A Day with La Tartine Gourmande

by Maggie Battista on February 6, 2012

in Authors, Blog

There are so many things that make Béatrice Peltre extraordinarily special.

She’s most definitely kind and generous, something I noticed instantly from our emails leading up to Eat Boutique’s Holiday Local Market in December. At our event, Béa had her first ever book signing as a published author. Along with her family and her new book La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life, she brought sweet treats to share with our 600+ guests, which, of course, evaporated before I could grab a taste.

If you didn’t make it to the event, you should know that in person, Béa is as sweet as her Red Fruit Clafoutis, a delicious dessert she baked when we met up again last month, this time in her lovely home.  Béa baked, Heidi photographed and I did what any conscientious food blogger should do: I watched… very closely.

Three hours later and delighted by an impromptu and effortless lunch of squash soup, root vegetable latkes, an extravagant cheeseboard and two desserts, I was also full on lessons learned.

Among so many other takeaways, like falling for her Red Fruit Clafoutis and Lavender Ile Flottantes made with her very own hands,  Béa left this three-fold impression on me:

1. Be you, all the way.

The personality and flavor that leaps from Béa’s site are only magnified in person. Her home, her recipes and photos, and her style are purely Béatrice. Sitting at her kitchen island surrounded by colorful bowls, stacks of bright plates, and pure ingredients, I could have been sitting inside a page of her cookbook. She truly is her brand, but in the most genuine way. I left resolute in not trying to be me, but just being me.

2. Make your own color rules.

While Béa considers herself mostly vegetarian, she loves photographing meat. She assured me it’s less about the meat and more about the color, red. She delights in photographing anything that’s red-hued, and when she mentioned the combination of red and blue, well, I think she actually swooned. Béa plays with colors and fabrics in a nontraditional way, and I like it. I made a note to myself to endeavor to step out of my box now and again.

3. Remember the little (sweet) things.

Food is certainly a serious business and this is driven home more so as I continue to engage with new food bloggers, cookbook authors, publishers and marketers. But an escape into Béa’s world reminded me that even in food photography, technique only goes so far. Finding beauty in the little things beyond structured technique, like a vintage stool covered in dirt, buried in a cellar and practically calling out for a plate of food, is immensely important to this life we’ve chosen.

On a recent job with a group very mindful of eating healthily, Béa returned home and did the most natural thing anyone who remembers the sweet little things would do: she baked a chocolate cake. She had been craving something sweet after time without, and that was probably the most important lesson: chocolate cake, especially made with Béa’s recipe, is not a luxury but a necessity.

Béa’s new book, La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life, officially releases on February 7, 2012. All photos styled by Beatrice Peltre and Heidi Murphy, and taken by Heidi Murphy/White Loft Studio. Maggie Battista provided the flowers and Bellocq generously shared their perfect teas.

Eat Boutique is a site + market for food enthusiasts to celebrate the best pure, local and comforting handmade foods. We call it: food that hugs you back. Looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift? Eat Boutique sells gift boxes filled with handmade sweet and savory treats. Send a gift box of handmade food today.

Maggie Battista

Founder at Eat Boutique
Maggie, is the founder of Eat Boutique. She started Eat Boutique as a blog in 2007, and sold out of her first gift box of small batch independent food in 2009. Maggie continues to offer unique and delicious handmade food in tasting subscriptions and seasonal gift boxes for food fans and home cooks. Maggie also hosts Eat Boutique Markets, where she spotlights cookbook authors and food makers. She’s written for Style Me Pretty, Food52, Time Out New York, Spencer Magazine, and writes a cocktail column for the popular wedding blog, Snippet & Ink. Maggie's also created retail experiences for the largest floral and event design company in New England. She regularly travels far distances to find the next great chef, farmer, food maker or host. You can follow her worldwide – and homemade – gastronomic adventures on Twitter at @mizmaggieb or @eatboutique. Maggie's first-ever cookbook Food Gift Love will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in October 2015. You may pre-order now.

  • Anonymous

    Beautifully written!! Love Béa and her work, glad to see her on EB! 

    • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

       Thank you Lindsey! We had such a great time with her and I hope that came through. Merci, xox!

  • http://frenchieandtheyankee.com/ Frenchie and the Yankee

    Wonderful. Looks like you had a fun day. I remember your tweets and photos when you were there.

    • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

       Yes, I remember your tweets! We had fun, thanks so much for commenting. xox!

  • melissa kanaracus

    I was there and was able to try the delicious sample of the custard and apple verrine. I also bought Bea’s book and so far I’ve made a delicious almond, buckwheat and chocolate cake. Love the photos and recipes, great story, and I recommend the book.

    • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

      Hi Melissa: I am so glad you were at the market! I wish I had gotten a taste of that verrine, but I can’t wait to make it. Thanks so much for the sweet comment. xox!

  • http://www.ladygouda.blogspot.com/ Shelby @ Lady Gouda

    SO beautiful. I love the tip about using color in different ways. Whenever I think about Beatrice’s blog, I think about sunny, warm pictures, with tons of color. I love seeing it come through here too. It makes me want to go myself some beautiful flowers! I can’t wait to get my hands on this book. Bravo Maggie, Heidi and Bea!

    • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

       You’re too sweet, Shelby – thank you!

  • Emma

    Beautiful post, pics and words.

    • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

       Thank you so much, Emma! xox

  • http://butterandcreamblog.blogspot.com/ Rosalind Marquez

    all of these pictures are so beautiful, and together with your words paint such a sweet picture

    • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

      That’s so sweet of you, Rosalind. thank you! xox

  • http://profiles.google.com/heidileonmx Heidi leon

    Beautiful everything. Thanks for sharing the lessons you´ve learned while being with Beàtrice. I think both of you are an inspiration. Also many thanks to Heidi for doing such a lovely spread of photos. Mag quality. 

    • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

       Heidi, you are such a treat. Thanks for the kind kind words. I do hope we get to meet up someday soon! xox

  • Keia Mastrianni

    Love this post. Bea is inspiring as are your equally inspiring words and tips on authenticity. 

    • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

      Thank you, Keia! I love Bea as well. Thanks for your sweet words, I learn a lot from her always. :} xox Maggie

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