Joie de vivre
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A Soirée Deluxe in the San Fernando Valley

“The French know how to enjoy simple pleasures,” says host Gary Simons, center, with his wife Gilena, second from left, and their guest. (Joao Canziani / For The Times)
Florence Déprez-Wright samples the garden lemon tart. (Joao Canziani / For The Times)
Gilena Simons descends the staircase in her French farmhouse-inspired home. The Capiz shell chandelier is by Los Angeles designer Kevin Kolanowski. (Joao Canziani / For The Times)
Chef Craig Pincus removes the tomato and olive flatbread appetizer from the pizza oven built into a wall in the loggia. (Joao Canziani / For The Times)
Interior designer Mark Cutler shares an aperitif with quest Aurelie Levy in the front courtyard. (Joao Canziani / For The Times)
French director Pitof slices the capon for Aurelie Levy. (Joao Canziani / For The Times)
The spit-roasted capon is give a Southern California twist with dark beer and honey. Ratatouille-stuffed artichokes and fingerling potatoes round out the meal. (Joao Canziani / For The Times)
Ice cream, made with lavender from the Simonses’ garden, shares billling with the lemon tart. (Joao Canziani / For The Times)
Jean-Maurice Moulene and Florence Déprez-Wright enjoy a lemon tart in the loggia. (Joao Canziani / For The Times)
The Simonses and their guests raise a glass to the good life whether it be in the Valley or in Provence. (Joao Canziani / For The Times)
Aged Goat Cheese Soufflé (Joao Canziani / For The Times)
Garden Lemon Tart (Joao Canziani / For The Times)
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