A couple of years ago I attended a five-day cooking class in Provence. The chef’s name was Patrick and he was eccentric as fuck. He’d lived all over the world with his own restaurants, knew many celebrities (including Ridley Scott and Claudia Cardinale), loved young blond women (slowed down the car once to have a look at one) and spoke with the perfect cliché French accent. He is now retired from the restaurant business and lives in a beautiful rich man’s villa on the top of a hill with a breathtaking view of the Luberon Valley and runs a cooking school with his wife. Pretty nice life.
The other attendees were a middle-aged brother and likewise sister from Australia. And 21-year-old me. It was fun. By day we were on a mission somewhere in Luberon – plenty of stunning villages there, I mean, real beauties. Stone houses and steep, paved streets. Olive and almond trees everywhere. Flowers poking out of every crack. I want to live in one of those one day.
In the evening we cooked and the rest of the night was spent dining on what we cooked. A four course meal every night with plenty of rosé wine both during and after cooking (and for lunch, and apéritif) – how about that? Anyway, I learnt a lot and recreate dishes from the classes from time to time. This is my version of “Quail in Raspberry Vinegar”.
You’ll need one quail per person – two if they are small. Wrap them in bacon and place in a baking dish. Dab some raspberry vinegar on top, and add a little water to the bottom of the dish. Bake at 200°C for about 25 min. When done use the liquid from the dish to make the sauce. I added some heavy cream, the rest of the raspberry vinegar (I had a small bottle), some fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Serve with asparagus and raspberries.
Damn fancy fine meal.
See also: http://www.famous-provence.com/