Inspiration revealed.

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Recently I asked some of my guests what was the most surprising thing of their Insider’s Gascony week. Was it the abundance of good food? Or the little know and fabulous Côte de Gascogne wines? The magic of Armagnac we saw being made and bottled? The delightful picturesque stone villages of Gascony? No. They had one answer.

It Is So Beautiful Here!

Why was I surprised? I know how lovely the French countryside is. I know that from the mid-19th Century painters of the Barbizon School of Landscape Art through the Impressionists of the Late 19th-Century and right into the Instagrammable 21st Century, the rolling seas of blonde wheat and vibrant sunflower fields bordered by dark green forests have defined the French Countryside to a fault. Does it look like a postcard? Yes. But beauty is not a cliché.

So why was I surprised? I know how lovely it is here—spring, summer, fall, and winter. But somehow in all the things I write, the food I cook, and the photographs I post, I forgot to tell this led this group of four well-traveled souls to expect beauty. I have failed miserably!

So I take this as little reminder and invite you, too, to look up and out as you search for your next culinary inspiration. Check the weather by looking at the clouds and the direction of the wind instead of at an App. Take an extra moment to pull off the little two lane roads and look, really look at the rows of freshly furrowed soil. Image what will be planted next after the harvest of dry rattling cornstalks. And share that.

Create those connections between soil and seed, and the food that is harvested just for you to buy at the weekly markets. Gather in the seasons into your own kitchens and celebrate the turning from one delightful expression of summer to the first drawing in around the Autumnal fires.

I’ll try to remind you more. And to also remind you that a trip to Camont to sook through the seasons is an investment in your own memory bank. Taste spring as it jumps from your market basket to our table and we celebrate another great season in the Kitchen at Camont. 2019 Class are booking now.

This photograph was taken 10 minutes from Camont on a June day in 2018.

Kate Hill