It has now been over 3 months since I stopped being the owner of Le Pichet, more that 8 months since we sold Café Presse. I have to admit, as much as I loved opening and operating these two restaurants, as much as I enjoyed collaborating with the the great teams we had in the kitchen and dining room, as much as I loved greeting and serving our friends everyday, I am as thrilled to be starting a new adventure. While I still have energy in my legs and arms and my back still functions.
My job now is getting everything ready for our departure for France. That’s right, if you havent heard me say it before – which I find hard to believe; I have basically told everyone who would listen in the last 10 years that my wife and I are planning to live in France “someday” – we are pulling up stakes and moving to our house in France, more specifically in Orthez, in the deep southwest of France. We have picked a departure date in mid February 2022, and are working through the immense pile of stuff that you can imagine accompanies an international move. Next week, for example, we fly to San Francisco for an interview that is required to obtain a long-stay visa in France, a Visa Longue Durée.
Now that I am a former restaurant owner, a former chef, I wondered whether I should continue this blog (in truth, whether I should RESTART it…the constraints of COVID meant that I often haven’t had time to post much of anything in the last almost 3 years). Would anyone be interested in the thoughts of a retired chef who has hoofed it for France? If I did continue, what would I write about?
I finally decided that I WOULD continue. I thought, why not write about the process of moving to France and starting a new life? Why not write about the interesting restaurants, ingredients, food artisans, markets and culinary experiences from the point of view of an American trying to find a place for himself in a small town in the countryside of France?
And so this blog is a work in progress. I hope that you will find something to enjoy in what I find and write about, and, if so, you will let me know. My only regret in moving to France is the people we leave behind, whom I will miss greatly.