Caroline worked in the movie industry and as a potter before becoming a chef. “My greatest inspiration has been my grandmother,” she says. “I was born in Saint-Maxime, near Saint Tropez, and she did typical Provencal cuisine, based on olive oil. I like food that’s intelligent yet comes from the heart - real home-cooking that satisfies and gives you focus.”
She says the two most important elements of her cooking are seasonal ingredients and an immaculate workstation. “Everything must be in your reach,” she says. “Washed, cut up, mixed in separate bowls, ready to be used (or not). Then you can let your inspiration run free, create unions of taste and color. I do have recipes in my head, but I like to let the ingredients lead the way. And I always have fun.”
“Caroline is a true cook of the Mediterranean,” says Martine Fougeron, the retreat’s founder and host. “That’s exactly what I wanted: regional cuisine, as if it were made by my grandmother with all its tenderness and long savoir-faire of recipes which are simmered as only a family cook can do.”
Martine was not only impressed with Caroline’s food, but by her attention to detail: ‘‘At the table: bring bowls, a knife, a fork, and a big spoon – big enough so you don’t lose a drop of juice.’
Laurent has a refined original style, which consists of healthy dishes made with seasonal and organic local produce. Laurent is a member of the Slow Food movement in the South of France and a zen practitioner.
Laurent believes in a creative gastronomic experience. "As the chef in residence during the photo retreat, I was particularly moved that the group really enjoyed a healthy and savory cuisine that also contributed to the harmonious feel of the
week. " Laurent would walk every morning on the top of the hamlet to pick out fresh edible herbs and flowers: "The wild flowers and plants from the hamlet and the local organic market that I used were particularly appreciated."
Laurent has professional experience in prestigious international establishments such as Le Capucin Gourmand, France (Two Michelin Star) and Le Grand Hôtel des Bains, Switzerland (Four Star Luxury Hotel). "Laurent has fantastic culinary skills, to which he adds his great creativity in presentations as well as his strict belief in using organic produce".
"Laurent was great in providing dishes for the vegetarian as well as the pescatarians", says Martine. Laurent was accompanied by Isabelle Frère who is a wine expert.