Editor’s Note: (Travel correspondent, Alain Piallat continues his travels through France.)
When talking about cuisine in France, one must associate food with its presentation, and as such, think about what kind of vessel, it should be served into.
When it comes to ethnic or regional foods, one traditional way to serve food is to use pottery. For years, when I travel to the South of France, I always visit Philippe Beltrando, the owner of the Barbotine Pottery Studio.
Philippe is a former adman, who decided to change course in the late seventy and became an artist potter. He did so because he wanted to bring together his three passions: the art of cooking, the art of the table setting and the art of the earth.
He discovered the art of cooking at a very young age under the tutelage of his mother and grandmother. Thanks to their guidance he has never ceased to cook and research the culinary traditions of the Provence Region and of the Mediterranean area.
Philippe’s other passion is the table setting. He is interested in archeology, so he takes his inspiration from history, decors and the various usages of pottery in Provence and in the Mediterranean through the centuries.
He has always liked the earth and learned under an old Master how to shape the earth, mold it, turn it and varnish it.
The result of these different passions is the “Objets d’ Art” that he produces in his studio at Aubagne, a crow’s flight from Marseille. To make it more interesting, if you buy one his creations, he will give you recipe cards, which are to be used in connection with the items you have purchased.
As Philippe Beltrando likes to say: “When a grandmother, a potter and a gourmand get together it is the past that is reborn!”…and the appreciation of great traditional foods.
The Barbotine Pottery Studio is located at:
Rue Paul Ruer
Tel: 33 (0) 4 42 70 03 00