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Parfums DiVins

Parfums DiVins


11 janvier 2018


”It is so easy to get lost – a scenery with melodic hills, 3m3 fog, grabbing conversation on France Culture and there you are – driving in a completely unknown direction.”  I am thinking about this and it is already happening.

At this time of year, the fogs are permanent.

“In this season fogs look like enormous clouds of sour goat milk. Like ghosts, who flutter their ethereal transparency, but once you come closer, you see how rather thick and quite real they are.”

Do I care wheater it is really so cold outside and everything is frozen frost! It’s just that due to the poor visibility, the car barely moves. The milkiness around me is getting thicker and thicker, and for a moment I catch myself in a daydream in which I dig a hole in the fog with a teaspoon – I dig just enough for a goat’s head to go thrоugh.  I am thinking about it and it is already happening.

A clever snout with kind and lively eyes looks at me through the windshield. And if this is a mirage, it has now tripled – further away a second and a third goat head appears. I am surrounded by a peaceful herd – they ramble in the fog just like me.


It is easy to get lost – you just need some spare time; and to find your way after that – a nose with a good sense of smell. This is exactly what happens to me in this strange November morning: in my long way back to Bordeaux I find myself right in the heart of the softest milkiness.

First is the sign «La Ferme du Chatain», then – the silhouette of a woman, and finally – the contours of the building behind her. This encounter and all the encounters this morning bring a sense of something unexpected. The woman is Laure Fourgeaud, an emblematic figure in the French goat cheese production. She and her husband Laurent are the owners of «La Ferme du Chatain».

“On the 7th of November, according to the Chinese calendar, the winter officially starts. This season is ruled by the female principle Yin. The moon, the night, the darkness, the cold and the ice are also related to this principle, as well as some foods. During the period Yin we need more of the Yang elements to bring warmth to our bodies. And since we speak about cheese, it will be interesting to mention that of all cheeses only the goat cheese belongs to the Yang group, while the cow and the sheep cheese are Yin.

Well, it looks like this road, by its own device, has taken me straight into the soul of the French goat cheese tenderness, to «La Ferme du Chatain».”

I tell this story to my daughter and, meanwhile, I carefully arrange on the table the precious tiny figures of goat cheese. I am sure she already thinks that I am using this story as bait for her to taste my new findings.

“And then?” – an unexpected question. – “There is so much aroma in these forms!”

“Well, there you go – architectonics of taste! Architectonics of taste, darling!”


As a top climber among the mammals, the goat can reach heights where no human can get. This is a particularly important skill when looking for food – known as one of the cleanest animals in the wild, the goat’s climbing skills help this animals reach the fresh new buds of the shrub and tree branches, as well as the freshest new vegetation  – all untouched. The domestic goat never eats food from the ground, nor from dirty human hands. Therefore, the goats require living conditions with an exceptional hygiene, as well as calm and kind attitude – this is essential for the sensitive goat nature.

 In Philosophy, Architectonics is the scientific and natural coordination of all parts that make up a system. It is about the Art of the system, with its prescriptions and structure.

In the Gastronomic Art, Architectonics is the construction of an absolute symbiosis of primary products, their combinations, the methods of their processing, and the creation of a completely coherent new product. It is about the Art to combine tastes, textures, create new ones based on certain rules, and break them down without disturbing the sense of harmony.


In “La Ferme du Chatain” everything is a matter of precise choice – the Anglo-Nubian goat breed is known for its lower productivity, but at the same time with the exceptional quality of its milk which is richer and fatter, in short – the ideal one. Dried alfalfa, corn, broad beans, spelt, barley and oats, grown according to the requirements of organic farming, are the goats’ main food. Bred in a relaxed setting and cared for with love, goats live on “their” farm!


Such a serious occupation as the raising of animals and the production of cheese and dairy products must be necessarily backed up by solid knowledge – after obtaining a professional certificate for the breeding of small ruminants from Lycée Agricole in Coulounieix-Chamiers, Laure Fourgeaud devoted herself to the study of cheese making techniques in the École Nationale d’industrie laitière Aurillac. In the search for better and better flavors, Laure and Laurent have equipped their farm with a lab. This is where under the master’s hands true masterpieces are born!


“One literally gets lost in this Cité des fromages!”

“Let’s make a map!”

We decided to describe the labyrinth.

“Where to start, how to go on and what is the last point in this journey of tastes…?”

As we know from the fairy tales – in every story there are helpers :-). My helper in this case isn’t anyone else, but Laure Fourgeaud herself. During our meeting, she gave me directions on the order of tasting. We just have to follow them, armed with a sharp knife, a nose, and a palate. And here is our map:


1. Round Goat cheese, natural flavour:

Ivory colored thin natural rind of white mould (with some blue touches which indicates the ageing). The pâte is soft ; with a marble-like texture, while the taste is tangy and pleasant, with long and nutty finish.

2. Long Goat Log, natural flavour:

With soft ribbed rind ; the outer ivory layer is creamy rich. The brighter white interior is tender, still creamy and spreadable but we can observe that with aging it became more firm and chalky. The taste is evocative of gentle flavour of goat milk, buttery, slightly tangy and sweet.

3. Long Goat Log, covered with charcoal powder:

The ribbed rind of natural mould is much firmer like that of the Goat Log natural flavour, covered in salted powdered charcoal which is edible ; it appears dry.  The pâte is fine textured, smooth and firm. The cheese is mature, balanced, round, with salt sourness, and walnuts/hazelnuts aromas.

4. Truncated Pyramid, covered with charcoal powder:

It reminds the ‘ Truncated Pyramid of Valençay’, it is shaped in the way it was done by Napoleon (according the legend !) .* With a dry and firm texture and covered with powdered charcoal rind of natural mould. The cheese has a mild, buttery taste, tangy and fresh.

* It is said that the cheese in question was originally shaped like a perfect pyramid. On his return from from the disastrous campaign in Egypt, Napoléon stopped at the castle of Valençay and seeing the cheese that reminded him of the Egyptian pyramids, in rage chopped the top off with his sword.

5. Goat Round, covered with Salish Salt:

Cheese with a firm rind of natural mould covered with Salish salt.

The tradition to smoke the natural Pacific salts comes from the time before Columbus and it was brought namely by a tribe called Salish. They had settled on the teritory of the state of Washington and had practiced it with special cares. The salts are extremely specific because of their nature : they are slowly smoked over Red Alderwood and absorb the full flavours of it.
The salt is not incorporated to the cheese body, it only covers the rind by bringing its specific aromas and flavours. The interior is bright white, slightly creamy ; the texture is firm and smooth. Even though the high salting power of the Salish salt, here it is perfectly balanced and keeps the ‘goaty’ flavours and the tender hints of acidity; it has a unique characteristic, uniting the flavours of butter and cream along with a long remarcable finish.



Wine & Cheese pairing 1: In my opinion, the wine that matches perfectly with these 5 cheese is Château Carbonnieux Blanc, 2015. Extremely expressive on nose & palate, with a beautiful mineral vertical structure, remarcable aftertaste with a refreshing acidity, an absolute harmony is created between these two refined creatures.

6. Goat cheese wrapped in a chestnut leaf:

My GOATCHEESEHEART is melting ! It is good enough to carefully unfold this mervelous creativity and to taste it, slowly !

The cheese is wrapped in a case of chestnut leaf, held in place with raffia. The leaves used by Laure are collected personally by her in the forest of the farm. The casing of leaves protects the washed-rind disc and allows the young, slightly acidic cheese to remain moist. The texture is creamy, smooth and sticky, the colour is tenderly creamy white ; it has strong fruity and woody flavours.

7. Goat Cheese with incorporated Saffron:

With soft ribbed rind and creamy pâte in which the saffron is incorporated ; in the pastel yellowish-orange shades of the saffron colour. Refined and perfectly balanced : the saffron aromas and flavours are melting into the velvety texture in an absolute harmony. The body is soft and slightly sticky, spreadable. The saffron appears on the mid palate and remains present on it in a long aftertaste.

8. Goat Cheese with incorporated Hot Pepper:

Similar visual aspect to the previous cheese (with the incorporated saffron): the texture is refinеd, creamy; the rind is soft, in the pastel shades of rose shrimp colour. The sensation of the pepper comes smoothly on the palate- it is a harmonious velvety blend of cream and spice with an extremely long aftertaste.

9. Smoked Goat Cheese :

Firm and coloured in smoky-creamy shades rind. The texture is very smooth and firm as well. On the palate is dense and rich, the smoke is in a perfect balance with the creaminess, it is persistant and brings us to an enormous aftertaste.



Wine & Cheese pairing 2: I chose the sweet wine of Château Rieussec, 2011 to accompany the last 4 cheeses . The nose is gently woody, with beautiful honeysuckle and accaia flowers notes and delicate aromas of a very swwet and ripen pear. It builds up a wonderful harmony with the saffron, with the spice of the chilli, the Salish salt and the smoke by giving even more character to them! 


I truly believe that professionals like Laure Fourgeaud are real inspirational for the others! The first feeling I have had when I met her was that she is absolutely passionate person. And she transmited this passion to me: I foolishly felt in love with her cheeses! Then one day, tasting again and again the precious goat creatures, the inspiration grabbed me and with one of them, the Long Goat Log, natural flavour, I have created a new recipe for a dessert. Here it is:


THE HEART OF THE ROSE  (for 8 people)

1 Long Goat Log, natural flavour, from La Ferme du Chatain


3 medium- size apples

4 tablespoon brown sugar

150g. sweet butter

3 powdered cloves


250g. Steamed pumpkin

3 eggs

4 tablespoon brown sugar

150g. white cheese from La Ferme du Chatain

8-10g. Agar-agar

Decoration: 20 fresh raspberries

I – Mousse :

 Separate the egg yolks from the whites. In a saucepan beat egg yolks and sugar until pale and fluffy. Whisk the egg whites. Use two forks to mash the pumpkin into a purée ( donot be afraid if the texture is not absolutely smooth) and add it to the preparation.  Warm up on a low heat and add spoon after spoon the white cheese.  Remove it from the heat and add the agar-agar. Let stand in the fridge for 5 hours or in the freezer for 2-3 hours. The aim is to obtain an iced mousse.

* Personally, I let it stand in the fridge for the whole night, preparing it the day before.

II – Base :

 Wash and dry the apples and take out the seeds. Cut them in half, use a sharp knife to cut into slices.

In a pan, melt butter over medium heat, add the sugar and the clove powder  until you obtain a a deep golden coloured caramel. Add carefully the apples and start to sprinkle them so that they become slightly soft. Extinguish the fire and continue 5 more minutes. Take out the apple slices with a kitchen tongs, let them drain and in the same time prepare 6 dessert plates/bowls. Place the slices on the walls of the bowls, so that you form a shape of a rose, cover also the bottom of the bowl. Place a piece of the goat cheese in the hollow formed by the slices. Put each  of the plates/bowls in a preheated oven for one, maximum two minutes. Top with 2-3 balls of iced mousse and garnish with the raspberries.

Bon appétit!!!



Wine & Cheese pairing 3: At the end, I chose the Armagnac du Collectionneur of Ryst-Dupeyron to accompagny my dessert. Round, fruity, gourmand: bee wax, crème brûlée and cacao- in a delicious match with my fantastic creature! 


And if you would love to read more about the universe and the work of Laure Fourgeaud, you can find it in her book: « MES CHÈVRES« . Instructive & Enjoyable!!! 


Parfums DiVins


2 novembre 2017


 «As little girls all women were fairies.»

I am saying this in French with the most serious facial expression and my daughter’s friends group bursts of laughter. 12, their age.


However I am continuing: «This is the reason why we called this afternoon «Breakfast for Fairies». You can meet up some similar creatures here.»

The laughter burns my back. I am leaving.

In the creative chaos that spreads all around in a while we find some beautiful aromas on the fairy’s high parfumery. The instruments are everywhere: porcelaine mortar with rose powder, rose water bottle, a bowl with parfume- all residues left.

Apparently, the fairies found my vintage porte-monnaie with dry roses and let their imagination guide them.



The bottle with the new parfume wears a little label with the name HANA. It comes from «hana→ flower» in Japanese. And I guess there is something with the general japon-isation among the young ladies last days.




Back on time- just to assist in cutting of «the Breakfast for Fairies Tart». Pears, Roquefort, wallnuts and rose petals are waiting for us!

I used the moment to share some interesting expressions with ‘pear’ and my favourite one in French: Entre la poire et le fromage ///  Between the pear and the cheese  _absolutely related to my tart_

«At the end of the dinner, with the satisfaction and the comfort from the shared delicious meals, we can take the liberty to speak freely.»

This very old expression comes from the time when at the end of the dinner and just before eating the cheese, people needed to rinse their mouth and for this reason they got used to eat a pear.

«Oh My Cheeeeese! Did you rinse your mouth with a slice of pear before eating it? »

There is no one piece of Roquefort left, happy I am. My favourite Roquefort: Roquefort Le Vieux Berger

«It was very refreshing to taste the story of the pear!»

As little girls all women  were fairies, fairies, fai-ries, fai-r-ieies…



For the crust:

1 1/4 cups flour – 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt – 2 tablespoons of sugar – 7 tablespoons of butter

For the pastry cream:

11/2 cup of hazelnut drink – 3 egg yolks – 3 to 4 tablespoons agave syrup – 1 cup of roasted and finely crushed walnuts – 1 whole pear – 120g Gorgonzola cheese – 1/2 tablespoon rice flour – 1vanilla bean – 12g agar agar

For the Assemblage :

2 pears – 1 cup of roasted walnuts without the thin skin – 100g Roquefort- rose petals


Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and work it into the flour mixture with your fingers or a pastry cutter.

Work in the egg yolk until the mixture looks like fine meal, then use a fork to stir in ice water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough can be gathered together and pressed into ball.

Shape and flatten the dough into a smooth disc shape, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for two hours or overnight.


In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and agave syrup. Whisk in the flour and cornstarch until smooth; set aside.

In a saucepan, heat the hazelnut drink with vanilla bean almost to boiling. Remove the vanilla bean, then slowly and gradually whisk the hazelnut drink into the egg mixture.

Strain the mixture back into the saucepan and heat to a boil, whisking or stirring constantly while the mixture thickens and reaches a boil. Continue cooking for another half minute while stirring, then remove from the heat.

Peel the pear and cut it first into tiny slices and then into micro-sized pieces. Add all to the cream together with the agar agar powder and continue stirring.

Devide in 2 equal parts. With the help of a fork make from the Gorgonzola cheese a soft cream and add it to one part; continue stirring intensively.

Lay a piece of plastic film on the surface of the pastry cream and allow it to cool completely before using.

Assemble the tart:

Roll out the pastry and fit into a tart pan, trimming the excess dough.

Spread that first part of the pastry cream (that without the gorgonzola cheese) across the bottom of the pastry shell. Then repeat with the second par.

Arrange the pear slices in a pattern over the pastry cream, place the Roquefort pieces and the walnuts. Cover with rose petals.

Bon appétit!


Non classé, Parfums DiVins


13 septembre 2016

IPC,  l’Institut de Promotion Commerciale, CCI Bordeaux launches new training program: Coffee and Tea Trade

I love pleasant surprises served early in the morning! So, at the first French cock-crow  on September 7 I grabbed my cup and hurried to join the guests invited to the presentation of IPC’s new training program: Coffee and Tea Trade.

I experience my most “professional” morning awakening! In the hall of Destination, IPC’s partner company, we are welcome by Christine Lambard who is in charge of the five modules making up the tea and coffee program, and Yann Chaigne, Director of IPC and creator of the project. The mood has the delicate scent of energizing fragrances of the day and we started with a cup in our hands.

Our hosts and partners in the training courses are:

IPC, l’Institut de Promotion Commerciale:

  • Founded in 1974 by Bordeaux Chamber of commerce, the institute provides 3 specialized training programs (2 in Wine & Spirits, 1 in Tea & Coffee
  • The training courses are provided by professionals actively engaged in the field
  • Two options of programs: long (11 month) and module-based training
  • Huge network of former students: 1200 +


  • A Bordelais company of more than 20 years of experience and presence on the market for tea and coffee
  • It has professional premises equipped with top class facilities; it is located in the immediate vicinity of IPC building where the courses in trading are held
  • It has a portfolio of more than 450 references for BIO-certified tea and 250 for BIO-certified coffee
  • Christine Lambard, the company’s chief buyer since 1999 and the wife of Destination’s founder, with many years of experience in knowledge sharing

By joining the Coffee and Tea Trade program IPC reaffirms its Grand Cru position among the specialized higher trading schools of Bordeaux:

The training cycle is long, 11 month, and it ends by sitting state exams. A state diploma of qualified specialist in coffee and tea trade is awarded upon the successful completion of the course as IPC is the only French institute licensed to grant this certificate. There are numerous modules in the program regrouped in trading and specialized “product” parts.  

IPC’s website offers comprehensive information about the institute’s training programs:

“We devised the training as a result of our extensive research and it aims to prove the need of specialists in this field,” says Yann Chaigne. A field that has seen a 35-percent growth over the past year…

We put ourselves into the hands of Christine Lambard who illustrates the presented training methods by introducing us to the world of coffee and tea by several practices. There is no stress and tension in the air, learning is a pure pleasure! The ambiance is more than pleasant: taste it!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

How did I know  IPC? In the beginning was the wine:

I could not have written these lines with such awareness if I had not experienced it: back in 2009 fate literally poured me the glass of “challenge” in a row and offered me to take a sip of a new knowledge: the knowledge of wine and spirits. The city: Bordeaux, the exact location: the Institute of Commercial Promotion of Wines and Spirits with Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce.

The name of the educational institution in itself excludes the feeling of “dryness” of the kind that could be associated with academic institutions pretending to offer in-depth educational programs. For despite of the comprehensiveness of the long course of study at IPC (9 months and 40-plus academic week) with its commercial, marketing, communication and information modules, there was no room for “dryness”.

The very beginning speaks for that: as early as on the first day we were handed a tasting glass in which we poked our noses many times a day and which did not abandon us until the very last day when we sat the exam in wines and spirits of the world.

For me, as a person curious by nature and of well-expressed intolerance for monotony the hours spent in endless nose and palate “training” and in “boning” wines from all over the world recharged me and made me very happy. However, to be frank I must admit that at that time thanks to the method of teaching the trade subjects of the professionals actively engaged in the field that was definitely anything but “dry” an understanding of numbers arose and developed in me. My God! I started loving the logic they unconditionally create as well as their (potential) stability bringing balance into my eccentric nature. So to speak: when I left the institute, diploma in my hand, I felt like a positively charged element ready to jump into the world of wine and commerce. Plus the pleasure I took in the contacts with former students. And IPC’s network is remarkable: after all it is a school with 42 years of history!

I will not hide the feeling of gratitude for the support, both moral and practical, I have received while I’ve making my way into the domain over the years that followed. And also the pleasure of seeing how IPC grew to the position of Grand Cru among Bodeaux’s specialized higher schools of commerce.