March was an exciting month watching Home Base Holidays member, Paul, appearing as a contestant on the very popular BBC series, Masterchef. We're all so proud of him and he did incredibly well, making it all the way to the final 12 (episode 15). His French inspired food looked amazing and received excellent feedback from the Masterchef judges, John and Greg. Some of the highlights included cooking a lunch service at The Frog restaurant in London's Covent Garden and cooking for the world-renowned two Michelin Star chef, Michel Roux Jr. Way to go Paul!
Paul and his wife Judith are early retiree art & design lecturers and very experienced home exchangers. The couple have a beautiful French home in Olonzac, right in the middle of the wine producing area of the Minervois in Languedoc Roussillon. Their home has a lovely courtyard planted with figs, grapes, lemons, olives, bougainvillea, oleander, hibiscus and lavender, as well as herbs and tomatoes, where you can dine al fresco. You can certainly see where Paul gets many of his culinary inspirations from!
On home exchanging and sampling local produce, Judith writes:
"We're SO proud of Paul! A great benefit of home exchanging is being able shop and cook locally. We have great memories of the farmer’s market in San Francisco, Piggly Wiggly in Charleston South Carolina, VONS in LA, the roadside stalls in Acapulco, fishermen’s hauls in Spain.
We bought the weird and wonderful in Australia - Morton Bay Bugs and kangaroo steaks, then cooked it on a beautiful flowery patio beside our very own pool.
Cooking food on a variety of interesting quirky ovens and BBQs is one of the thrills of a home swap, something that would be impossible in a hotel room." - Judith
Watch Paul's Masterchef journey via the BBC iPlayer: (only available in the UK)
You can catch up with Paul's Masterchef appearances via the BBC iPlayer: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/b006t1k5/masterchef
Meet the members
Check out Paul and Judith's home, a lovely 120 year old town house in the friendly, bustling village of Olonzac.