Kate Hill and her Garden Mary. Who is Kate Hill? What’s a Garden Mary?…

Kate Hill, having a little taste in her Camont Kitchen

I have been a big fan of Kate Hill’s for some time. Love following her posts on Social Media. Kate is a published author and professional cook and teacher, mentor, coach, and fairy godmother. Thirty years ago, she found Camont laying in ruin alongside the Canal de Garonne; she sailed into this fruitful spot in France on her Dutch canal barge, the Julia Hoyt, beginning the first gastronomic charters in Gascony. Camont is Kate’s historic 18th-century farmhouse perched on the banks of a sleepy Canal near Agen in Southwest France. Camont soon became a lively homeport and its 300-year-old kitchen became the focus for hundreds of hungry friends and guests over the years. Home, gite, and gardens—it wasn’t long before she started teaching cooking classes in that French Kitchen at Camont.

Nothing like a spot of red wine in your empty soup plate

The rural diversity of Gascony continues to inspire her and the food she cooks every day at Camont. As one of Gascony’s most passionate ambassadors, let her guide you through the simple tricks and techniques to celebrate the best local produce: luxurious foie gras to the best ever summery tomato tartes.

Excitement wrapped in Caul Fat

From crafting globe-trotting Cassoulets to rolling out buttery Croustade aux Pommes, she teaches the basics of French cuisine, the fine points of Gascon cooking, and how to master the cooking of Southwest France. she writes about my neighbours, the larger than life characters of Gascony, the beautiful villages and landscapes, and the great food in International Magazine like Saveur and on her Stories blog. Do visit her website and follow her – she is huge fun!

Cook at Camont with Kate Hill in small, very hands-on classes of 6-8 students featuring the best of local Gascon products grown by her neighbours and farms—from seed to sausage.

I was so taken by a Garden Mary which Kate published earlier this week, that I asked her permission to publish it here. And the generosity of the reply was what I expected.

Summer Soup, The Garden Mary

Kate loves the photo of that “old Gascon geezer getting ready to faire le chabrot, pouring red wine into his soup bowl with some of the meaty broth. But the winter cosy soup kitchen seems a long way away on this hot August day. Instead, let me entice you instead into making a chilled summer cocktail with the freshest and ripest tomatoes and served with a dollop of cold vodka. Less a Gazpacho and more of a Bloody Mary, drink your vegetables and dress the glass with whatever is growing in the garden. I dubbed it a Garden Mary – coriander, cornichons, lovage, chili peppers.”

Kate Hill’s Garden Mary

Per serving in a tall glass with abundant ice cubes:

1 very ripe tomato, grated into the glass, seeds, pulp, et al
an equal amount of cold water, stir

for garnish: 
1 small cucumber, sliced
1 chili pepper, whole
lovage or celery leaf
basil or other herbs in flower
thin green onion
salt and pepper to taste
a generous splash of good vodka over the top

Kate about to serve a meal in her fabulous kitchen

Kate Hill would love you to visit her website – CLICK HERE

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August 12th, 2020|Categories: Michael's Writings|Tags: , , , , |