Maybe I should have titled this post, cooking with one of my favorite authors. When Sunset magazine, May 2010 issue, featured a wonderful "taste journey" about Georgeanne Brennan's new "Provence in California Culinary Weekends," I was ecstatic.
I have an affinity for Provence, and so does Georgeanne Brennan. I satiate my Provence fix with "two week stays" in Provence, while Georgeanne Brennan has lived off and on in Provence for over thirty years. Now mainly residing in Northern California on a beautiful 10 acre farm, she shares her Provencal cooking expertise in day, and weekend classes.
I thought I had read most of Georgeanne Brennan books until she mentioned in our cooking class she has authored and co-authored over 30 books. Hearing that, reinforces my esteemed opinion of her as a forceful food visionary, placing her alongside Alice Waters, Rosalind Creasy, Michael Pollan, and distinguished others.
Meeting Georgeanne Brennan is such a delight. Immediately you are ease with the peaceful energy she exudes, and the easy going comfortable way she manages her cooking classes. Her cooking classes usually are small and intimate with about 6 students, because they are hands-on cooking classes, pairing up with a new friend to make each recipe.
Georgeanne Brennan's culinary classes generally start at the classy Davis Farmer's Market, where students are given "market dollars" and their own list of ingredients to buy and bring back to her kitchen. Before actually cooking preparation starts, it is out into her massive potager to gather more fresh ingredients for our soon-to-be-made recipes. You can almost close your eyes, and believe you are in Provence. Fresh, seasonal ingredients. Colorful Provencal recipes. Beautiful country ambiance.
Two hours of cooking and baking merits a break for appetizers and Provence rose wine outside under her gigantic walnut tree. Back inside to finish our class, assembling and serving up a gastronomic experience, relaxing at a sit down lunch together sharing tips on making the recipes, stories from Georgeanne, and fun!
Georgeanne Brennan is busy. A new cheese cookbook out this spring with Williams-Sonoma. Her "Provence in California Culinary Weekends" are popular and sell out fast. She frequently posts seasonal recipes on her website, Georgeanne Brennan. She is frequently asked to write articles for many national magazines, and is on the guest chef circuit at the world renown spa, Rancho La Puerta.
When I think of Georgeanne Brennan, I think of inspiration. Inspiration for fresh, vibrant food. Inspiration for seasonal growing and eating. Inspiration of the Provence culture. Inspiration for the passion of food. Inspiration for sharing a great meal with family and friends. Thank you Georgeanne.