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Jun 3, 2014

Our Potentino Chefs are Back at the Château!

A bird’s eye view of the beautiful Château de Courances near Paris.
The Foulerie of Courances, where the pop-up dinner will be held.
Charlotte seen here preparing the spelt at Courances last year.
The long table laid for a dinner at the Castello di Potentino.
Here I am introducing Charlotte and Alexandre, during last year's dinner.
Alexandre is having a little rest during the yearly Potentino harvest.
The Château de Courances at nightfall.
And here, in the distance, the Castello di Potentino at sunset.

A Taste of Italy and a Touch of France”… Some of you may remember this article which I posted in my blog last year at about the same time. I had invited Charlotte Horton and Alexandre Greene, two good friends of mine and two great cooks and winemakers from the Italian Castello di Potentino, to come to the Château de Courances near Paris and prepare for our guests one of their most sought-after specialties: a Saturday night “pop-up dinner”.

This year, the “Saffron Extravaganza” – as the event has been christened this time – will be held on June 21st for about fifty guests: a mix of friends and acquaintances, Trust & Travel clients and followers of the beautiful Château de Courances. If you’re looking for a unique experience, fun and original, festive and relaxed, this pop-up dinner is definitely for you. My recommendation: don’t miss it, come and join us!

Saffron – which is the culinary theme this year – has been used for thousands of years, in cooking as well as in medicinal practices. Cleopatra used to bathe in a saffron infusion before amorous encounters, and Alexander the Great resorted to it in order to heal his battle wounds. In Crete, it was considered sacred and was picked exclusively by handmaidens devoted to the main Minoan goddess. It became so highly prized in Medieval Europe that a war was fought over the theft of a shipment of it from Persia.

Known in Tuscany as zima, saffron has been grown on Mount Amiata since medieval times. As Charlotte and Alexandre live at the foot of this magical mountain, they decided to base their pop-up dinner menu on this rare and sumptuous spice – which is still hand-picked on Mount Amiata by their friend Arabella Rodriguez.

Charlotte and Alexander will be driving all the way up from their Italian home, the Castello di Potentino – which I told you about in a previous article, – with a car brimming with saffron, almonds, tomatoes, olive oil and wine. They will also be using, to prepare their dinner, the fresh vegetables grown in the bountiful vegetable garden of the Château de Courances, and they will be serving, of course, a great new selection of their excellent Potentino wines.

If you’d like to take part in this very special event – sponsored by Trust & Travel – please contact us as soon as possible. The number of seats is limited! Price per person: 60€.

Here is the mouth-watering menu Charlotte and Alexander will be putting together for us:



Jaspidem Sangiovese Rosato


Pea, almond and saffron soup 

 Piropo 2010 Pinot Noir


Spicy hare and saffron agro dolce with sautéed fennel  

with Sacromonte 2006 Sangiovese


Green salad with radishes and watercress,

 Pecorino sardo and pecorino toscano

with Balaxus 2008 Grenache


Saffron and ricotta surprise 

Lyncurio 2013 Pinot Noir Blanc de Noirs

Potentino Grappa & Coffee

Buon appetito!

Food & Wine, Tuscany