the Medieval Kitchen: Part deux

Hello, fellow food aficionados and gourmet campers! Gourmet Girl Denise here again from the beautiful Loire River Valley in France. I can’t believe that in September I will have been living here for one year. It has been a real whirlwind, what with buying my house and all of the renovations I am currently involved in. I move in on July 4! A true Independence Day experience! In my next post, I will bring you up to date on the renovations of Le Petit Saint Barnabé. But for now, back to the amazing kitchens of the many amazing Chateaux in the Loire; this week, Chenonceau.

Chenonceau is probably my favorite of all of the Chateau in the Loire. It is defined by an almost uninterrupted succession of women who built, restored, preserved and saved it from destruction in world war two. On this site the first chateau was medieval, dating from the 12th and 13th centuries. All that remains of that chateau is the Tour de Marques, otherwise known as the dungeon! The chateau in its’ current form was built between 1513 and 1517 by Thomas Bohier, but mostly by his wife, Catherine Briçonnet. Then it passed to King Francis first, then to  King Henry the second, who gave it to his mistress, Diane de Poitiers, instead of his wife, Catherine de Medici. Once Henry died, Catherine booted Diane and took over the chateau. I am a history buff, so knowing that I was walking on the same steps as Catherine de Medici really impressed me!!!

But now, to the kitchen!! Here are shelves holding beautiful copper molds for desserts that we can only imagine and a table of the pots and pans the cook would use daily.



This is the dining room for the chef and all of the staff. I could work there!!!!


In this room, as you may have figured out by noting the spikes and cleavers, the bounty from the hunt was hung and dressed. Sorry my vegetarian friends!


In this room vegetables were dried and pantries were filled with all of the herbs and spices needed to create a royal dinner.


These shelves are not only beautiful, as is the architecture, but held many jars of oils, preserves, olives, and since it’s France, most likely patés.


Now this is amazing! And really speaks to the camper in me! This is a three spit roasting station! It is run by a pully mechanism that I think is quite ingenious. I mean we are talking about 16th century technology here! Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.

Well, my friends, the sun has just set at 10:30 p.m. here in the Loire, and it’s time for me to turn in for the night. I hope you are all healthy and happy and enjoying your summer! Don’t forget to leave us a note and let us know about your adventures!

Happy trails!

Denise, Gail and Lindsey

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