By a happy coincidence, on publication day of this book we acquired a small house at the end of the village in Saint Montan. The mayor placed a copy of the French edition on display in the mairie before the book moved to its permanent home on a shelf of the village library. I open the book with a detailed list of forty culinary herbs from angelica to verbena that have been integral to French cooking for centuries. Portraits of herb gardens, French markets and the rural landscape enliven the pages. Back in the flag-stoned kitchen of our Devon farmhouse, I prepared and cooked the recipes for Linda Burgess to photograph in the garden – this involved her setting up the shot then watching the weather before I hurried outside with each dish to capture the most favourable conditions.
Another fine and personal book from Geraldene Holt. Mrs Holt is the best kind of teacher, not handing down rigid, hard and fast rules, but instead encouraging individual style and creativity. She is an admirable role model, interpreting so sensitively the deeply rooted traditions of the cuisine of the South of France. This is all you want a cookbook to be – wise, personal, beautiful, colorful – all that and great recipes too.” Grace Kirschenbaum, International Cookbook Review.