Hi, I'm Julie Mautner, publisher of the blog ProvencePost.com and founder/owner of ProvencePostTravel.com. 

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I've been living and working in Provence on and off since 1999. Before I ran off to the South of France, I spent five years in Chicago and ten years in New York.

The first time I came to Provence was on vacation, to take a two-week photography workshop. I think it was on Day #3, after the jet lag had started to ease, that I realized that two weeks wasn't going to be anywhere near enough. I returned again, about a year later, and that's when reality hit: my marriage to New York was pretty much over and my love affair with Provence was in full bloom.

I never really moved to France...I just came here for a while and stayed. Somewhere along the way--lots and lots of paperwork later!--the escapade became real life. Launching a life here was the smartest stupid thing I've ever done.

In my past life, I was a founding editor--and then executive editor for ten years--of Food Arts Magazine in New York. We launched the magazine in 1988 and were acquired by M. Shanken Communications the following year. (Some of you may know Shanken as the publisher of Wine Spectator and Cigar Aficionado, among other titles.) I left to freelance in 1998 but stayed heavily involved with Food Arts, as a contributing editor, for many years.

Before becoming a full-time travel advisor specializing in the South of France, I had been making a living for 25 years writing about food, chefs, restaurants, hotels and travel, both on staff and freelance, with bylines in/on NYTimes.com, New York Magazine, Conde Nast Traveller UK, Travel + Leisure, Bon Appetit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Epicurious.com, Elle Decor UK, House Beautiful, Financial Times, Wine Spectator, USA Today and many others. My passion for food, wine and travel remains as strong as ever...and pivoting from journalism to travel planning has been a natural and wonderful transition. There's more about that below.

My first book, co-authored with Lee Schrager, was published in late 2010 by Random House/Clarkson Potter (New York). It's called  The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival Cookbook and I was thrilled that Lee, the festival founder and director, chose me to write it for him. It was great fun working with 75 of the top chefs in the world, all of whom were generous enough to share their recipes, stories, secrets and more. (Not so surprisingly, many of the chefs in the book are French...or have been heavily influenced by French cuisine.) Anthony Bourdain was a huge fan of the Festival and he wrote the forward for us.

My blog Provence Post, published since late 2008, is designed to celebrate all that's special about the South of France. Whether you live here full or part time, travel here for pleasure or business or are still dreaming of "some day," I hope you'll find plenty to interest you. I started the blog because, early on, I had trouble finding good insider Provence info in English. Plus, I kept coming across marvelous events, people, stories and places that I simply had to share. Plus, for a journalist accustomed to writing time-consuming pitches, waiting and hoping for an editor to say yes, doing all the research and writing, waiting for photography and then waiting months to see the actual piece published...the idea that I could write a story, find or take the photos, hit send and see it "in print" immediately was just enormously compelling. 

On Provence Post I write about the things I'm most passionate about...because many of you have told me you share the same passions. These include food, restaurants, French cooking, wine, photography, art, design, architecture, decor, gardening, books, inviting places, interesting people and worthwhile experiences.

If you haven't subscribed to this blog, I'd be thrilled if you would; to a blogger, subscribers are gold. They show advertisers that we have an interested and engaged following; they show other readers that what we print is valued. If you subscribe this simply means that you'll get an email alert each time there's a new post (lately, I post a feature about twice a month). To subscribe free, just click here. Meanwhile, check back often because I'm continuously updating the info on the pages up top, the ones headlined EVENTS CALENDAR, TOURIST OFFICES, LOCAL MARKETS, MICHELIN RESTAURANTS, etc.

After many years of helping friends and readers plan their trips to Provence, I decided to make it official in 2011 and I hung out my ''travel advisor'' shingle. My company, Provence Post Travel (and an offshoot called WhatToDoinProvence.com) has since helped scores of travelers (individuals, couples, families, groups, etc.) enjoy amazing vacations here in the South of France. And I'm often called upon by travel agents and tour operators to help them create Provence trips for their clients as well. No task is too small or too challenging...we didn't invent the phrase "whatever, whenever" but we like it and it fits. You can read more on my travel planning website here and see my (awesome) client comments here. If you're looking for a place to stay, you can peruse some of my favorite vacation villa rentals here or let me help find the perfect place for you; I have 600 or so villas in my database, most of which I've toured myself. If you prefer a hotel but are overwhelmed with all the options online, I can help with that too...I know all the best hotels in the region, in all prices ranges. And if it's fun tours, activities and experiences you're after, start by checking my multi-page Menu of Delicious Experiences and get in touch. And then we'll weave it all together to create the trip of your dreams!

Thanks for stopping by...

Julie Mautner