One of the benefits of Mezzacello is the the unique differences between Jim and I. The marriage of different perspectives on some of the things we already value. We find ourselves delving into aspects of things that we otherwise might not have. Jim enjoys the animal husbandry science, and culture of the farm, whereas I’m more about the herbs, fresh food and formal garden beauty. He enjoys producing food, but not so much the art of cooking. He likes to say “I produce food, Rick creates art with it.” I could say I cook, but I rely on his farming for produce.

His French background has gotten me into French cooking, which I might have been a little intimidated about …until breaking it down and learning a few techniques. I cut my teeth on Jacques Pepin and his Fast Food My Way, working through his books in a kind of Julia & Julie way.

The Art of French Cooking Jim Bruner | Mezzacello
Jacques Pepin and Jamie Oliver Cookbooks we love. Jim Bruner | Mezzacello

It makes it a lot easier to be creative and effective when you have access to fresh, seasonal food. We raise chickens, ducks and rabbits. All three are essential to French cuisine. So we have adjusted the vegetables and herbs to augment this French menu. I have modified the garden to meet the needs of some German cuisine as well.

Every lesson learned is a new opportunity to create tasty and fresh food with a minimum of processed food from the middle of a modern grocery store. Julia was a strong proponent of preserving food and using fresh ingredients in unique ways. Jaques Pepin continues that legacy with his “Fast Food My Way” series. I am also a fan of Jamie Oliver’s terrific new cook book, “5 Ingredients”. Both of these honor the spirit of an urban garden and the spirit of Julia. We’d love for you to share some of your recipes! Tag #Mezzacello in your posts! as Julia, Jacques and Jamie are all fond of saying, Basta! and Bon Appetite!

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