This past September I was able to host a First We Eat photography workshop in Bordeaux alongside Carey Nershi, Elise Dumas of The Pineapple Chef, Nora and Laura from Our Food Stories, Olaiya Land of Milly’s Kitchen, and the ever-wonderful and hilarious Megan Dunn. Our workshop home was Oliver’s Travels’ Chateau Tertre, a beautiful French chateau in the Aquitaine countryside, complete with a sweeping view of the vineyards, a large dining room to accompany all of us, beautiful bedrooms, a rustic and cozy kitchen that could not have been any more photogenic, and some of the most perfect light of any location I’ve come across. You could take a photo anywhere in that house and it would look amazing. The team at Olivers Travels made our stay so seamless and perfect, I highly recommend checking them out for a group vacation rental for your holiday. We were also able to enjoy + shoot the most beautiful French ceramics from Carron, which are handmade in Paris and added that classic French elegance to every table setting.
Elise has deep roots in Bordeaux, and she took us to visit two local wineries that the public isn’t normally able to go to. We got to see Chateau Angelus, which is a very highly regarded winery in the region whose wine, Chateau Angelus, is ranked as a Premier Grand Cru Classe, which basically means that it’s in the top 5 wines out of all the wines in Bordeaux (which is thousands and thousands of wines). We miraculously timed our visit perfectly, because the day we visited was the first day of the harvest for the winery, and we got to witness the grape sorting and juicing process for their wines firsthand. Elise also took us to visit the beautiful Chateau de Malle, a gorgeous old french castle where the French wine sauternes was born. If you’re unfamiliar with sauternes, it’s the wine that comes from noble rot (we served it at a Secret Supper last year), which is a very specialized fungus that grows on certain grapes when the grapes are left to ferment or “rot” on the wine before harvest. The wine made from these grapes is very sweet due to the high sugar content in the fermented grapes, and makes an incredibly delicious white dessert wine that has notes of toffee, honey, caramel, and ripe pear. Seriously, SOOOOOO goooooood. After the chateau tour and sauternes wine tasting, we had dinner in the dining room there and it was such an incredible experience. Sharing good food with good people in such an old and historic location…I just kept thinking about the hundreds of years of people who’d enjoyed meals in that same room before us. Huge thanks to Elise again for coordinating these incredible outings in the tucked-away gems of Bordeaux for us!
While we were at our workshop home in Bordeaxu, Chateau Tertre, we were incredibly spoiled by the bounty of delicious things that my amazing co-hosts made for us. Laura and Nora styled a beautiful autumn table for us all to shoot, and baked this insanely delicious pear and pumpkin cake. Linda made these incredibly beautiful and delicate traditional madeleines, and this ridiculously gorgeous fig cake, both of which we shot all over the inside of the chateau on these stunning Carron ceramics handmade locally in Paris, along with each of our Rough Linen tea towels. Megan and Olaiya made us comforting, healthy, and delicious lunches everyday, and Carey and I served up some mean French breakfasts each morning. It was an incredible team effort to put this together, and we were lucky enough to have an equally incredible group of attendees join us on this adventure. Nikole, Beryl, Laura, Jenni, Saara, Daniela, Marie-Louise, and Stefanie, I had so much fun with all of you and was continually in awe of your talent and incredible kindness and warmth. Thank you *so very much* for coming and sharing these beautiful 5 days with us!!
I’ve got some really incredible First We Eat workshops coming up the pipeline in 2018, and will be announcing those soon! To stay get a head’s up when registration opens for my next photography workshop, you can sign up here. I’d love to have you join me!
Deepest Thanks to our incredible sponsors
Oliver’s Travels | Chateau Terte
Carron Paris | beautiful white ceramics handmade in Paris
Caudalie | Array of French cosmetics and creams for our attendees
Chateau Angelus | Wine tasting + winery tour
Chateau de Malle | Wine tasting + supper
Smith Teamaker | box of premium tea for each of our attendees
Barnwell Soap Co | All-natural and invigorating scented soaps for our attendees
Rough Linen | Tablecloths for shooting + tea towels for our attendees