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Olney, Richard

Lulu's Provençal Table

Lulu's Provençal Table

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From the publisher

Richard Olney - responsible for the legendary Time-Life cooking series as well as other cooking classics such as his wonderful Simple French Food - moved to Provence in 1961 and had the good fortune to befriend Lulu and Lucien Peyraud, the owners of the noted Domaine Tempier vineyard in Provence, not far from Marseilles. Lulu's Provençal Table tantalizes the reader with Olney's descriptions of the regional food served as the vineyard meals at the Domaine. Then he lovingly transcribes Lulu's recipes. She has an empathy with and understanding of Provençal ingredients that is inspirational. There is succulent Pot-Roasted Leg of Lamb with Black Olives served with Courgette Gratin, and Potato and Sorrel Gratin, delicious with just six ingredients. There are plenty of simple recipes, but the recipe for bouillabaisse is a fascinating 10 pages long.

Her 150 recipes read like a roll call of the best of Provence ̶ tapenade, anchoiade, brandade, pissaladière, bagna cauda, sardines grillées, bouillabaisse, bourride, daurade au fenouil, daube, gigot à la ficelle and ratatouille. Starting with aperitifs and amuse-gueule and finishing up with fruit desserts, hers is classic French country cooking, featuring everyday ingredients cooked with respect for their nature and flavor.

Having been described as 'a gastronomic love poem to France's most exhilarating region, this is an essential book for any serious food lover's library.

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From Chef Scott

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"Lulu's Provençal Table" by Richard Olney is a captivating and beautifully written homage to the rustic and vibrant cuisine of Provence, seen through the life and kitchen of Lulu Peyraud, a figure synonymous with the soulful culinary traditions of the region. This book is much more than a cookbook; it is a narrative journey that intertwines authentic Provençal recipes with the story of Lulu Peyraud's family, her vineyard, and her passionate approach to food and life.

Olney, a celebrated food writer and authority on French cuisine, masterfully captures the essence of Provençal cooking in "Lulu's Provençal Table". He transports readers to the heart of the French countryside, where the Peyraud family's vineyard, Domaine Tempier, serves as the backdrop for this culinary adventure. The book is a rich tapestry of the flavors, aromas, and traditions that define this beloved region of France.

The recipes in this book are a reflection of Lulu Peyraud's kitchen, offering a delightful mix of simplicity, elegance, and robust flavors. From classic bouillabaisse to hearty daubes and delightful tarts, each dish is rooted in the use of fresh, local ingredients and traditional cooking methods. Olney's presentation of the recipes is both informative and intimate, as if Lulu herself is guiding the reader through the preparation of each dish.

One of the most enchanting aspects of "Lulu's Provençal Table" is its storytelling. Olney weaves anecdotes and family stories throughout the book, bringing Lulu's kitchen and the Provence lifestyle to life. These narratives add a depth and richness to the recipes, making the book as enjoyable to read as it is to cook from.

The photography and illustrations in the book are beautifully executed, capturing the rustic beauty of Provence and the vibrant essence of its cuisine. The images complement Olney's vivid descriptions and recipes, adding to the overall sensory experience of the book.

Beyond recipes, "Lulu's Provençal Table" delves into the culture and traditions of Provencal cooking. Olney discusses the importance of terroir, the art of wine pairing, and the seasonal rhythms that influence the region's culinary practices. This comprehensive approach provides readers with a deeper understanding of the Provençal way of life and its connection to food.

Olney's skillful storytelling and authentic recipes make this book a timeless treasure, capturing the enduring spirit and flavors of Provence.