Barbara Copeland is a graduate from Le Cordon Bleu in Los Angeles, CA with a focus on French cuisine. After graduating she was the Executive chef at The Backstage Café in Beverly Hills for five years. Barbara then changed careers and traveled around the world running the merchandise department for the Belly Dance Super Stars. In her Travels she came across a handsome man who she reeled in and said, “let’s go run a chateau in France.” He said “ok” and they lived happily ever after…The End..........
Mark LaRiviere a food and wine advocate of international cuisine for the past 18 years. He has worked with some of the world’s diverse foods ranging from Ethiopian, Asian, Spanish, and French. He gained much of his insight working and managing restaurants in the culinary Mecca of the Bay Area, California. Having lived in Paris in his mid twenties opened his passion for travel and experiencing the under belly of different cultures around the world. His travels have taken him to Thailand, Africa, Spain, Mexico and his true home away from home, France.
So this time last week we were packing up our stuff and our cats and boarding a plane. We have been here a week now and we have only seen about an hour or 2 of sunshine since! It's cold and rainy so we have had to find ways to occupy our time indoors ( near the heaters!) since there is very little work that we can do right now with this weather. Earlier in the week we started our Pickle Experiment. We made several different types of brine and we pickled carrots and cucumbers. Now it's just a matter of time to figure out which ones we like and if they are something that we can package and have available for sale to the renters. Mark also made made a pear and apple liquor which I am dying to try out! Soon we will also be testing out some jam recipes so if any of you have any ideas or recipes, by all means let us know!
Other than pickling, we have also had a chance to explore the local towns! Lisle is just down the street and has charming fruit and produce stands, a little market and a Boulangerie for baguettes. Brantome is only about 15 minutes drive from here and it's a truly quaint little town- for those of you that are coming to visit us, this place is a must see! There are lots of little antique shops, restaurants, and ice cream shops for the summer tourists and they're built straight into the caves! There is even a pizza restaurant built into one of the caves and they use part of the cave as the oven. Most of these shops are closed for the winter unfortunately so we will have to wait until Spring to check them out.
Perigueux is about 30 minutes drive from here and that is the closest "real" town to us. Mark and I went there yesterday so that I could look for a good coat since I didn't have one. I had to get one quick because every time my grandma saw me without one, she would pull out yet another one of the dozens of coats that have been sent to her for free from her gardening catalogues and give it to me. Even though they are horrible and don't fit, she says that she can't bear to throw them out, so they have sat for years collecting dust and spider webs. I now have 3 of them and didn't want a 4th so it was time to go shopping.
Not bad for the first week I guess! Our French is basic but already getting better and aside from the weather, we are having a great time getting used to our new surroundings! It's a completely different lifestyle for us but we both know that this was the right decision!