This article has a perfume, of rosemary, of sun-kissed vegetables gently simmering in a pot, of Provence interpreted by Joyce Borgmann. This Dutch lady, who moved to Provence ten years ago with her husband Erik, is passionate about Mediterranean cooking and a lover of Provence. To move to the region became self-evident to Joyce, who already gave cooking classes on the subject when she lived in the Netherlands. Joyce Borgmann welcomes her guests in her farmhouse that proposes for the whole summer season pretty traditional guestrooms as well as vacation cottages with open private gardens. It’s a total immersion in an ideal Provence that the Borgmann’s offer since their farmhouse is surrounded by olive trees.
Each year they produce a quality olive oil in a neighboring press. As for their orangery, it’s the place where all the typical herbs and vegetables of the region that serve as a base for Joyce’s cooking grow. From the garden to the plate! The produce is picked in the morning and cooked immediately for lunch… It’s hard to get any fresher!
“I grow aromatic herbs and I put them in all my dishes. I enjoy their intense flavor: rosemary, thyme, tarragon, verbena, lavender,” explains Joyce who teaches aromatic cooking to her students. She takes particular care to cook according to the seasons and to “what is growing in her garden!”
Lavender? Few chefs cook with it, the perfume being so strong: Joyce uses it in summer in her macaroons, to accompany a good Cavaillon cantaloupe, then from the fall in honey duck recipes. A way for her to include the key ingredients from Provence. So it was quite natural for this gourmet cook to “come to the source” and settle in this beautiful region of France. And Joyce goes even further by saying “To cook in Provence is to understand its culture.”
A phrase that goes hand in hand with the notion of generosity developed by the Borgmanns in Oustaou d’Oulivie and in particular in the kitchen which exudes conviviality: “we have converted our orangery into a professional kitchen. We eat outside or inside depending on the weather. I wanted to create a personal and Provençal décor.
I like looking for second-hand wares, I collect antique plates and kitchen utensils.” It’s the total Provençal lifestyle that Joyce shares during her cooking classes for all, which unite foreign clients passing through as well as locals looking for good recipes. “I give my classes in three languages and mix everyone up which creates a lot of exchange and sharing amongst the students.” So it’s also an occasion for meeting interesting people! At the moment Joyce is preparing tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, garlic, chickpeas and Swiss chard… So, are you feeling inspired?
La Sarette Route