About the founding owners:

Dory & Steve Kanter

Dory is an artist, author and art educator and has led many painting workshops to the south of France. Her book, Art Escapes, is filled with paintings and drawings inspired by Provence. Steve teaches constitutional law at Lewis & Clark Law School and especially loves this corner of France where he enjoys walking and hiking along tranquil byways from little village to little village, each with its own charms. Dory and Steve first fell in love with France while biking together in the 1970’s. The sight of row after row of olive and almond trees, fields of lavender, and hillsides of grenache and syrah never fails to inspire. They can’t wait to share Chez Mirabel and this magical region with their family and friends.

Lynda & Jim Gardner

Lynda, Jim and their two adult children (Rachel and Joe) share a lifelong love of France. The Gardner family was first drawn to this uniquely beguiling country while their children were attending the French-American International School in Portland, Oregon. To supplement their children’s bilingual education and later out of sheer affection for all things French, the Gardners spent each vacation and sabbatical for twenty-five years sampling every region of France but always returning to Provence.  Lynda – a gifted cook – is especially enamored of the tastes and aromas of fresh Provençal produce as well as the superb cheeses, olives and wines of the region. Jim savors the delicious dishes that emerge from Lynda’s kitchen as well as the sheer joy of gazing on the natural wonders of this beautiful region – the vignobles, the olive trees, the towering glory of Mt. Ventoux – shimmering in the incredibly clear air and famously bright sunlight of Provence. In their professional lives, Jim and Lynda are lawyers who practice together in their own law firm (Gardner & Gardner) in Portland.

Martha & Rick Samco

Martha loves languages, traveling, and introducing people to new experiences. An American army brat, whose family spent long tours of duty in Germany and Italy, she developed an abiding appreciation for people, culture, and aesthetics. Rick loves discovery and problem solving which were earlier fulfilled by his founding and stewardship of hi-tech companies in Oregon. Since retirement, these passions have been largely fulfilled through travel and photography. Martha accompanied Rick on his first business trip to Europe in the mid 1980’s, when they discovered France together. That trip opened the door to adventure in dozens of countries in the ensuing decades, but they keep returning to southern France as a touchstone. They are thrilled to finally have Chez Mirabel as a retreat and a step-off to future adventures in Southern France and the world beyond.


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