How, exactly, does a young restaurateur set up in business, and what happens when deliveries are late and there are thirty unexpected customers to feed? Returning to his challenging home in the Languedoc, Patrick Moon could easily fill the days, protecting infant vines from marauding wild boar and hiding baby truffle oaks from unscrupulous neighbours. The local campsite cafe is, however, now an ambitious new restaurant. The determination of its talented young chef to achieve perfection on a shoestring is intriguing, and Patrick soon finds himself behind the swing doors, sharing in the triumphs, disasters and sheer hard work of life in a serious kitchen. A wider exploration of the region's finest produce for the table distracts him further. From season to season, Patrick's quest uncovers the secrets of olive oil and salt production, the mysteries of Ricard and the Roquefort caves, the miracle of the sparkling Perrier spring. From mighty household names to eccentric peasant smallholdings, his expeditions encompass an extraordinary cast of characters and a rich vein of humour. But always there are the melons and olives and aubergines demanding attention at home.
PATRICK MOON abandoned a successful career as a City solicitor in his mid-forties, convinced that 'there ought to be time in life to achieve more than one thing' He went on to write three books. The third of these, 'What else is there for a boy like me?', deals with the time he spent in India immediately after leaving the law and charts both his own attempt to reinvent himself, starting again from zero, and his parallel attempt to help a young, under-privileged Indian reinvent his life.
Patrick's first two books, now re-published by popular demand, reflect the large part of his life which is currently lived in the Languedoc region of southern France, where he found a 'third career' growing vines and olive trees. 'Virgile's Vineyard - A Year in the Languedoc Wine Country' deals with a year spent work-shadowing a young, rising-star winemaker, as well as seeking out the other key players in the Languedoc's recent winemaking revolution. 'Arrazat's Aubergines - Inside a Languedoc Kitchen' covers a different year that Patrick spent working alongside an ambitious young chef, whilst also exploring many of the fascinating food products associated with this gourmet's paradise.