Culinary Journey to Provence, France
I absolutely love teaching in Provence! I look forward to teaching here for so many reasons - Blanche Fleur is such a beautiful location and it really does feel like staying at my home-away-from-home and the estate has so many beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces that we can use to eat all of the delicious food we prepare in our cooking classes. The famous outdoor markets of Saint-Rémy and Uzès are always brimming with delicious cheeses, the freshest seafood, gorgeous fruits and vegetables, spices, table linens, baskets (a true shopper's paradise), not to mention the incredible wines from Chateauneuf-du-Pape vineyard estates that we'll enjoy all week long. There are beautiful hilltop villages to explore, olive oils to taste, and of course we'll see how some of the best artisanal breads and chocolates are made and we'll get to eat them too!
International Cooking Classes
Our hands-on cooking classes will be held in the wonderful Blanche Fleur professional kitchen that overlooks the pool. We will have several hands-on classes during the week, featuring Provençal-inspired recipes from my cookbooks and also from visits to the fantastic outdoor markets where we'll shop for the freshest local ingredients. Some of the dishes we'll prepare during the week may include Toasted Goat Cheese Salad with Smoked Bacon, Gnocchi with Roquefort Cream (divine!), a traditional Bouillabaisse, Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic, Roulade of Herbed Lamb with Stewed Garlic, Lemon Soufflé Cakes and a Crispy Pear Tart with Soft Cream, just to name a few.
We'll stay at Blanche Fleur, a breathtaking Provençal estate owned by my friend Marie-Claude and her husband located just minutes from the famous Chateauneuf-du-Pape wine-growing region and the medieval town of Isle Sur La Sorgue. The extraordinary estate has been lovingly restored from its original industrial function as a wool and paper mill that had been run by monks. Marie-Claude has re-invisioned the property using many of the original building materials with her exquisite style of simple grace and elegance, now outfitted with modern-day comforts while staying true to its five centuries of history. Lavender, apricot and cherry trees, an extensive orange grove and a gorgeous swimming pool fill the grounds. There is even a small chapel on the property that they use for weddings.
Each of the bedrooms at Blanche Fleur are beautifully appointed in soothing colors and each bed covered with soft Provençal quilts (you'll want to buy some to take home!) and comfortable seating areas and lots of natural light.
Our excursions during the week will include trips to some of the most famous outdoor market, among them: Saint-Rémy de Provence, Isle Sur La Sorgue, Gordes, and Uzès, where we'll shop for ingredients for our cooking classes and of course you'll have time on your own to browse and shop for wonderful things to bring home with you! Since we are in one of the world's most incredible wine regions we will visit and taste at several well-known estates, which may include a trip to my friends Magaly and Raymond Fabre's glorious vineyard, Chateau Mont-Redon, a private tour and tasting at Domaine de la Solitude and Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe estates. We will also visit some of the famous hilltop villages of Provence, have a picnic lunch in one of the medieval towns, visit a world-reknown boulanger (bread maker), meet and taste the creations of one of France's top chocolatiers; and immerse ourselves in Provençal cuisine through hands-on cooking classes at Blanche Fleur.
Group meeting point in Avignon for pick-up and drop-off is: Avignon TGV station.