My family and I decided to spend Christmas 2013 in L’Avinia, A La Carte’s rental property near Uzès in Provence.
This was our first Christmas in Provence so we weren’t sure what to expect, other than some welcome blue skies and sunshine (there are 300 sunny days per year in Provence, so that stats are favorable!).
On the 23rd December, the main square of Place aux Herbes was transformed into a huge play-area, with litterally dozens of games and puzzles made to appeal to both kids and their parents alike. Each game was fashioned by hand out of wood – it felt like stepping back a century in time – and the creativity and imagination apparent in the game designs was amazing!
For Christmas 2013 however, our true savior was a local Frenchman called Jérôme.
Jérôme Jolivet (Les Saveurs de Jérôme), is a private chef based in Uzès. I found Jérôme via a random Internet search, and I’m so glad I did. What a gem!
Previous years, Mum would often worry about what to prepare and cook for Christmas lunch (we do an English-style 25th Dec lunch rather than the French-style 24th Dec dinner), and then spend hours in the kitchen getting tired, stressed and missing time with family.
This time, Jérôme did all the planning, all the shopping, all the preparing, the cooking, the serving and even all the cleaning up afterwards! Always with enthusiasm and a warm smile.The menu Jérôme prepared us: – Quinoa au saumon fumé et mousse d’amandes.
– Suprême de Chapon, morilles et vin jaune. Accompagné de son flan de légumes aux girolles.
– Mini bûches traditionnelles.
In addition to the finesse of the food, it felt special to have a private chef cooking for us at home and really added to the sense of occasion.
The experience was surprisingly afforable too, so we will certainly be including Jérôme’s coordinates in our House Guidebook of local recommendations, so that our rental guests can enjoy the same quintessentially French experience.
Nina, my 9 year old niece, wasn’t so impressed.
Nina definitely preferred the visit of the Uzès-based Haribo sweet factory and museum, which includes lots of free sweets and an obligatory passage through the museum shop in which one finds all sorts of rare and obscure Haribo sweets that are not usually sold in France. Mind you, the whole family rather enjoyed that visit – not just 9-year-old Nina!
Moving forwards, I wish you a very happy and healthy year new year. May 2014 be a Grande Année for you and your loved ones.
I’m curious: Have you ever tried having a private chef cook for you? If so, in what part of the world?
Do you like the idea? Would you be interested in having a private chef cook for you during your vacation?