I've got three copies of the English version to give away so read on...
Lunch in Provence? ''The meal need not be grand but the experience can surely be,'' writes author, critic and cooking teacher Patricia Wells, in the book's introduction. ''...In Provence we have the chance--not the promise--of dining outdoors at lunchtime 365 days a year. Even in the winter months of November through March, the blazing sun might decide to shine warm and bright, and that's when we take out our crisp, white, monogrammed linens, ceramic knife rests, silver cutlery and fine wine glasses, and construct a culinary celebration.
''Lunch in Provence always offers the potential of bringing you new levels of happiness, discovery, contentment,'' Patricia continues. ''The possibilities are endless.''
This new 232-page hardcover was a labor of love between Rachael McKenna, a New Zealand-born author/photographer now living in the Languedoc region of Southern France, and Michelin-starred chef Jean-André Charial, who earned his world-wide reputation at the L'Oustau de Baumanière, the legendary Relais & Châteaux hotel and restaurant nestled in the valley below the medieval hilltop village of Les Baux. Wolfgang Puck and Georges Perrier are just two of the many well-known chefs who worked there over the years.
Baumanière was founded by Jean-André's grandfather, chef Raymond Thuilier, back in 1945, the year Jean-André was born. The family business later expanded to include the restaurant and hotel La Cabro d'Or (Les Baux), the restaurant and hotel La Prieuré (Villeneuve-les-Avignon) and the restaurant La Place (Maussane). But the beautiful Baumanière remains the family's flagship, having held three Michelin stars for an astounding 35 years. While Jean-André handed over day-to-day kitchen duties to chef Sylvestre Wahid in 2005, he remains involved in every aspect of operations.
To create the book, Rachael crisscrossed Provence for a year, photographing the markets, farms, waters and vineyards that produce the essential elements of Charial's cuisine. (''A dish, a meal, is only as good as its ingredients,'' the chef proclaims.) Then the duo settled into the kitchen at Baumanière to carefully select and photograph the 35 recipes that best capture the essence of Jean-André's sun-drenched, Mediterranean menus.
''Great chefs express their feelings through their food,'' Charial says. His thoughts on cooking, dining and Provence are scattered throughout the book, along with those of Frédéric Mistral, Alexandre Dumas, Peter Mayle and many others.
For this giveaway, the fine folks at Baumanière have offered me three copies of the English-language version of the book. To enter, simply leave a comment below, under ''comments.'' And please don't forget to leave us your email address, so we can reach you if you win. (Signing in with your Google account is not enough.) Tip: The more creative your comment, the better! And if you'd like to go ahead and buy the book, you can do that on Amazon US here, UK here or France here.
Bon Chance and Bon Appetit!