Lunch in Provence is more than just a meal. It's a joyful celebration of what the region has to offer. And trust us, Provence's bounty — with its centuries-old heritage and devoted producers — is soul food.
A lot of you asked about what I packed for France so I wanted to give you my tips. I tend to dress differently in France than I do here in Los Angeles—more monochromatic and minimal with a bit of edge—as in more Charlotte Gainsbourg, less Kardashian and my packing reflects that.
Napa will always have a place in my heart. When I lived in San Francisco, I'd day trip there on the regular. And though there are plenty of amazing places, Bouchon Bistro will always be a go-to for me. It feels like France in the midst of California wine country: the zinc counter, the bakery, and swoon-worthy salmon rillettes.
On the Paris endangered eats list is the Jambon-Beurre sandwich. Nothing more than a super amazing baguette with salted French butter and Parisian ham, it's the simplest combo but a good version is harder and harder to find.
People are really particular about this sandwich. If we're calling a spade a spade, it's basically Niçoise Salad in a sandwich but people tend to get really offended if you say that. So, instead, I'll just say this: on my trip to Provence, I was eating this sandwich on the regular. There are countless variations, but this version is my favorite.
After falling in love with a Frenchmen and moving to Paris on a whim, Lindsey Tramuta -- author of the wonderfully captivating sit Lost in Cheeseland -- has spent the last 8 years uncovering the city's hidden gems, which she shares in her One Perfect Day Paris.
When Alex and Joann told us about their oh-so-perfect summer lunch in Provence, we were green with envy and we were totally in love with the sound of that tapenade. So, we set out to make our own and we kept it simple with garlic, lemon, olives, and lots of olive oil and thyme. It's a dream paired with goat cheese on a crusty baguette but, deliciousness aside, we're still jealous of the girls' trip to Provence!
Props to the French for always finding a way to sneak cheese into everything from soufflés to dessert and cheese puffs. Okay, to call gougeres cheese puffs really doesn’t do them justice. Gougeres are a very special cheese puffs because they’re made with the same dough as cream puffs as in they’re basically savory cream puffs. My favorite twist are these sweet, salty, herby gougeres with Pancetta, Fontina, and herbs.
If there's one thing that makes us feel instantly French, it's an aperitif of a Kir Royale at a sidewalk cafe. The oh-so classic drink of creme de cassis and bubbles is everything we love about France, simultaneously simply elegant and beautifully inspiring.