Welcome to this week’s episode of The Good Dirt Podcast, where we speak to the renowned chef and author Kate Hill, who shares with us the secrets of Gascon cooking and stories of her life in southwest France. Cooking has always come naturally to Kate, who was taught by her first-generation Italian-American mother and a country-raised farm boy father from Oklahoma. She was raised in Hawaii but landed in France thirty years ago, literally arriving by a river barge, and never left. She now shares her passion for cooking with locally grown foods with guests and students fortunate enough to visit her 18th-century farmhouse on the banks of the Canal de Garonne, as well as through her online cooking courses. Interested in learning more about Kate and her personal story? Join us on this week’s episode to find out more.
The greatest secret to mastering the art of cooking? It's' not the recipes, but in using the freshest ingredients that are indigenous to the land. In France, this means buying locally grown, in-season fruits and vegetables from the nearest farmer's market. This is a long held practice in Gascony, a rural province of southwestern France where "the good dirt" is prized and protected for the preservation of its culinary heritage.
The culture of food in Gascony has its own unique flavors and methods. Kate has been collecting recipes for years, gathered from friends and neighbors and even from knocking on the doors of strangers to learn how to cook something new. Kate teaches methods such as oven roasting, braising, emulsifying sauces, and has recently been featured on a "Cooking with Wine" series streaming on Somm TV. But it doesn’t stop there, Kate also intertwines these culinary lessons with in-person road trips in France and Spain.
Kate masterfully wears multiple hats in her personal life and profession. She is a cook, teacher, mentor, and wonderful storyteller. In “A Culinary Journey in Gascony: Recipes and Stories from My French Canal Boat'," she tells the story of how she first discovered the region while floating slowly down the Canal de Garonne, and subsequently purchased the 18th-century farmhouse in the area which has been her home and culinary inspiration for the past thirty years. Interested in learning more about Kate and her personal story? Join us on this week’s episode to find out more.
- French gastronomy and its influence on French culture
- Buying fresh, locally grown food
- The culture of food in Gascony
- Appreciating the experience and processes of cooking
- The role of food in human culture
- A Culinary Journey in Gascony: Recipes and Stories from My French Canal Boat
- Cooking with Wine
- Gascony, France
- Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
- French Dirt by Richard Goodman
Connect with Kate on her website.