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Fall Dinner Menus Inspired by Provencal Flavours

As summer segues into fall, I cannot help but hope summer will linger on just a bit longer. It’s not the Pacific Northwest’s impending rainy season or even the imminent cold weather that I fear, it’s just that no other season expresses Provence more succinctly.

Fall in Provence

Summer is when both my weekly consumption of olive oil and rosé spikes. Provence completely takes over my dinner table, covering it in colourful bowls of purple tapenade, chilled ratatouille and vibrant yellow zucchini blossom beignets dipped in rouille. The food becomes far simpler, relying more on an ingredient’s provenance than on complex recipes.

Fall’s arrival signals the shortening of days. The bright lingering summer light becomes more radiant, casting an ethereal golden hue across our table. It reminds me of standing near the Grimaldi castle in Cagnes Sur Mer, pastis firmly in hand as I embarrassed myself in a spirited game of pétanque with my seven-year-old as we waited for our dinner of wood-fired rouget and pizza to arrive. As the sun set, people in the café stopped eating to watch the sun dip below the horizon in an explosion of nature’s fireworks.

Fall Dinner Menus Provence

Fall Dinner Menus

The palate of colours changes at my nearby farmers’ market, bringing out old favourites and a host of new dishes to explore; for this reason, I offer two variations on a fall menu. One celebrates Indian summer with grilled calamari, radicchio salad, and lavender honey-brushed lamb chops served with Moroccan couscous and chickpea salad. While the other, a soupe au pistou and daube of pork cheek, gently remind us of the heartier fare that will soon provide comfort and solace during the darker nights.

Indian Summer Menu:

Starter Course: Grilled Calamari and Radicchio Salad

Grilled Calamari Radicchio Salad

Main Course: Lavender Honey brushed Lamb Chops with Moroccan Chickpea and Couscous Salad

Provencal Lamb Chops Lavender Honey Moroccan Couscous salad

Cooler Fall Menu:

Starter Course: Soupe au Pistou

Soupe au Pistou Provencal

Main Course: Daube of Pork Cheek served with Pasta

Pork Cheek Daube

Apple Beignet with Caramel Ice Cream

Homemade Apple Beignet Caramel Ice Cream



Fall Dinner Menu à la Provencal for Pinterest:

Fall Menu 2018 from Provence

Join a Provencal Culinary Adventure

Chef Francois and his lovely wife Lisa have put together a 5-day tour along the Mediterranean coastline from Marseille to Nice. The tour begins in Marseille at the Vieux Port, where you begin to understand why this is the birthplace of bouillabaisse. This culinary adventure includes cooking classes, a chance to meet local food producers, and some Provencal wine tasting (bien sûr).

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Chef François de Mélogue

Chef François de Mélogue

François de Mélogue grew up in a very French household in Chicago. His earliest attempts at cookery began with the filleting of his sister’s goldfish at age two and a braised rabbit dish made with his pet rabbits by age seven. He eventually stopped cooking his pets and went to the highly esteemed New England Culinary Institute, where he graduated top of his class in 1985.

Chef François has over 30 years of cross-cultural culinary experience and brings an impressive culinary history and a unique Mediterranean cooking style. After graduating top of his class from the notable New England Culinary Institute, Chef François began his career in a number of highly acclaimed kitchens across the country, including Chef Louis Szathmary’s restaurant The Bakery in Chicago, Old Drovers Inn, a Relais and Chateaux property in New York and Joel Robuchon Gastronomie restaurant in Paris, before opening award-winning restaurant Pili Pili in his hometown of Chicago, rated in the Top Ten new restaurants in the World by Food and Wine magazine in 2003.

Chef François resides in St Albans, Vermont with his wife Lisa and ten-year-old son Beaumont, who has proclaimed himself the family saucier. Chef François' latest publication French Cooking for Beginners: 75+ Classic Recipes to Cook Like a Parisian takes you on a culinary journey well beyond the streets of Paris. Francois is a professional photographer specializing in food/product photography, real estate photography and shooting rural landscapes of Vermont and France. Explore his work on

Take a look at his website Simple French Cooking filled with delicious recipes and beautiful photos. Also follow Francois on Medium for more tempting dishes Pistou and Pastis.

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