In the introduction, he lovingly describes their real-life neighbors — including a beekeeper, a cheesemaker and, yes, the local policeman — and what they taught him about their way of living and eating.
Chapters are focused on the person or skill that provides the main ingredient: the fisherman, hunter, butcher, cheesemaker, baker, forager and winemaker. A substantial section is devoted to “the potager,” the vegetable plot and market which supply much of the makings for daily meals in the village.
Recipes often reference Bruno and other characters in the fictional town of St. Denis, but all were prepared and photographed in the authors’ Perigord kitchen. I made Bruno’s Meatballs with Garlic Roasted Tomatoes, which were heavenly over mashed potatoes. Roasted Monkfish with Crushed Potatoes, Duck Breast Filets with Honey and Mustard, Chard Gratin, and Florence’s Chocolate Cookies (named for the schoolteacher of St. Denis) are others I’m anxious to try.
With doable directions and evocative prose, Walker and Watson inspire us to bring the stories of Perigord to life on our own tables.
Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.
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