When our team traveled to Burgundy in search of inspiration for this month’s theme, we wanted to bring the region back to the home cook’s kitchen. The idea of “a cook’s tour” was born: we revisited the area’s enduring classics, exploring at the same time its fresh, seasonal, artisanal approach to cooking. We spoke to our food development lead Travis Rea to get the scoop, and he walked us through the highlights of the team’s visit to France.
In Burgundy, preparations are simple and people know where their food comes from. Food and other products aren’t just “made in France” — they are made of France.
Take, for example, Emile Henry. The ceramics brand is still owned and operated by the Henry family, who offered us a tour of the factory. Their stunning bakeware is made from clay created with France’s soil.
After seeing how every dish is molded, glazed, fired and baked, our team savored the best Beef Bourguignonne we’ve ever had. Served in individual covered dishes, part of the fun was in the big reveal — the aroma of the rich broth hits you as the lid is removed.
The next stop was the Fallot “moutarderie,” where the best mustard in the world is made (our team wasn’t afraid to use superlatives here). While most mustard seeds are grown in Canada, the seeds used in Fallot mustard are truly Burgundian, and the seeds are ground using traditional millstones. They walked through the Fallot museum and browsed old packaging, in addition to tasting different flavors and recipes of mustard.
One of the most memorable events was a day spent at The Cooks’ Atelier with Chef Marjorie Taylor. Marjorie and her daughter Kendall own and operate a boutique cooking school in Beaune, France, where they lead farmers’ market tours and teach guests to create communal meals from scratch.
Our team asked Marjorie for a market tour, but she insisted they join her for dinner as well, for a truly home-cooked Burgundian meal. The French Farmers’ Market Dinner menu she developed for Williams-Sonoma is inspired by the one they ate together at her long table — a tomato salad, roasted chicken and silky pumpkin soup, complete with a cheese course and simple autumn tart for dessert.
They accompanied her to the market, too, where they met her local vendors. From the people growing the fruits and vegetables to the artisan bread bakers, Marjorie’s commitment to small producers was clear. And the rich colors of the transitional season between summer and fall were striking.
After visits to cheese and cassis factories, bakeries and a few memorable restaurant dinners, appetites were gratified and imaginations sparked. We’re excited to share simple, rustic peak-season food at our tables with friends and families — and we hope you are, too.