MILLE & UNE HUILES
“I’m the daughter of a farmer, which is my pride. Born on a vast farm in Bazois (Burgundy), I grew up in fields of cereals, in the midst of the flocks that we raised. We all had to pinch in! When I was seven years old, as soon as I came home from school, I took care of the kitchen garden.
At 10, I had learned to take care of animals. At 13, I drove the tractor. I had to help, and I enjoyed it!
It was not easy every day, but it was wonderful every day. I can still feel, between my palms, the warmth of newly laid eggs and I still have in the mouth, the flavour of the first strawberry that I harvested and the wild blackberries we would pick from the hedges. The city was far away, our first neighbour was several miles away, and all the food we had, except sugar and chicory, came from the farm.
I was a good student, my sisters, too. It is normal: we had been educated in the cult of excellence, responsibility and freedom. One by one, we left the farm to study. But even with a good job, I missed the farm life -the tastes, seasons, laughs and rituals.
It seems natural that all these beloved flavours and smells came back to my sense when I wanted to stand on my own. At the farm, I had learned how a business works. I wanted to start one by myself. During one of my trips in Morocco, I fell in love with the Argan, a fruit unknown in my region twenty years ago. Then I had goosebumps in front of nut oils that a passionate producer, one day, made me taste in France.
I left everything to end up, with my husband Francis, on local marketplaces amidst the local customers and the tourists as surprised by these flavours as I had been: 1001 Huiles was born. Respect, humility and a taste for hard work: I continue to share these same values with the producers as they became my friends.”
- Catherine, founder of 1001 Huiles