A Culinary Journey to the
Join me at Simca Beck’s former home where the magic happened! The trip of a lifetime for Julia & Simca fans.
Two 2024 Trip Options:
April 20 - 27, 2024
September 28 - October 5, 2024
We’ll be staying at the former summer homes of Simca Beck where recipes were created for the Mastering the Art of French Cooking series of books. Our week will be filled with cooking, sight-seeing, and soaking up the spirit of these beloved homes in Provence.
The Story of Mas Bramafam, Mas Des Lavandes, La Campanette & Pitcholine
Simone Beck, known as "Simca," and her husband Jean Fischbacher lived in Paris when, in 1949, Simone and Julia Child met at a party in the Bois de Boulogne. They forged a sisterly bond that lasted throughout their lifetime.
The two started "Ecole des Trois Gourmandes" along with Louisette Bertholle in 1951. In 1961, the threesome started their next project together, Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume One. In 1970 Simca and Julia published their second book together, Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume Two.
Simca and Jean moved to the old Fischbacher family property in Provence near Nice in 1974. The property was known as "Vieux Mas in Bramafam." Here they built La Campanette with the kitchen and pegboard wall that Simca wanted.
In 1961, Julia and Paul moved back to the United States, where Julia soon became America's first kitchen celeb. As the cooking show and fame increased, Paul and Julia went back to visit Jean and Simca for a vacation two years later. The Côte d'Azur weather, farmers markets, and smells of lavender called to Julia and Paul. With a handshake, Julia and Paul leased a plot of the potato patch and built La Pitchoune. "La Peetch" which means "the little one" was "built on friendship." Paul and Julia relished part of every year at La Pitchoune, hosting many famous friends.
Eventually, once Paul, Jean, and Simca passed, Julia no longer found joy in visiting La Peetch and gave the house back to the Beck family. La Pitchoune was sold. Simca's nephew Christian Beck eventually purchased Mas Des Lavandes and owns it still.
Today, architect and designer Alexandra Lacarrère owns the original Le Vieux Mas Bramafam. "Mas" is the term for a traditional farmhouse found in the Provence region of France. Beautifully restored with a blend of the old stone house and sleek, modern design, Alexandra has opened up the home to the outdoors and the French countryside.
Read the full story in the memoir, "My Life in France" in which Alex Prud'homme, Julia Child's grandnephew, collaborated.
Where We’ll Stay
Option 1: Mas Bramafam
Mas Bramafam is a stunning farmhouse which dates back to the 18th century and has been lovingly restored.
Located in the heart of three hectares of olive groves, it stands in a south facing position with breathtaking panoramic views from the house and the infinity pool. There are five en-suite bedrooms spread over 3 floors. Stone walls, wood floors and modern touches make this home an exceptional property.
Option 2: Mas Des Lavandes & La Campanette
While Julia and Paul loved to entertain the who’s who of the food world, Simca used her home as a secluded, quiet refuge. Now owned by Simca’s nephew Christian Beck, it has been kept just as it was with traditional French country decor. Only the bathrooms have been updated “for the Americans.”
“My magical trip to France! When I was able to join Barbie on her trip to the south of France and stay at Julia Child's former summer home, I thought it would be lovely, but I had no idea how truly magical and life-changing it would be. Every day my mind still dances with the memories of all the experiences we had. I loved all of the fantastic food we cooked and ate in the villages we visited, the people we met, swimming in the sea, museums, and new friends! I cannot imagine I could've enjoyed anything more.”
—Rebecca, France 2019
Seller of Travel #2132010-40
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