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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book, 31 Aug 2007
By 
Jb Mills (UK) - See all my reviews
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I enjoyed Patrick Moon's first book, Virgile's Vineyard, about his efforts to learn about winemaking in the Languedoc after being left a property by his uncle.
This book takes the (true) story a stage further, as Patrick returns to the Languedoc to explore the region further and use his winemaking contacts as an in to some of the region's top restaurants.
On the way, he finds out more about indigenous food production, such as the wonderfully-named Pascal Poot and his Conservatoire des Tomates high in the hills.
If you love France, food and wine, this is a glorious soap opera about life in a beautiful part of the country. I'm amazed it and its predecessor haven't been snapped up for a TV series yet.
I've read both books during holidays in France and loved being able to go out the next day and find wines and cheeses, etc, that had been mentioned in the text.
Bon Appetit!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A year spent tasting the best the Languedoc has to offer - yes please!, 24 Mar 2014
This review is from: Arrazat's Aubergines: Inside a Languedoc Kitchen (Kindle Edition)
Following on from Virgile's Vineyard, Patrick is back in the Languedoc but on a more permanent basis and it is the food that piques his interest this time. Many of the people we met in book one are back, enriching and hindering Patrick’s life, but also encouraging his love of food. Neighbour Manu and his wife persuade him to dig a large potager and fill it with their favourite vegetables. Winemaker Virgile takes him to lunch at Laurent Arrazat’s new restaurant where he finds himself invited to follow behind the scenes and learn about food from a master chef. As well as trying his best to keep up and help out during busy services, Patrick also makes many other foodie visits during the year to meet cheese makers, snail farmers, honey producers, salt masters, oyster farmers and more. This book often made me hungry and despite the privilege of learning what goes on in a French restaurant kitchen it was the visits to the local producers I enjoyed the most and it has made me more determined to get out and explore my local producers.

The antics of his neighbours, as in book one, regularly made me chuckle and having read these two books back to back I’m going to miss the daily goings on of Manu and Patrick.

This book has recently been updated and re-released and would be ideal for those who love life in France memoirs, plus those with an interest in French wine and the food of the Languedoc. But be warned, it will make you hungry and want to visit the area.
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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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read...., 28 May 2014
By 
Jill Hoye "Jillykins" (Kent uk) - See all my reviews
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Love the Languedoc area of France
Patrick brings it to life by his tales of the restaurant business, detailing the gruelling service schedules and the hunt for artisan produce and life with his neighbours. It also includes references to his previous book "Vigiles Vineyard" where he details his first year in France, visiting various small wine producers and the fun and problems of living in a very rural area of France
Both books are a stunning, humorous and insightly (is that a word?) read.
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