Breakfast in Burgundy

A Hungry Irishman in the Belly of France

About The Book

Laced with compelling writing about French food and its ways, Breakfast in Burgundy is part travel memoir, part foodie detective story, and part love song to Raymond’s adopted home. This book tells the story of the Blakes’ decision to buy a house in Burgundy. Raymond describes the moments of despair—such as the water leak that cost a fortune—and the fantastic times too.

Blake has admitted to being “fascinated by flavor and how it is created.” Breakfast in Burgundy contains tales from the kitchen, and the answer to the question that begins each day (“What’s for dinner?”) is given ample coverage. The hunt for the best jambon persillé is portrayed in detail. The same diligence is applied to the search for the best Comté cheese; for there’s Comté and there’s Comté—once nibbled, never forgotten.

Yet to be perfected by Blake is Chicken Gaston Gérard, said to have been first cooked in Dijon in 1930 for the celebrated gourmet Curnonsky by the mayor’s wife. A neighboring winemaker’s wife prepared it for Blake, as he watched over her shoulder. Breakfast in Burgundy documents these results and more.

Included are tips on how best to prepare, cook, and serve the various goodies, as well as the story behind the wines (some of the most sought after in the world) that complement the foods, telling of people and places, who made the wine and where it is from—without recourse to tedious technical detail or dry-as-tinder tasting notes.

Skyhorse Publishing, along with our Good Books and Arcade imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of cookbooks, including books on juicing, grilling, baking, frying, home brewing and winemaking, slow cookers, and cast iron cooking. We’ve been successful with books on gluten-free cooking, vegetarian and vegan cooking, paleo, raw foods, and more. Our list includes French cooking, Swedish cooking, Austrian and German cooking, Cajun cooking, as well as books on jerky, canning and preserving, peanut butter, meatballs, oil and vinegar, bone broth, and more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Skyhorse (November 11, 2014)
  • Length: 272 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781629148823

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Raves and Reviews

“An Under the Tuscan Sun set in fabled Burgundy, Irish wine writer Raymond Blake’s lyrical, and personal, memoir of falling tangle-footedly in love with a grape (Pinot Noir), and then a region where it reaches its apotheosis, to a ramshackle cottage that he and his wife impetuously purchase to embrace their seeming cockamamie dream of residing there, is as heartbreaking and funny and emotionally honest as any Pinotphile’s wallet-emptying odyssey for that singular levitational moment when a truly great Burgundy takes him through the whole fairy tale three-act narrative to sensorial sublimity and, finally, vinous redemption.”
- Rex Pickett, author of Sideways

“‘A hungry Irishman in the belly of France’—what self-respecting female foodie wouldn't be hooked by that line? Blake's book romps along with pace and energy and provides a giggle on every page; it's about the food, sure, but the travel snarl-ups, home-reno dramas, and his conversations with wistful winemakers were highlights for me. Loved it!”
- Yvonne Lorkin, wine writer

“A charming and witty read that delightfully evokes the Burgundian countryside, its food, wines, and its people; a book that made me want to immediately return to this wine-lover's jewel of France.”
- Chris de Burgh, singer-songwriter

"People, places, endless menus – some simple, some inspiring – and bottle upon bottle, all are recounted in a manner as gloriously coloured as the roof of the Hospices de Beaune. If you already own Jasper Morris MW’s approachable encyclopaedic tome Inside Burgundy, this will complete the picture, bringing Burgundy alive on a daily, seasonal basis."
- Decanter Magazine

“Raymond Blake's Breakfast in Burgundy was seven years in the making and his account of that time was worth the wait.”
- Liam Campbell, Irish Independent

“Told with great humour and wit, this is a story that will appeal to all, but especially to anyone with more than a passing interest in food and wine.”
– John Wilson, The Irish Times

“The book is written in the kind of stylish, flowing prose I’d begun to believe was extinct.”
– Ernie Whalley, The Sunday Times

“A wise and witty book from a true devotee of Burgundy… There is also a copious amount of laughter generated by his words.”
– Tomás Clancy, Sunday Business Post

“His description of the annual Saint Vincent Tournante ranks with the language of Flaubert depicting Emma Bovary trapped in provincial Normandy.”
– George Fleeton

“Breakfast in Burgundy should be wrapped up with a knife, fork and glass: Raymond Blake’s story about falling in love with Burgundy—the wine, the food, the people and a challenging old house—will induce endless hunger and a powerful thirst. Compelling from first bite to last sip.”
– Mary Dowey, The Irish Times (Gloss Magazine)

“A delightful and charming book.”
– Charles Scicolone

“An Under the Tuscan Sun set in fabled Burgundy, Irish wine writer Raymond Blake’s lyrical, and personal, memoir of falling tangle-footedly in love with a grape (Pinot Noir), and then a region where it reaches its apotheosis, to a ramshackle cottage that he and his wife impetuously purchase to embrace their seeming cockamamie dream of residing there, is as heartbreaking and funny and emotionally honest as any Pinotphile’s wallet-emptying odyssey for that singular levitational moment when a truly great Burgundy takes him through the whole fairy tale three-act narrative to sensorial sublimity and, finally, vinous redemption.”
- Rex Pickett, author of Sideways

“‘A hungry Irishman in the belly of France’—what self-respecting female foodie wouldn't be hooked by that line? Blake's book romps along with pace and energy and provides a giggle on every page; it's about the food, sure, but the travel snarl-ups, home-reno dramas, and his conversations with wistful winemakers were highlights for me. Loved it!”
- Yvonne Lorkin, wine writer

“A charming and witty read that delightfully evokes the Burgundian countryside, its food, wines, and its people; a book that made me want to immediately return to this wine-lover's jewel of France.”
- Chris de Burgh, singer-songwriter

"People, places, endless menus – some simple, some inspiring – and bottle upon bottle, all are recounted in a manner as gloriously coloured as the roof of the Hospices de Beaune. If you already own Jasper Morris MW’s approachable encyclopaedic tome Inside Burgundy, this will complete the picture, bringing Burgundy alive on a daily, seasonal basis."
- Decanter Magazine

“Raymond Blake's Breakfast in Burgundy was seven years in the making and his account of that time was worth the wait.”
- Liam Campbell, Irish Independent

“Told with great humour and wit, this is a story that will appeal to all, but especially to anyone with more than a passing interest in food and wine.”
– John Wilson, The Irish Times

“The book is written in the kind of stylish, flowing prose I’d begun to believe was extinct.”
– Ernie Whalley, The Sunday Times

“A wise and witty book from a true devotee of Burgundy… There is also a copious amount of laughter generated by his words.”
– Tomás Clancy, Sunday Business Post

“His description of the annual Saint Vincent Tournante ranks with the language of Flaubert depicting Emma Bovary trapped in provincial Normandy.”
– George Fleeton

“Breakfast in Burgundy should be wrapped up with a knife, fork and glass: Raymond Blake’s story about falling in love with Burgundy—the wine, the food, the people and a challenging old house—will induce endless hunger and a powerful thirst. Compelling from first bite to last sip.”
– Mary Dowey, The Irish Times (Gloss Magazine)

“A delightful and charming book.”
– Charles Scicolone

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