I’ve bought a new thermos flask. I cant imagine what went wrong with the last one- I thought the modern ones lasted a lifetime -but it stopped delivering insulation. I am sitting on the bank by a plot of Thierry Forestier’s 100 year old Aramon , having a hot cuppa looking out to the Pic St Loup and the Cevennes beyond. Aramon was widely planted in the late 19C and

Turn and face the chard , ch.. ch.. chard

New best EVER chard recipe… We are taking a trip to Marseille where the speciality is bouillabaisse – I hear it doesn’t come cheap- and why should it ?It must have at least 4 different types of fish , the stock needs saffron, the garnishes include Rouille – its a lot of work . I’ve heard talk of a bouillabaisse buger which I’d like to meet , but I also

In the Carignan at Souvignargues

Bird takes advantage of Goblet pruning in the old carignan The Cevennes viewed from the vineyard – It feels like Spring is sprung , but its too early. If we get a freeze it will be catastrophic for the buds. There is a small but growing gang of natural wine makers in Souvignargues. They are part of the “Quilles ( skittles ,slang for bottles )De Joie” association . Vicky and

To market to market to buy a fat hen

Go compare, Go compare….£50 at the producers market , Antigone, Montpellier sunday morning veg man 3 Batavia, 500g spinach, 1k chard £3.00 lovely geezer Veg woman a bunch of black radish,2 kilo spuds £5 rip off 3 plump pears £2.50 youre joking mon agriculteur! 1k sourdough rye £3 chic girlfriend of baker-  he’s off hang gliding  -how cool are they? 2 litres of untreated Jersey milk , a little yoghurt and

Its raining Bon Bons

I was recently told off for not having sugar cubes for ” energy ” in sports class. Ils pleuvent les sucettes et les bons bons No problem getting hold of sweet “cigarettes”here-  if you blow through them they puff out sugar smoke.I still think smoking is horrible – it makes feel sick that people are killing them selves. One day at break time I saw a kid with a bag-

Residency continues

                 I have been experimenting with white ground the last 2 weeks – and most successfully on small copper plates which I have been etching with Edinburgh Etch. It would probably be better to use Nitric Acid but its hard to get hold of over here in France so i’ve had to make do. I’ve been using it very thinly aquatinting afterwards so

Cool Chilli

Spice up your life in January I was turned on to dried chilis by Dodie Miller who started Cool Chile Co. in Ladbrooke Grove in 1993 – the same year as Hand Made Food . Like in a child in a sweet shop I obsessed with tobacco scented Anchos, earthy Mulatos, raisiny Cascabels, and smokey hot Chipotles. The kitchen acquired a copy of Rick “Bayless Mexican Kitchen “and off we

Is it alive or is it dead?

What excess we have metered out to each other and ourselves this Christmas. Our hosts were so generous , most likely to be heard saying “what would you like to drink Ferg ?” or is” Ferg  still conscious ?”. My carefully considered reply was usually ” how about something zingy and fresh” . I love staying with my brother and family in London. He also gets very excited about wine

21 x 21

Getting ready to start my residency at the Maison de Gravure at the start of Jan, with another Languedoc artist. I’m Really looking forward to having some quality time to work with a big press and play around with ideas – daunting though it is . Freedom has its drawbacks. I’ve got a lot on my mind and its not easy knowing whats most important. The main difference between working