French food gets a bad rap. It’s often viewed as pretentious, fussy, and rich. Yet it can, in fact, be simple and rustic — especially when its preparation is a process that is never rushed and its main ingredients are fresh and in season.
Many factors help make a meal special, yet place is the one most often overlooked. You may be scratching your head about that comment — what does a sense of place have to do with food?
When you walk in to a kitchen set up to prepare a meal it is a little like walking into a lab or a magician’s den. The ingredients displayed on the counter peek your interest and the mind automatically tries to reference them to a known quantity. Chris Bassett, of Azure Café in Freeport, had the marble topped farm table at Cellardoor laden with ingredients last weekend.
A Spanish proverb asserts "Ideas should be clear and chocolate thick" (las cosas claras y el chocolate espeso).
When I told my friends that I was going to move to Maine, they consistently replied, “Aren’t the winters horrible?”
I always retorted, “Don’t be silly Mainers know how to manage weather!”