Two weeks ago we hosted our second Around Our Table workshop with another group likeminded ladies: a truly authentic weekend in Néac vines at Château Tournefeuille. With Ophélie we partnered with our friend Emilie from C’est Si Bon Nutrition. This time we went to discover the Bordeaux wine region near St Emilion. We were lucky with the weather clearing out each day to give us beautiful sunset light.
Aside of intense creative days of styling, cooking and photographing, we visited the Libourne market to get our fresh vegetables and fruit for the weekend, the Château Coutet winery to learn about organic wine production management, and the village of St Emilion to discover its medieval architecture. We had plenty of photographic opportunities to tell a visual story around food & wine during these 4 days. Plus driving on country roads offered lovely views of vineyards as far as the eye could see…I could never get tired of such views. It must be all turning red now as it is on Montmartre’s vineyard.
In a few words, we devoured lots of great food (Virginie’s children were happy to help us too), we shared with goodwill and joy (so many giggles)! Another unforgettable weekend.
Here are a few images that speak for themselves together with the beautiful video put together by Marine who surprised us in so many ways…
Macarons are also a well-known food tradition in St Emilion.
A brief history: The first macarons were made around 1620 by the Ursulines religious community. The recipe was kept secret and only passed on to exclusive families through generations. Nowadays Mrs Nadia Fermigier is the only one to own the original recipe after taking over from the Blanchez family and perpetuates the traditional process.
Estelle, our pastry chef, took up the challenge to find, or at least, to get as close to the original recipe.
After testing we noticed a slight difference in the almond taste, which was stronger in Mrs Fermigier’s macarons. In any case, we all agreed that they are addictive…once you eat one, you can’t stop!
Here is Estelle’s recipe:
St Emilion Macarons
Make approx. 75-80 macarons
150g almond meal
Place the eggwhites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until stiff peaks form. Gradually add 1/3 of the sugar, whisking well, until the mixture is stiff and glossy.
In a separate bowl, sieve the almond meal and mix with the rest of sugar. Add delicately it to the whisked eggwhites.
Pipe the almond mixture on a sheet of parchment paper making round shapes of approx 3 cm leaving a space of 2 cm between each macaron.
Lightly sprinkle icing sugar on top.
Bake for 8 min at 160°C / 320°F (your oven should be preheated, or until they are just coloured.
A light golden colour means that macarons will be softer. Therefore a darker colour (golden towards brown) will give a crunchier texture. So it’s up to you!
Special thanks to Mathieu, Estelle and Emilie who helped us in the kitchen.
Special thanks to the owner, Virginie who cooked for us a delicious traditional French meal and invited us into her own home. Her availability during the weekend was priceless and her “guesthouse” very comfortable for all of us, not to mention the light in the kitchen and entrance hall which became temporary photo studios.
Special thanks to Juliette at Château Coutet, who devoted a lot of her time to us making our visit an enjoyable and interesting moment.
Last but not least, a big thank you to our generous sponsors:
Gien – for their elegant and timeless tableware, so French!
Opinel – our favorite kitchen table knives.
Les Secrets de Claire – Artisan jams, jellies and caramel sauces…interesting flavours, not to mention the rhum caramel which was to die for…
Nomie – colourful spices to add flavour to your dishes (here to our buddha bowl)
Le Vitaliseur de Marion – cookware for healthy cooking.
Granhota – Artisan vinegar, perfect to boost your dressings!
Véronique Rigaudie – Handmade ceramics, her bowls were perfect for our healthy cooking activity.
La bicyclette – florist in Bordeaux, whose wild style was just what we wanted!
Our next Around Our Table workshop will take place in Marrakech – 19th to 23rd February 2018 so ‘Save the Date’!
All details will be revealed soon… Hope you can join!