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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Learning What is Really Behind the French Menu. A guest post by Nadège Lepoittevin.

 Guest Post by Nadège Lepoittevin.
It is only rarely that I mention a company or product by name. but Nadège Cuisine Tours offer travel plans close to my heart. This tour company offers such a planned and balanced introduction to French cuisine that I asked them to write an article about themselves. 
The authenticity and originality of these tours are due to their creator, Nadège Lepoittevin.  Nadège spent the first twenty years of her life in a small village not far from Cherbourg, Normandy.  There she developed a passion for cooking that has never left her.
Nadège reminds us.

The “Repas Gastronomique” is the unique French gastronomic meal listed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.  This festive meal  brings people together “to enjoy the art of good eating and drinking.”  The authentic "repas" includes an aperitif, a starter, a main course, a cheese course, a dessert and a digestif.  The best ingredients are used, they are fresh and often seasonal. The recipes are selected with care, paired with wines and served on a decorated table.

Nadege Cuisine Tours are all about heritage and authenticity. The authenticity of the traditional French recipes you will discover come with the authenticity of the places you visit, and the authenticity of the people you meet.

The destinations

You are offered four French destinations: Normandy, Burgundy, Champagne[i] and the Bordeaux  [ii]region. Whichever Nadege Cuisine Tour you choose, you will learn what is behind traditional French recipes and the preparation of the meals. In Normandy, you visit a French pastry workshop and get to taste its delightful pastries. In Burgundy, you will visit a sweet factory, within the walls of an ancient abbey dating from 719, to discover how their delicious “anis[iii]” sweets (candies) managed to keep the same recipe over many centuries. You will visit chocolateries[iv], cidreries,[v] vineyards, and fruit farms where they make their own jam. After the tour, you will never eat French products the way you did before; you will know more than just how the products are made.

Behind the French Menu
With Nadege Cuisine Tours you will understand what really is behind a French menu. You will discover and select the ingredients for different menus at markets, farms, and artisanal shops. You may choose to cook the dishes yourselves, and that allows you to understand the true meaning of French cuisine.  In the Bordeaux region, you may visit an Espelette [vi]chili farm.  There you will learn how to cook this traditional chili and other products on a plancha[vii] and enjoy the lunch made with the ingredients we have chosen. In Normandy, you may pick wild stinging nettles in the countryside and cook a delicious, vibrant green, nettle soup. In Nuit Saint Georges, the home of one of France’s most famous Burgundy wines, you will discover everything there is to know about truffles[viii]. You may choose to accompany a truffle dog to understand how they find this golden fungus!

Visiting the markets to buy the most appealing fresh ingredients for a cooking class or a picnic is what, your host, Nadège, calls the authenticity of the menu. Besides the cooking classes, you will learn more about French cooking by meeting the artisans who create the cooking utensils. As an example, you will learn the advantages of copper kitchen utensils from visiting a village where nearly all the copper pots and pans in France are made.

Celebrating French cuisine.
Authenticity isn’t just about cooking classes, workshops or French markets. By eating in restaurants from bistros [ix]to Michelin[x] starred restaurants, Nadège Cuisine Tours bring you into the relationship the French people have with food. Dining in France means so much more than just sharing a meal. The French people love to celebrate.  A meal begins with an aperitif followed by wines in the wine regions, and ciders in the apple growing regions and is concluded with a digestif. During these tours, you will visit wine estates, cidreries, Champagne, and Armagnac [xi]cellars with opportunities for tastings. You will enjoy learning about the French passion for these drinks.

In France, eating in silence is impossible as sharing a meal is also getting to know the company. During the visits, restaurants owners come to your table to talk to you and chefs come out of their kitchens to check customer satisfaction. That emphasizes the connection between the chefs and the customers.  Then in Normandy Nadege’s family joins you to eat, drink and even speak and sing in French.
You may choose a guided tour where Nadège is your dedicated host, guide, cooking instructor, translator, friend, and chef!  Or you may select a self-drive tour where you follow Nadège’s footsteps at your own rhythm.

Nadège Lepoittevin
Nadege Cuisine Tours

Connected posts:

Behind the French Menu’s links include hundreds of words, names, and phrases that are seen on French menus. There are over 400 articles that include over 2,500 French dishes with English translations and explanations.  Just add the word, words or phrase that you are searching for to the words "Behind the French Menu" and search with Google or Bing.

Guest Post by Nadège Lepoittevin.  2017

Behind the French Menu
Copyright 2010, 2017.
For information on the unpublished book behind this blog contact Bryan Newman