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Arrazat's Aubergines: Inside a Languedoc Kitchen
Arrazat's Aubergines: Inside a Languedoc Kitchen
by Patrick Moon
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Behind The Scenes of Languedoc Cuisine, 9 Nov 2013
If you enjoyed "Virgile's Vineyard", you'll enjoy this sequel too. Virgile isn't the primary focus this time, but it does show you something of how his life moves on. It also features some of the other quirky characters in "Virgile's Vineyard", including Patrick's neighbour, Manu, plus some new and equally entertaining additions. On Patrick's return to the Languedoc, he quickly discovers that Laurent Arrazat, an ambitious young chef, has opened a new restaurant in what used to be the local camp site cafe. Laurent agrees to let him in behind the scenes to find out more about what it takes to run a small but serious restaurant, much as Virgile allowed him to experience what it took to make great wine in the first book. He soon gets involved in the painstaking chores of food preparation and the stressful pressures of a busy service, learning the hard way that running the restaurant is far from easy, especially when there's a new motorway being built just in front of it! At home, he tends his 40 vines, which Virgile has looked after for him in his absence, he continues to wrestle light-heartedly with the vagaries of Manu, and he battles with the ever-sprawling vegetation on his land. Interspersed with all this, he travels around the Languedoc visiting the kitchens of various other restaurants, some of them top notch, whilst also finding out first-hand about the production of many of the gastronomic specialities of the region, including olive oil, Camargue salt and Roquefort cheese, not to mention oyster farming and the miraculous Perrier spring. All very interesting and informative, written with familiar wit and in Patrick's very readable style.


Virgile's Vineyard: A Year in the Languedoc Wine Country
Virgile's Vineyard: A Year in the Languedoc Wine Country
by Patrick Moon
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty and Very Readable, 9 Nov 2013
The story begins when Patrick moves into a property he has inherited from his Uncle. Taking a sabbatical from his regular job, he relates his experiences of living in the Languedoc during 2001. He learns about the region, its wines and winemaking, and becomes integrated with the locals. Travelling around, he visits many historical monuments and wine cellars, becoming acquainted with many of the local wines in order to stock his own cellar.

Very early on in the year, he discovers Virgile's Cave in the nearby village of St Saturnin. Virgile is just getting going on his own. He needs all the help he can get, and he and Patrick become good friends.

With a chapter on each month of the year, Patrick writes about all the stages of the winemaking process, from pruning the vines on cold winter mornings through to picking the grapes in the early autumn, fermentation and bottling. Virgile has to make many difficult decisions along the way. He is very meticulous about everything he does and comes across as a bit of a perfectionist! It's long hours and hard work, but Virgile's raw passion and determination to succeed are second to none. His motto, "Si tu veux, tu peux", has clearly got him where he is today.

Written with wit and in a very readable style, I'd heartily recommend this highly informative and light-hearted book to all wine lovers.


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