Elisabeth Scotto, Portrait of a Foodie

An encounter with Elisabeth Scotto on the occasion of the release of the book “L’huile d’olive, l’or de la Provence, paroles d’Oléiculteurs” (Olive Oil, The Gold of Provence, Olive Growers in their Own Words), co-written with Olivier Baussan, the founder of L’OCCITANE and the photographer Edouard Sicot. A special moment that we share here with you.
By Linda Mestaoui

The food journalist in charge of the recipe section of French Elle magazine, Elisabeth Scotto has known Olivier Baussan for more than 15 years. The idea of writing a book together was born some years ago already. Since October 17, 2012 the dream has become a reality. Olivier Baussan chose the 15 olive growers, Edouard Sicot took the photos and Elisabeth wrote the recipes and interviewed these olive oil addicts. She was particularly touched by the very different personalities of each of the olive growers and their common love for the majestic plant that is the olive tree. Lovely people who know what they want and who stay faithful to their dreams and to their convictions.

Her Roots

Born in Algeria, Elisabeth Scotto was ten when she left the country with her parents and her three sisters. Enough time to store up the unforgettable tastes and flavors redolent of the Mediterranean. Her village? Stora, a former seaside resort and fishing village known for its beautiful sandy beaches. Elisabeth Scotto was raised on fruity olive oil. She particularly likes the duality of this at once mature, sweet and powerful oil. Back then her father owned with her brothers a tinned sardine and anchovy factory. As for her mother, she’s a marvelous cook of – at 100°F in the shade – traditional French recipes like duck foie gras! “Mom passed down a taste for excellence. She repeated her recipes until she was completely satisfied.” “When my grandfather wasn’t fishing, he was in his vegetable garden.” He even had a citrus garden composed of citron, orange and lemon trees, a pleasure for the taste buds that awakens all the senses.

The Book

The project took a year and a half to put together. Last winter Elisabeth, Olivier and Edouard set off to meet the olive growers during the harvest. Then the simple recipes were selected, with the desire to transmit a principle dear to Elisabeth: “make people want to cook with market produce.” The recipes are composed around 3 different olive oils: black fruity, ripe fruity and green fruity. The result? Marinated mackerel, blood orange biscuit, preserved garlic, preserved lemon, grilled peppers, peppered apricots with basil that make our mouths water. Since the book was already full of portraits of passionate people, rich in landscapes, Elisabeth wanted to balance that with easy to prepare recipes. The pleasure of taste. The talented Edouard Sicot took the photos of the recipes in Paris and Elisabeth went regularly to the Richard Lenoir fresh food market to make her selection according to the day’s surprises. She insists, “Take a walk, make seasonal discoveries: persimmon, pear, apple, wonderful things to put together purely and simply. Don’t be afraid to enjoy yourself and to adapt the recipes to your taste.

L’Or de la Provence
éditions du Chêne, auteurs Elisabeth Scotto et Olivier Baussan - Photographe Edouard Sicot

Discover the Provence Olive Oils
with Première Pression Provence

Elisabeth Scotto, Portrait of a Foodie
Elisabeth Scotto and Edouard Sicot
L'Or de la Provence, the book
Photography Editions Le Chêne

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