Life Comes Full Circle

Cooking Petit Farcis for My Chère Maman

Francois de Melogue
7 min readJun 30, 2021


Chère Maman:

Though I know you will never read this letter I want to thank you for everything you have ever done for me. Your passion for life, food, and wine (though not necessarily always in that order) has inspired me my entire life.

You taught me the valuable lessons that helped shape the person standing here today. You demonstrated that through hard work and perseverance anything is possible. No dream is too big to realize. Though I feel it’s imperative to add that a very healthy dose of French stubbornness is important too. Without it, many of your (or my) greatest moments never would have simply never occurred.

Thanks for teaching me to love food and the culture that surrounds it. You showed me how to live fully and savor every single crumb of life. These are the true joys of everyday living. Antoine Saint Exupery said it better than I ever could: ‘The joy of living, I say, was summed up for me in the remembered sensation of that burning and aromatic swallow, that mixture of milk and coffee and bread by which men hold communion with tranquil pastures, exotic plantations, and golden harvests, communion with earth.’

I Love You.

Your Grateful Son Francois

Me and my mother Micheline

Getting Old Ain’t No Joke

Last week we drove from Vermont through the cornfields dotting the American landscape to my mother’s home in the Chicago suburbs. The goal was to spend some quality time together cooking, drinking wine, and share in the joys of the table together again. It felt as though a lifetime had passed since I had last seen her. A visit was long overdue.

Over the recent years, my mother has been suffering through limited mobility, short-term memory loss and not being able to cook for herself anymore. During Covid, she fell hard in the kitchen and ended up in intensive care for several weeks. I don’t have to tell any of you who have experienced this firsthand how incredibly painful and hard it was not to be able to see your parent at their moment of greatest need. To hear the intense fear in her shaking voice of being alone in an unfamiliar place with tubes stuck in her body and not understanding why. Or even her insistent pleading…



Francois de Melogue

My earliest attempt at cookery began with the filleting of my sister's goldfish at age 2 and cooking my pet rabbits by age 7. Life has been downhill ever since.