The Medieval Kitchen

Hello, Gourmet Campers and Friends!

This week I had the pleasure of visiting a few outstanding chateaux here in the Loire River Valley, France with visitors from Santa Barbara, California. I have been to Villandry and Chenonceau before, but each time I visit is like seeing it for the first time. There is so much to take in!

I am especially interested in the chateau kitchen, where elegant, gourmet meals were prepared for the Dukes, Dutchesses, Kings, and Queens of France. The food had to be great or off with the cooks head! No, not really, just kidding. But then who knows?

Here are Villandry and her beautiful gardens, which include many fruits and vegetables for the table.

The small trees are pears and below them are many different colored lettuces. All vegetable plantings are rotated each season and grown organically.

Then the vegies came to the kitchen which was usually in a basement room of the chateau, where the cooks got busy turning them into a royal meal.

Then the servers ran up the stairs to the dining room where the meal was served.

After touring the gardens and chateau we had lunch at the garden restaurant and the food was excellent!

At the chateau in Le Lude, the kitchen was really extraordinary! Look at all of these wonderful copper pans!

I would love to cook on this huge, woodburning stove!

This is a butter churner.

And here over an open fire meats such as wild boar, venison and pheasant were roasted on a spit that was turned using a rather ingenious pully and weight system.

In two weeks I will post the kitchen at Chenonceau. Meanwhile, where have you been traveling? What exotic foods have you tried? Let us know here:
And in the meantime, keep on traveling and experiencing new cultures! Anthony Bourdain would want you to. RIP.

Denise, Gail, and Lindsey

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