Ruby Goss

Editor at Kitchen Stories

instagram.com/ruby.goss/

There’s a brand new video series on Kitchen Stories—‘To Market We Go’—brought to you by the kitchen experts at next125. United by our passion for making every cooking experience a unique one, together, we’re heading out of Berlin, out of the kitchen, and straight to Europe’s very best markets. Along the way, we’ll show you how to find, cook—and enjoy—the very best produce back in your home kitchen.

Markets are places of inspiration: you might go with a shopping list—only to come back laden with those green beans that just came into season, or a tray of tomatoes for a steal at the end of their tenure—your previous dinner plans cast aside. It’s a place to ask questions, to take home cooking advice from stallholders along with their goods. When traveling, they’re the places we hope to catch a glimpse of local life, to bite into a peach as soon it’s bought or pocket dried herbs to scatter into dishes back home.

Over the coming months, we’ll be exploring some of Europe’s best markets together with kitchen manufacturer next125 to discover the basis of every great cuisine–great regional produce. Along with local experts, in each episode, we’ll discover new ingredients and regions by way of their local markets. We’ll meet the very people responsible for putting exceptional products on our tables and visit producers to peer behind the scenes of their work. Each time, we’ll return to the kitchen with new recipes to share with you and try at home.

The first episode in the series takes us to the famous Luberon Valley in Provence, South of France. It’s known for its offering of the good life—food, wine, beautiful landscapes—and with almost 300 days of sun a year, the region brims with sun-ripened produce. In search of local specialties—think tomatoes the size of grapefruits, olive bread in leaf-shaped loaves, and chalky goat cheese covered in ash—we met up with chefs Lise Kvan and her partner and fellow chef Eric Monteleon.

To source produce for their newly opened restaurant, the historical Le Saint Hubert, Lise and Eric are building relationships with farmers and producers in the region—visits to the market to start up these conversations and seek out the most interesting produce are essential. To give us a taste, Lise took us to the farmers market in Apt, just one of the many in the region that the pair source produce for their newly-opened restaurant, in the nearby town of Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt.

WATCH STOP 1: PROVENCE!

To Market—We Go! Stop 1: Provence

  • 10:35 min.
  • 159.0K views

Who's taking you along for the ride?

Ruby, Food Editor at Kitchen Stories

Always hungry, thirsty, and always restless for a change of scenery—this out-of-season-tomato-loather was only too happy to sun herself in Provence for the greater good of market produce. But since we’re about to get to know each other really well, let me jump out of the third person.

I’d never been to Provence before: I did know it was one of France’s most beautiful areas, full of woozy Impressionist sunsets and hilltop towns where I imagined everyone strolled around in linen, sporting woven baskets overflowing with baguettes, vine tomatoes, and hunks of cheese. Me being me, I also knew it as ‘the’ place for the most famed rosé—tinged with the barest hint of peach and glinting golden rays like bottled sunshine (incidentally, you can see me getting into the spirit of things right from the first frame). But playing out my French-country-living fantasies aside, I was most excited to get to know Provençal food better, I knew only the basics—the titular herbs of the region go without saying—but what did I learn after seeing the end-of-summer produce in full swing? Well, you’d better watch and see.

Lise Kvan and Eric Monteleon, Chefs and Owners of Le Saint Hubert

Both Lise and Eric, our hosts to Provence, have cooked in various celebrated restaurants around the world and worked as cooking educators—but before settling in Provence to open their first restaurant—they packed up their lives in Paris to road trip around France for a year, learning about traditional farming and methods of production—they called the project ‘bon fond’ meaning ‘good stock.’

The decision was inspired by a thirst to know more about the produce they worked with every day in the kitchen, Lise explained to me: "We would receive products from extraordinary people. I knew they were extraordinary people—only someone extraordinary could make something like that....I just wanted to know more about them and the entire process."

Once you watch the video and catch sight of Le Saint Hubert’s beautiful pastel facade (and see the view from the terrace), it’s not hard to see why they picked this pocket of France. Lise and Eric have brought the spirit of bon fond to everything they source for the restaurant, highlighting the best of Provence from local heroes—be it with the herbal syrups behind the bar, local bottles of rose, balsamic vinegar, to the free-range lamb that becomes a daube. It was clear we were headed to the market in very knowledgeable hands!

Watch this space! There’s more coming. Stay tuned for our visit to a Provencal goat cheese farm, our top 5 finds in Provence, plus our recipe video inspired by the flavors of the region.

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