With all the warm, luminous summer-like weather disappearing, anticipating an ‘April in Paris’ can be set aside for culinary travel writer Carole Bumpus. This October the award-winning writer has much to celebrate. She is currently receiving all kinds of good hits and purchases on her second book, ‘Searching for Family and Traditions at the French Table.’
“This,” she explained “is due to a special promotion put on by my publisher, She Writes Press. The book, which was published a year ago during the pandemic, is celebrating its first anniversary and being promoted world-wide for 0.99 cents as an e-Reader until October 25th.” For those of you who are interested, you can find her book at New In Books website.
Bumpus is elated with the recent stats. For the past month,her book has catapulted near the top of three category lists on Amazon. The lists include number 1 on Loire Travels, number 3 on Culinary Travels and number 20 on the French Cooking list. And, as she says, “This is a culinary travel book; not a cookbook!”
Perhaps most surprising of all is that on the French Cooking list she is in stellar company. “As far as finding myself in the realm of Jacques Pépin or Julia Child with my latest book ratings, I find that quite perplexing,” Bumpus said. “I’m pleased, but baffled, as I have never considered myself a cook or chef but just someone who enjoys trying new recipes.”
Inspired by M.F.K. Fisher, one of the first to write about the importance of food and wine in her travels through France (beginning in the 1930s), Fisher wrote twenty-seven books, including a translation of The Physiology of Taste by Brillat-Savarin. Fisher believed that eating well was just one of the “arts of life.” She is known to have said, “…having bowed to the inevitability of the dictum that we must eat to live, we should ignore it and live to eat…” She was a founder of the Napa Valley Wine Library.
Bumpus is honored that her own writing is successful. “But my goal is to continue to discover the stories of people in their own homes, at their own tables, enjoying a good meal together, much like Fisher did.” Bumpus has had four books published about France and one about Italy.
Also, one of her ‘heroes’ is Geoffroy Raby, a French ex-pat, who runs a small French bistro, Cuisinett, in San Carlos near her home on the Peninsula. “If you want to capture France in a bowl,” she said, “visit this little gem of a bistro. Without taking flight, you can experience all the seasons of the year in his marvelous French cuisine.”
Raby, who is celebrating the tenth anniversary of Cuisinettt his month said, “It’s hard to believe it has been ten years since I opened Cuisinett. Covid has been brutal to my restaurant and to my industry as a whole. Over the past year and a half, we adapted our business model from a Fast Casual restaurant to a French Bistro & Market, said. I updated the front of the restaurant with a French Market selling imported French goods as well as a Wine Retail. The Bistro part has also been a great success as we now offer full service at the table. And, we expanded our space when we built a parklet in front of the restaurant.”
All improvements made are in keeping with current COVID-19 protocols. “We are hopeful that business will increase, said Raby. And, we will continue to find a position in our community. We are happy to have survived so far the pandemic and we constantly look for new ways to improve our guest experience.”
When asked how he was celebrating his tenth anniversary, he responded, “I did not really do anything specific for our ten years as it is a bittersweet moment. I am just grateful that we are still in business, and I am still able to employ some phenomenal employees.” To check out the luncheon and dinner menus and make a trip to his bistro to experience a bit of France, visit the Cuisinett website. When asked about special dishes for the Fall, chef Raby responded, “Boeuf Bourguignon is definitely a great classic for the season.”
With Fall ushering in winter, a stew like Boeuf Bourguignon is the ideal comfort food. Raby likes his patrons to know that French food is basically hearty comfort food. Bumpus agrees!
“Boeuf Bourguignon,” said Bumpus, “is a stew of succulent pieces of beef steeped in a rich Burgundy wine sauce. The meat is surrounded with other vegetables like carrots, French peas, small potatoes, pearl onions, and plenty of herbs (as part of a bouquet garni), but these help to deepen the complex flavors. I just love the savory essence as it sweeps over my tongue and then I hold that richness in my mouth for a slight hesitation before swallowing,” she added, as if the sampling of a fine wine. “Which, of course, is part of the name. Burgundy wine.”
Bumpus then noted. “In ‘Book One of the Search for Family and Traditions at the French Table,’ I included thisvery recipe, and it calls for beef chuck, or short ribs, but no matter what you choose the idea is to braise the meat for hours (three to be exact) to break down the tissue to tenderize it.”
Bumpus is also pleased and honored that her writing has achieved distinction. While the past 18 months or so has been unusual and unprecedented with COVID-19, Bumpus received an IPPY 2021 – Gold Medal Award winning for her Non-fiction Series ––for all three books in the ‘Savoring the Olde Ways’ series.
To enjoy the autumn season with that certain comfort of Boeuf Bourguignon and other dishes check out the special limited time offer from Amazon (world-wide) of Carole Bumpus and her books. Visit the Carole Bumpus website.