Greetings dear readers and friends. I hope this email finds you well, albeit with all of the turbulent events happening around the world. Thankfully, here in Provence, the Christmas decorations are up, the seasonal markets are open, and there is quite a festive air on every corner. It’s wonderful to have something to look forward to, and I am making a conscious effort to slow down on my pastry-eating in anticipation of the fabulous Christmas meal to come at la maison de ma belle mere – my mother-in-law’s house.
In this “good-feeling” spirit, I’m very happy to present today a project that helps both with holiday gift-giving and folks hit particularly hard during the pandemic – those in the food industry.
You may remember, quite a few months ago, we featured the lovely book, A Table in Paris, here on the blog with a review and giveaway. Along with delightful anecdotes of tasty meals out in the City of Lights, A Table in Paris offers detailed restaurant descriptions and quirky side-notes for would-be travellers.
What’s perhaps most special about the book, is author / artist John Donohue’s evocative sketches of many of the featured restaurants. Light and airy, they capture the essence of the joie de vivre spirit that we’ve come to know and love about la belle France.
In this same vein, Donohue has put forth The Paris Collection of signed, limited prints which depict some of the most famous, time-honored restaurants in Paris, alongside modern culinary upstarts that define the ever-changing food scene of la Capitale.
These fine art prints are created on museum-quality paper and come in two sizes – 9×12 prints are available for $95 and 5×7 prints for $55. Since the start of the pandemic, Dohonue has been donating 10% of his profits to the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation, which provides direct support and performs advocacy in the U.S.
The Paris Collection, along with other fine art prints of New York City restaurants, can be viewed at the All The Restaurants website. Francophiles will find some of their favorites, like Berthillon, Le Baratin, Lapérouse and Holybelly 19 – among many others to discover.
A former New Yorker magazine editor turned self-taught artist, Donohue lives in Brooklyn with his family and draws at least twice a day. He has released two books of restaurant drawings: 2019’s All the Restaurants in New York and 2021’s A Table in Paris. Before becoming an artist, he also edited Man With a Pan: Culinary Adventures of Fathers WhoCook For their Families, a 2011 bestselling anthology featuring contributions from Mark Bittman, Mark Kurlansky, Stephen King, and many others.
I’d love to hear how everyone is getting ready for the holidays this year. On my end, the tree is up and we’re trying to visit as many Christmas markets as possible this year. We’ve been to the English-themed market at Chateau de Berne (near the town of Lorgues), the Toulon market (right around the corner!), and hope to visit the Hyeres market. I have my fingers-crossed for a road trip to Reims from my in-laws’ home in the Lorraine (about an hour’s drive). I had a brief daytrip there way back in 2004, and dream of seeing the cathedral again. As a family, we’re trying to make the best of the season and celebrate life, and living in France, all over again.
Wishing you a very bonne journée and wonderful start to the holiday season!