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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