About me

in the kitchen

I am an Australian living on the other side of world from home, in the rugged Languedoc region. How did I get here?  I married (or rather eloped…  it’s a long story) a French winemaker and we have been living here altogether (if you minus our stint in Australia) ten nearly 20 years (in that jump of 10 years, I would hope to say my French has improved out of sight).

It is an incredibly beautiful region but also rustic and untouched – ‘dans son jus’, as the French would say. Nearly all of the locals are connected to grape-growing and wine-making in some way, which is also why we left Adelaide, Australia for here.  It was crazy at first, arriving and not speaking the language, it felt as though someone had cut my tongue out. My days passed in a cloud of fear, ignorance, low self-confidence and bouts of powerful homesickness.  But after a few years I began to feel ‘at home’ with my French slowly improving and the first cracking of jokes with scary in-laws at the table!

It’s a challenge, with my misunderstandings and cultural faux-pas, but what has always kept me ticking along was the amazing geography of this region and the discovery of a whole new culture drenched in food and wine and eccentricities (I am living with a Frenchman).  The fact that I’m considered less of an alien than before also improves my day… Working in wine and with our child in the village school, we’re finally forging our place in the local community and it’s a good feeling.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still stumbling through the days trying to master a foreign language, traditions, wine tasting (and  moderation of…), road rules, social rules and French cuisine.  The difference is now I feel ‘chez moi’ and for now I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

Though I wonder if I’ll ever get my head around the ways of a Frenchman.

21 thoughts on “About me

  • Lovely cousine,
    great to read you ! I am also trying to create a new blog for my French life ..
    Are you finaly planing a trip to Paris ??
    If this is ok for you, we will come for a day or two around the 20th of June … will you be available ?
    Kisses to the 3 of you,
    The 3 of us :-))

    • Nathalie!!!
      How LOVELY to hear from you! I’m sorry I haven’t responded sooner – a house full of Aussie visitors!
      Thanks for having a look and I can’t wait to see yours!…
      Yes, no problem for the 20th – would love to have you stay. Unfortunately I don;t think we can make Parreee though… too much work on this end before les vendanges?
      But really can’t wait to see you so soon xoxoxoxo

  • I’ve really enjoyed reading about your life in Languedoc. I’ve always wondered what it might be like adopting a new homeland and these pages give me a glimpse of how life could be. I look forward to hearing how this year’s harvest goes!

  • My soon-to-be French husband sent me the link for your blog today. I moved to Vacqueyras, Provence from America to be with him and I just got back from school to learn French because it is completely new to me. So, you can imagine how comforting it was for me to read your words. I love it here. I can’t help missing my family. And I can’t wait to communicate better than a two-year-old. Merci!

    • Dear NIssa,
      How wonderful to hear from someone in the same boat!
      It is strange the way things turn out, isn’t it?!
      I hope you enjoy the adventure and don’t worry, you won’t feel like a two-year-old for too long – and don’t forget that wine is good for your French!
      Look forward to keeping contact, Kat

  • G’day Kat –

    I found your blog! It’s wonderful – well done lassie!

    As I sit here at my computer overlooking my neighbour’s banksia trees and the distant pacific ocean, your words and images have transported me back to your wonderful Minervois region.

    We had such a wonderful time with you guys last month – thanks so much – it really gave us an insight into your lives and loves. And we loved drinking the wines Benji so generously provided us with.

    Look forward to reading more

    Take care lovely…

    Cheers – Toni

  • Thanks Kat.
    Ive been waiting to find out how to boil an egg the French way. Puts me in mind of the old saying “it doesn’t matter what you say in French…it”s the way you say it that matters”

  • Dear Kat, I hope you’re well. I can’t believe how long it has been since David, Andy and I spent the evening at your house with Bertie. I’m just proofing the article that we wrote now, and I have a couple of questions. If you could give me an email, so I can check a few things with you, that would be brilliant. (sorry, can’t see other way to email you.) Hope all is well in the Languedoc – say hi to Lilas – I heard the lesson I gave her about working a dictaphone when I was transcribing my files! All the best, Holly (Jamie mag)

  • I have really enjoyed scouring your website and blog……we are massive B.Darnault fans and love the wine so much have recently bought 60 bottles from Naked for our wedding in May (Picpoul and Minverois). We’re driving from Cherbourg to Sete later in the summer for a 3 week French break, reading your recipes just makes me look forward to it all the more! Thanks 🙂

    • Hi Amanda and thank you very much!
      I’ll pass on your message to Benji too – it is great to know you’re enjoying his stuff and will actually be drinking it at your wedding. Exciting times for you!
      All our best and if you’re arriving near Sete and feel like a trip to the Minervois, please give us a yell.


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