Thank you to all my lovely clients.
Jane visited our Ladies’ Group meeting recently and what an afternoon in was! Living here in beautiful France, we all enjoy a glass or two of wine and are spoiled for choice. But it is all rather hit and miss for us, and none of us really knew how to judge a really good wine a reasonable price. Jane arrived armed with several ‘mystery’ bottles of her favourite wines and some tempting homemade goodies. She started the afternoon with a short presentation on based on her experience as a chef and her studies as a wine connoisseur. The next three hours flew passed as she taught us how to use all our senses to try these wines and how to judge age, quality and strength. We needed no persuading! With each wine, she served the food she had brought and invited us to comment on how they paired with the wines. With our gathered knowledge, we were asked to guess which region the wine may have come from and which grapes may have been used. It was totally fascinating and opened our eyes to the huge amount of knowledge and study required to begin to understand this fascinating subject. There was much fun and laughter as we started our practical studies under such expert guidance. I can thoroughly recommend Jane to you. She is interesting, talented, inspirational with a passion and love of good food and wine. We learned so much in such a short time and it was an afternoon to remember indeed. Thank you Jane and we wish you every success with your business and we look forward to welcoming you back.
Leggies 47, S. Thompsett, August 2015
"Jane is the best and if you are considering hiring a personal chef for any occasion I would urge you to stop your search now and I hire her. She was very easy and pleasant to work with over email planning the menu, and the meal she prepared rivaled the Michelin starred meals we paid hundreds of euros per person for. On top of all that Jane is simply a wonderful person and not only did we enjoy her cooking but her company as well. In the 13 days we spent in France the best meal we had was the meal Jane prepared for us in our villa."
Brent Berc, October 2014
"We have just returned from the "Trip of a lifetime" to the Dordogne region of France. We stayed in a beautiful chateau, bicycled on scenic country roads and visited historic and beautiful towns. However, one of the most memorable experiences of this trip were the meals prepared by Chef Le Grande. Our chateau owners recommended Jane to us and it turned out to be the best advice we received on our vacation. Initially we hired Jane to prepare two meals for our group of 15 adult travelers but after the first meal we immediately asked Jane if she was available for additional nights. All of Jane's meals were fantastic. She used fresh, local ingredients and all dishes we beautifully presented. Jane provided background information for all the dishes she served and helped us pair our meals with great local wines. From appetizers to desserts every meal was an adventure. Vacations create great memories and the greatest memories of this vacation were the meals our group shared together after a day of cycling prepared by Chef Le Grande."
Lloyd. Ortman,MA 01007, 2014
“Beautifully plated, delicious food. Transformed our family vacation into a luxury get- away. Jane was a pleasure to be around and offered her expertise both in her cooking and in her knowledge of the region and food in general.” Olivia, New York.
We were thrilled to have Chef Jane Monk organise my special Birthday Party of 32 guests in our Manoir in the Dordogne. She not only cooked a superb meal but also organised and corresponded with the hire company to set up a Marquee, tables, crockery etc. She was professional and made the day very relaxing for us.
Jane recommended wines from the region and also some from further afield with her “Taster” wine box which she personally brought to our Manoir when we first arrived, which gave us plenty of time to explore the variety of wines France has to offer.
We also had Jane cook other meals for us from 8 to 14 guests, which she did with aplomb.
Thank you Jane for all your hard work making my birthday one I will never forget.”
Helen and Nick Allen - London Summer 2014
A wonderful entertaining informative experience a great way to learn more about food and wine What a lovely lady too so knowledgeable and her enthusiasm and joy in her work is so infectious! Ros, Leggies 47.
I"Jane was an absolute delight. From the first moment we met her to our last hug goodbye. We had the chance to have two meals with her. One that she prepared for us which was simply exquisite. Each course was incredible. It was so nice to sit down with family and have a personal experience with French food at our home. The second meal was even more fun! Jane taught us a thing or two about cooking! Getting a cooking lesson from her was a delight and so informative. We had to have her join us for dinner because she fit in so well with our family. We simply loved her! I tried to convince her to come back to the states with me! She is an incredible chef and wonderfully warm individual! You don't want to pass up the opportunity to have her in your kitchen!"
Ally Lamb October 2014 , Florida
This summer friends and family enjoyed a lovely stay in southwest France, near St- Emilion, where we rented a house. It was memorable for many reasons, but Chef le Grande was certainly a highlight. She was fun to have in our home and presented us with superb dining, beautifully presented. We were thrilled to have terrific meals at home without having to do the shopping, preparation, or clean-up. Jane does it all, with great humor, and it is obvious she loves what she does."
Phyllis and John. Maison des Amis, St Emilion 2014
"Our trip to a gorgeous chateau in the South of France was made even more memorable by the culinary creations of Chef Jane. Jane Monk created three perfect meals for fifteen of us. She even made a special vegan meal for our vegan traveling companion. What a way to travel! From appetizers to sumptuous meals, breath- taking desserts and a meal ending perfect cheese course everything was delicious, beautifully presented and served. It was a dining experience that rivalled the best restaurants but we didn't have to leave the comfort and beauty of our magnificent
chateau. Nor did we have to do the shopping, prepping, cooking, serving or cleaning. It enabled us to really enjoy the evening with old friends. The only sad part was that we didn't have Jane cook for us every night. "
Melinda Rigney, Massachusetts 2014
"J Monk was our awesome chef in the Dordogne. Three sumptuous dinners finely crafted from her heart, -- appealing to both the eye and the palate, with wine recommendations skilfully made from our shopping booty. Truly an artist, she channels inspiration, working from the day's offerings in the market and from her own cache.
This was an unforgettable experience in exquisite surroundings!" Dru Marie Robért Fine Art 2014
My boyfriend, his sister, brother, sister-in-law, their 6 month old baby and myself all stayed for a week right outside of St. Emilion in a stunning maison in the country side. Looking for a personal chef for one evening and taking a cooking class the next, we were referred to Jane through the agency we used to rent the maison. I cannot believe how lucky we were to have found such a warm, personable, and incredibly knowledgeable person like Jane guiding our group down the delicious French culinary road of excellence!
Not only did Jane work with us continuously before our arrival to perfect the menu based on allergies and taste, but she paired our meals perfectly with the appropriate wines and taught us a little about meal and wine pairing as well. One of my favorite memories of our two week trip in France was when Jane came over for the afternoon for our cooking class and taught us everything there is to know about mushrooms. Jane showed us how to clean and cook mushrooms in the kitchen and she also took us literally out in the back woods to hunt for mushrooms to see if there were any fresh ones to be cooked along with our dinner. It was truly a surreal and incredibly fun moment for our group and something we'll ever forget. A big thank you to Jane for everything. Hope to see her again in France sometime soon!
Heather Crowe, St Emilion, 2014
Chef Jane Mills-Monk is not only an amazing chef but a pleasant and very tolerant individual who happily handled our constant intrusions into her kitchen. She answered all of our questions related to food, France (and Jane personally), and she seemed to actually enjoy us and the process of preparing the entire meal. We, most assuredly, enjoyed her. Due to a miscommunication on our part, there were some last minute changes to the menu which were accommodated with aplomb and without fuss.
Now about the food. Can I just say AMAZING? This multi course meal was designed around all that was fresh and in season and began with an amuse bouche of beetroot and rosemary velouté that set the stage for the deliciousness to follow. Next we enjoyed a saffron cream soup with fresh winter mussels (the best I’ve ever had), and a
sautéed endive with raspberry vinegar for our vegetarian friend. Our main course, fillet of beef Rossini made with fresh truffles and foie gras, Madeira sauce and served with crushed vitelotte potatoes led us to a discussion on the procurement of black winter truffles. I get the feeling that Jane is willing to ruffle a few feathers at market to ensure that she gets a “black diamond” that meets her standards, all to the diners' benefit. And benefit we did. Our vegetarian friend was very much delighted by her Filo tart with creamy forest mushrooms. Next came a course of regional French cheeses after which we savored a dessert of fresh winter fruits with Armagnac cooked en papillote and served with vanilla crème fraiche. Each dish was beautifully presented. At this point we were properly and uncomfortably stuffed (only because resisting the food was an exercise in futility) so she settled us all with coffee and some petit fours. This meal ranked in the top we had during our three week stay in France. When we return, it will be our pleasure to have Chef Jane prepare another meal for us.
-Cheryl Purdy 2015