‘Picnic in Provence’ author takes a trip to Auburn

Picnic in Provence A Memoir with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard
Picnic in Provence A Memoir with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard

Gary Moffat, who owns Carpe Vino restaurant and wine bar in Old Town Auburn, has always been the kind of guy to give things a try.

Last fall, when he was researching an upcoming tour to Provence, France, he happened on “Picnic in Provence,” a “memoir with recipes” by ex-New Yorker Elizabeth Bard (Back Bay, $16, 384 pages; It’s the sequel to her “Lunch in Paris” memoir, and tells the story of how she and her French husband moved into a historic home in Provence and set up an artisanal ice cream shop.

Impressed, Moffat contacted Bard via email, and he and his girlfriend ended up spending an afternoon with her in Provence.

“I told Elizabeth that if she ever came to Northern California, I’d love to host a book-signing for her at Carpe Vino,” Moffat said.

The pieces fell into place (her U.S. book tour helped) and now Bard is set for a book-signing, reading and autograph session/chat at Carpe Vino at 6 p.m. Thursday July 14 – appropriately on Bastille Day, one of France’s national holidays.

To make the event yet more Gallic, a Provence-inspired appetizer plate will deliver tastes of tuna Nicoise, chickpea polenta and Dixon lamb with tapenade and squash blossoms ($10). Three Provencal vinos will accompany: St Andre de Figuiere “Atmosphere” Brut Rose ($10 a glass), Domaine Du Gros Nore Bandol Rose ($12) and Mas des Cadenet “Cotes De Provence” Rouge, ($9). No reservations are required.

Carpe Vino, 1568 Lincoln Way, Auburn; 530-823-0320|,

The tale of three heroes

A year ago, the public had not heard of lifelong Sacramento friends Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler. Their heroic actions that stopped a terrorist attack aboard a French passenger train on Aug. 21, 2015, turned them into household names.

Now the trio has a book coming out Aug. 23, detailing the walk-up story to their deed, the first-person details of what happened on the train and how, and the aftermath. “The 15:17 to Paris” was written by the three, with veteran journalist Jeffrey E. Stern (Public Affairs, $26, 256 pages).

Stone is an Air Force staff sergeant, Skarlatos is a specialist in the Oregon National Guard, and Sadler is a senior at California State University, Sacramento.