“Love, God and the Art of French Cooking” is a beautiful book about James F. Twyman’s journey into his own self in search for happiness that is to his surprise supported by Roger Dufau, a French chef who together with his wife Kathleen owns a sweet B&B “Drew House” in Elora, just outside of Toronto.
How did James get there? Well, he and his girlfriend at the time decided to have a short holiday at Drew House to find out in which direction their relationship might go. The answer comes faster than expected. The next day Michele drives off, leaving James, because she says they are too different. He is quite perplex and in this moment is being met by Roger who then invites him for breakfast and for talking. And that’s where it all begins. Suddenly the French chef turns out to be a spiritual teacher as well and together they explore joy, real happiness and the role of food in our life.
“Love is what is important.” is Roger’s main teaching and he applies it not only to his life but also to food and his cooking and everything else he is doing. “Whatever brings us joy, we do; and what makes us feel sick, we don’t.” is something he teaches James very early on.
“You don’t deserve to be happy.” is one of the hidden beliefs from his past that James finds deep down inside during the time he spends alone at Drew House. He realises that all his life he has been searching for money and fame, because he believed that without it he wasn’t deserving love. He thought he was unable to attract lasting love, because he wasn’t powerful or rich enough. Now he comes to realise that although having been successful and having earned lots of money, he doesn’t feel abundant. During his conversations with Roger he is finally ready to let go of those old beliefs and embrace the uncertainty of not knowing how his life is going to turn out now. Not knowing where he is going from there.
Roger teaches a lot of beautiful and wise lessons about real abundance, choosing love instead of fear, embracing uncertainty which really is life and about combining your passion with service so that others can enjoy it too. James finally learns the most important lesson in life which is loving yourself and also to enjoy every moment and every imperfection in life.
I encourage you to read that book. It contains so much wisdom. I have taken 5 pages of handwritten notes for myself to remember the wisdom and be able to have a quick look at it now and then during my day. It really is beautiful and wise.
The coolest thing for me which I found at the end of the book are the cooking classes Roger Dufau and James F. Twyman have filmed together. In these videos they share some of the thoughts and teachings that James received from Roger at Drew House. And of course Roger also shares some quick recipes. The recipes aren’t really suitable for vegetarians or lactose-intolerant people like me, but the way of dealing with food with love and respect and all that Roger does is one that you can apply to whatever dish you prepare. So I encourage everybody to watch those videos. Search for Roger Dufau on YouTube.