Food, Photography and France are my motivating trinity and I’m continually looking for ways to share the pleasure that they afford me with as many of you as possible. The idea of combining cookery and photography together with the opportunity of enjoying the pleasure of spending time exploring deepest Perigord Noir, in Southwest France, seemed to be the sort of package that would accomplish that dream. So , with the help of one of the most respected cookery schools in France and a very talented Australian chef, the word has become flesh, so to speak.
The cookery school of La Combe, run by the guiding hand of Wendely Harvey, who was previously the publisher for Weldon Owen in the United Stated, is situated in this elegant 18C manoir in the Dordogne. The ancient house sits in 40 acres of parkland and boasts 5 guest apartments, all with American size beds and en suite bathrooms. The next ingredient of this potent combination is chef Tonya Jennings, owner of the celebrated Cooking on the Bay Cookery School in Australia, who will be the guest chef at La Combe from Aug 28-Sept 04. The icing on the cake will be that, during this course, I will be on hand to share with you some of the photographic knowledge that I have acquired over a long career as a professional photographer. There will be opportunities for food photography as well as taking pictures in the markets, restaurants, farms and even at rare events such as truffle hunting with a pig. Although there is not a cookery class each day, I will always be on hand to help you with your cameras, to show you new techniques or just to answer your questions. The variety of locations that we will visit is mouthwatering both in visual and gustatory terms and includes the caves of Lascaux with their remarkable pre-historic cave paintings, an ancient water driven mill still producing artisan walnut oil, the market in picturesque Sarlat, the Michelin starred Vieux Logis in Tremolat (amongst a fistful of other restaurants, bistros and fermes auberges) and an early morning truffle hunt which is now carried out with a dog, as the delightful pig Gollum was too keen on eating them, rather than handing them over. I have visited La Combe twice before, in a professional capacity as a photographer shooting features for Taste Magazine ( a Williams Sonoma publication) and D Magazine ( The best of Dallas and Fort Worth) , and on both occasions I was equally impressed with the professionalism of the teaching and the relaxed holiday atmosphere created by the beautiful surroundings. Prices and details can be found on www.lacombe-perigord.com but please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want further details.