Our dear friends in Bergen got married on a sunny August day and it was one of the most beautiful parties we've ever been to. Pure magic. The warm and sincere Eirik Glambek Bøe, one half of Norwegian folk-pop duo Kings of Convenience, married the lovely Ina Grung. They had a potluck style dessert table, an outdoor ceremony in the center of the historic district, and a small intimate gathering that radiated sweetness.

Eirik with the other half of Kings of Convenience, Erlend Øye


Marilyn Monroe, Alfred Hitchcock, Sophia Loren, Gerard Depardieu, Alain Delon and many more...all loving on the truffle
In preparation for our trip down to Alba, I put together a group of photographs from the 79th Truffle Auction that took place in the Grinzane Cavour Castle last year. The castle is also the headquarters for the Ordine dei Cavalieri del Tartufo e del Vini di Alba, The Order of the Knights of the Truffle and Wines of Alba. Here, master tasters screen all wines of the region and give them an official seal of approval.

The seal of the truffle and wine knights displayed on a bottle of Barbaresco
A chef negotiating outside the auction door & Adrian taking notes on how to be a truffle guard
Tartufo Bianco d'Alba
another slice of wild boar salami with truffles ... please
The Wild Bill Hickock of Tartufaios, truffle hunters
The Autumn vines of Cascina Delle Rose

Giovanna and her family , a bottle of their Dolcetto d'Alba

When visiting Piedmont, we always stay at the Cascina Delle Rose. They produce organic wines that are delicious and made with love. Giovanna takes good care of her guests and the small farmhouse inn has 3 rooms and 3 apartments for families or groups of 3 - 5. We have enjoyed tastings in her cellar, shared many stories in the living room and can't wait to return.When staying at the Cascina we feel as if we are sleeping at a friend's house.  Their logo reminds me of why I love their wine. Goodness.

If you ever see this label, buy the bottle


It's that time of year again when truffles are hunted and the fall festivals begin. While spending time in Burgundy last week, we bought 2 Burgundy black truffles from a restaurateur. Our friend made some fresh pasta and we simply shaved tons of these mild but delicious summer truffles all over the place. 

Ingrid on a roll

This weekend we are heading to Alba, in the Piedmont region of northern Italy. This is our third annual trip to Italy for the white truffle experience. I am powerless over the white truffle.

a white truffle half moon before getting weighed for the shaving session
Last year we went to the white truffle auction in the Grinzane Cavour castle, at the end of the 79th White Truffle Festival. A tall, dark haired, Italian woman in a form fitting black dress and very low neckline , presented each truffle on a silver tray. She invited the auction audience to sniff her truffles and it looked as if the entire room was in a trance. I'm sure the person who bought this 750 gram truffle was intoxicated by the Alba truffle spell when they shelled out 100,000 Euro for it. Good thing it's a auction for charity.

photo: Getty Images


Back in the tiny village of Noyers-sur-Serein for a 10 day autumn escape out of big city Paris. Despite its tiny population, this medieval village has everything one could possibly need within a 5 minutes walk in any direction. There is: a bakery with lots of fresh gougéres (a Burgundy specialty), a Wednesday farmer's market, Madame Mignot  who sells produce from her big beautiful garden as well as honey, eggs, and artisanal walnut oil, a butcher, two well respected restaurants, and an art museum. There is also the river Serein that wraps around the village, and plenty of trails into the surrounding nature, where you can breath in the seasonal air laced with wild mushrooms and truffles.

Our door in Noyers, Rod & Marco's renaissance period home
Autumn gradience
 In the middle of this field there is path that leads to a summertime watering hole for swimming in the Serein

Restaurant Les Millesimes is Noyers' central command, and the Paillot family are very welcoming and offer spectacular wines and delicious meals. We became fast friends with Pierre Paillot, (whose father runs the charcuterie and butcher portion of the maison)  who found us everything from a couple fresh Burgundy black truffles, house-made mayonnaise and a large block of Comté cheese when we needed it for a dinner party.

A Burgundy original, the cheese crusted Gougére
These wines are now on our favorites list

Paillot's cave
Two regional cheeses (both unpasterized): Soumaintrain and Chaource
 After our meal time at his restaurant, Pierre immediately grabbed my chef friend, Ingrid from California, and gave her his father's chef's coat to wear while helping with the production of a special order of Mousse de Foie de Porc au Ratafia. The restaurant has several wings, one is a butcher/charcuterie and another a caviste (wine cellar). 

Pierre and Ingrid
Denis Paillot,  Pork Conductor
Wednesday is market day in Noyers. Maison Paillot makes an incredible Boudin Noir and sells it near the small alley in-between their Boucherie/Epicerie and Restaurant. Along with the Boudin, there are several vegetable stalls, a butcher, and a fromager. Ingrid found some perfect organic quince and made a tarte tatin with them (more on that in a future post!). The market is small and sweet.

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