Take a Kitchen Holiday in Provence with Toquadom a Chef at Home
Yvan Gilardi has lived in Provence for over 20 years, but his grounding in French cuisine comes from the degree he earned at the École Hôtelière in Thonon-les-Bains, located in France’s Haute Savoie region. As a student of the intensive culinary program, he shared that his passion was for mastering pastry techniques. (Note: If you have the chance to try his food don’t skip dessert.)
His uncle owned a restaurant and his mother’s excellent cooking abilities certainly helped develop Gilardi’s appreciation for fine food. However, he tells us that it was his strong desire not to follow his older brother’s path towards engineering studies that might have “pushed” him into culinary pursuits.
In 2003, after several years as the head chef at a restaurant in the quaint Provencal village of Maillane, he started his company Toquadom. Toque (chef’s hat) à (at) dom (short for domicile). His chef-at-home business was launched, and he has not looked back to the long hours chopping in someone else’s kitchen.
Approachable, funny and versatile Gilardi consults with his clients on their menu to determine, price point, food preferences, themes and any food sensitivities. His work may be “behind the scenes,” but his dishes have tantalized taste buds at birthday parties, special anniversaries, casual dinners and even an official French State dinner in les Baux de Provence.
Give yourself a break on your holiday in Provence and consider in-house chef services during your stay. We recently shared a delightful restaurant-quality evening with friends, from Canada, at their rental villa in St Remy. The seasonal menu (selected by our friends and perfected by Gilardi) included:
Bouillabaisse de champignons de saison
St Jacques rôtie velouté carotte curry et lait de coco
Dos de bar poêle mousseline de céleri et jus de coquillage au citron vert
Fromage affiné du moment
Interprétation du vacherin glace au fruit rouge
Yvan Gilardi is a busy man. The Toquadom truck is often parked at Jean Martin in Maussane where he provides dynamic and delicious cooking classes. He is also an ambassador for Weber Barbecues – so if your hubby needs a little skill improvement on the grilling side, Gilardi is your man.
Private cooking lessons? No problem.
And, his Instagram feed is delicious.
Image Credits: Photos provided by and published with the permission of Yvan Gilardi Toquadom