------ Patrick MOON
Patrick Moon studied French and History at Oxford before working as a lawyer in London. He then decided to ‘stop’ in order to spend more time with his francophilia. He now spends every possible moment in his Languedoc home. Virgile’s Vineyard is his first book.
1- ARRAZAT'S AUBERGINES
How, exactly, does a young restaurateur set up business in rural France? In his delightful sequel to Virgile’s Vineyard, about Languedoc’s winemakers, Patrick Moon offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life in a serious French kitchen.
Rich in truffles, oysters, olives, and eggplants, the Languedoc region of France is a gourmet’s paradise. It’s also full of wonders to explore: the secrets of olive oil and salt production, the Roquefort caves, the miracle of the sparkling Perrier Springs. But is it the perfect place for an ambitious young chef to open a restaurant? Intrigued by Laurent Arrazat’s determination to achieve perfection on a shoestring, Patrick Moon rolls up his sleeves and pitches in. For a year, he shares in the triumphs, disasters, and sheer hard work of restaurant life. By turns informative and funny, this is a captivating tale of culinary ambition, mishap, and discovery.
2 - VIRGILE'S VINEYARD: A YEAR IN THE LANGUEDOC WINE COUNTRY
Inheriting a remote and neglected house in the South of France, Patrick Moon sets out to discover how the Languedoc, a wine region so long notorious for mere quantity, has managed to transform itself, in little more than a decade, into one of the world's most exciting vineyards. Among the rich cast of characters he meets during his year of exploration is Virgile, a young local wine-maker who offers to initiate Patrick into the mysteries of each season's work in the fields and in the cellar. Virgile is passionately committed to perfection, though he operates on a shoestring with only a handful of hectares and the smallest cellar imaginable. At the other extreme is Manu, Patrick's dipsomaniac neighbour, a diehard traditionalist producing a private wine-lake of unspeakable rouge. With Manu as his self-appointed guide, Patrick embarks on a quest for the revolution's leading lights - a succession of lively encounters with growers as varied as the wines themselves, from modest one-man bands to the owners of elegant chateaux, with every approach from the very latest in mechanized efficiency to old-fashioned eccentricity. Interwoven with these bucolic expeditions are digressions into the history of the region and its wine-making, from the earliest plantings by the Greeks and Romans to the 19th-century scourge of phylloxera. Meanwhile, the author struggles to deal with his dilapidated inheritance - an unfamiliar and unpredictable world where the brambles have grown as tall as the olive trees, the water supply has just dried up and there is a ferocious animal under the roof tiles
www.amazon.com £12.99 / EUR 14,22
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Languedoc & Provence Sun N°54 (Winer 2015)
It’s been 10 years since the ﬁrst issue of Languedoc Sun was published, time does ﬂy! Life has changed a lot for me in that time: I started with two toddlers; I now have stroppy teenagers, which can only mean one thing: that I am an old creep as far as they’re concerned.
I have learnt a lot over the years and I have been lucky to meet some wonderful people along the way, starting with our lovely editors Wendy, Ed, Jacquie, Laura, Elisabeth, Angela & now Carole. Life has changed a lot for them too and I like to think that the magazine may have helped them to experience positive things.
Thanks to Languedoc Sun, I’ve shared a lot of people’s passion and had some fabulous experiences. This magazine gave my life a meaning when I moved back to France. It has opened my eyes and helped me to appreciate this world and the wide variety of people within it. I must admit I feel a little protective of it, as if it were my baby and I know the rest of my wonderful team feels the same. I’d like to express a warm thank you to Carole, Vincent, Griet, Caroline our webmaster and Yvonnick our treasurer for the great work they do, as well as to all our excellent contributors who help us to be what we are. And of course to our advertisers who carry on trusting us.
Each time someone send me an article which I can then share with you all, it’s magic...
Thanks for all your support and lovely letters during these 10 years. I wish you all a Happy New Year.
Long life to Languedoc & Provence Sun.