I must visit...merci..Georgette gren107103@aol.com

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  17. Mais oui, Julie!
    Unfortunately, I don't spend weeks in France every summer. I don't eat wonderful culinary seven course meals in exclusive restaurants in Provence and I don't wander the markets searching for fresh fruit and vegetables under a bright blue sky.
    But oh, how I wish I could!
    So, this cook book must belong to someone like me, so I can cook and dream and wish that I can go back once again...
    Merci!
    lena.halvarsson@comcast.net

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  18. This would be a gift for my husband who is the cook extraordinaire in our home!
    I have been a fan of Peter Mayle's for many years so if this is a favorite of his, I would love it and hope to eat there one day!
    Bonne chance a moi!!!!!!!!!
    waltdev@knology.net

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  19. Goodness, how divine is Provence and its food and people. I've spent memorable times there and can see myself living out my life there, just have to convince my husband. Great giveaway. Thank you.
    cheriduzanica@gmail.co,

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  20. I would love to win a copy of this book extraordinaire. I was blessed to spend a summer study abroad with my university a few years back and would love to win this book and allow me to return to Provence if only through your culinary temptations. Merci beaucoup.
    Laurel
    cheflaurel at yahoo dot com

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  21. I would love to win a copy of this book extraordinaire. I was blessed to spend a summer study abroad with my university a few years back and would love to win this book and allow me to return to Provence if only through your culinary temptations. Merci beaucoup.
    Laurel
    cheflaurel at yahoo dot com

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  22. Gorgeous Provencal countryside, stellar photography (love the squash blossom shot), the freshest produce available, and a recommendation by Peter Mayle--this sounds like a book I would covet. I can't think of a better way beat the winter Indiana blues and magically transport myself to the south of France. I'd love to have this book! Carole
    sendmeyer@sbcglobal.net

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  23. Our patio, dressed in a non authentic Provencal fabric would be a fabulous place to serve the wonderful, I am sure, dishes present in this new book. Ah, not quite a true auberge, however, a great view of Pikes Peak. Friends cannot wait!
    verscolo@gmail.com

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  24. I just did a great hands-on cooking class with a 1* chef this morning - lovely, relaxed atmosphere in the kitchen and fun, not to mention the lunch was delicious! Mediterranean Magic!

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  25. Mon marie vien de Arles and I am would love to
    live in the region. As I type this message, he is in the kitchen cooking like a good Frenchman (also because I originally come from Scotland and we boil or fry all our food, so he cooks out of self preservation lol).

    I would love a copy of the cook book for him and maybe just maybe it will inspire me to make a meal he will actually enjoy.

    sharon : weebreezefarm@gmail.com

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  26. I'll cook you dinner from the book Jules.

    Ginny irishone@prodigy.net

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  27. If I don't win a copy, which I'd love to, this will be at the top of my cookbooks to buy list! Merci Julie for bringing this fabulous new book to your readers' attention :) Kelly kbateman19@comcast.net

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  28. We are among the most fortunate. We have stayed at Auberge la Feniere. We have eaten there, at both restaurants. We have taken friends to eat there. We have taken cooking class. I even bought the book when first published in French, just to look at the photos. And now, the opportunity to bring home the taste? Priceless.

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  29. As I sit here watching the snow fall outside my North Carolina window, Reine's cookbook would probably 'beam me over'. mjprovence@gmail.com

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  30. Wistfully, I read over your fabulous post on Reine's new cookbook. And I could just picture myself with it on a bookstand on my butcher's block, open to a fabulous recipe using pork, which I would make using the meat of one of my hogs - a glass of Rose in my hand and a smile on my lips. A hint of the anticipation of the final product that is so gloriously photographed and displayed on the pages of the cookbook, I can almost smell and taste it...
    tricia@thecatsmeowllc.com

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  31. We don't have a single authentic French cookbook in our collection (Julia Child would be horrified) so keeping my fingers crossed...
    ssremington(at)gmail(dot)com

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  32. I'm saving up for a trip to Provence, but meanwhile, having a little flavor of Provencial cuisine right in my kitchen will definitely keep me happy until I have the real thing!! travelanddance1 @ gmail

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  33. Hmmm,what can I write that is so compelling that I might find this wonderful cookbook in my mailbox? Well, I have Sammut's earlier cookbook, La Cuisine de Reine, and I am smitten with it--the Beignets de fardines farcies a la brousse et a la menthe are so good that they make the most timid eater love sardines (and whine for more!). But, my book is in French so, with my minimal French, cooking is always a group effort! Fun, but I would love to be able to really read one of Reine Sammut's cookbooks! I'll never be able to recreate the fabulous cuisine we have enjoyed in her restaurants, but I will continue to try!

    Does that work? Okay, I would love to write about Reine's food on my blog which is about all things Provence, especially related to the area surrounding Lourmarin!

    Thanks Julie for such terrific posts! Good luck to all!

    susan@themoderntrobadors.com

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  34. French cooking I know nothing about, but this book looks like just what I need to learn! Thank you for a chance!

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  35. My wife and I love our trips to France - and a very important aspect of our visits is the food!! We love eating and learning about and cooking French cuisine. Your book would be a spectacular addition to our library and will be well read and referenced. And we would be happy to provide you feedback on the items we prepare. Was in Paris last October and a highlight of our trip was a day with Paule Caillat, walking the market, learning, preparing a meal and dining in her beautiful kitchen and apartment. Thanks for the opportunity to win your book! loumartel@comcast.net

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  36. Hi Julie!
    That place looks delightful love the twisted squash blossoms(like me) and if that place is good enough for you and Peter Mayle I know I would love to have a bit of it im my kitchen,since I recently spent a week freezing in Paris I dream of sunny Provence. Hope you are doing fine Maryanne xo beadboardupcountry@sbcglobal.net

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  37. Hi,
    Who doesn't love a free cookbook, and I certainly can always use another in my collection. While I may have trained in the classical French cuisine I have not done much contemporary French in quite some time. Could be quite interesting. Consider me signed up for the giveaway.
    chefhenry(@)hotmail.com

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  38. We went to Provence for the first time two years ago and loved it! The climate and plants are much like that of Southern California. We spent one day in the Luberon, visiting Domaine Gauby. I get my French "fix" by reading your blog and would love to have this cookbook. I enjoy cooking very much and I'm sure this would be a delightful reminder of a beautiful part of the world!

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