June 04, 2008

Mondays with Matt in Hog Heaven

Keeping the French Kitchen in full-on Adventure mode takes more than writing blogs, cookbooks and recipes. It takes hours of real work around 'the Gascon Ranch'-- to weed, seed and tend the 3600 sq.feet potager; plot, plant and primp the Kitchen Herbier and salad bar; sow, mow and manicure 2-plus acres of grassy park. Now, add helping with cooking classes, doing dishes and babysitting Bacon...and you are beginning to get the picture. This is not a one-woman show.

When Matt Chambas and his Pastry Chef Mom, Kris, came for 2 weeks last February, he got a winter taste of what's to come: cooking cassoulet in the fireplace, a pig slaughter at the neighbor's farm, armagnac making... All of a sudden, the restaurant kitchen in Madison seemed too small. So, when I started advertising for a Spring/Fall second-in-command to help run Camont and begin the new Artisan Food School program with Wil Edwards, Matt was first in line.

First duties were to get the Potager jump started after Portland newlyweds Nate and Christina did the dirty work of April weeding preparing the winter overgrown plot. Now, Tarbais beans for next fall's cassoulet climb the netting alongside a dream list of other roots, shoots and leaves for summer cooking classes and fall AFS sessions.

So here's Matt's story. Rather then put my words in his mouth, Matt will begin a new weekly feature here at the French Kitchen Adventures blog. He'll tell his own story along the Artisan Food School path from gardening to learning French charcuterie with the Chapolard family; from picking up buckets of blood from the abattoir to make 100 kilos of boudin noir; from learning to speak French to working alongside Dominique and Christiane at the Saturday Market at Nerac.

"Bon Jour Madame! Saucisse ou saucisson?"

When not working, gardening or cooking, Matt holds court in the Tiki Hut communication center, canalside and accessible by Skype. Gotta love that WiFi...

Matt Chambas, Welcome to a life long French Kitchen Adventure!

1 comment:

L Vanel said...

Cool! Can't wait for the installments and great to see the news!