French Culinary Adventure

From £2108 pp

France , Loire Valley

7 Days

Small Group up to 8 People

What you'll do

Learn to master French cuisine on this 6 night culinary adventure in a quiet hamlet with not one but two qualified and award winning chefs; return home with a range of new cookery skills and wonderful recipes for French classics with a twist including souffles, macarons, brulees & more.

If you are looking for an authentic French culinary experience that is hands on and full of variety, search no more! Take inspiration from French classics and take it to a new level with your Chefs’ added flare, spices and a hint of the exotic.

You’ll be guided on your culinary adventure by two qualified and award winning chefs, Alison and Sidney, whose passion for creating incredible dishes using local, seasonal produce, will teach you not only how to cook, but how to fall in love with cooking, and all of the rewarding results that come with it.

This husband and wife team, who met in Swaziland, have worked all over the world as groundbreaking, innovative chefs. Sidney was Captain of The British Craft Guild Team for 2000/2001 when they achieved a record medal total, and both have been recognised for their medals obtained at international levels as well as having cooked for heads of State and celebrities. We figured if they’re good enough for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, they’re good enough for you!

This culinary adventure leaves nothing out. From guinea fowl to duck, outdoor markets, regional wine and even a dinner at a Michelin Star restaurant, each day will be a new foodie experience – and that’s before embracing souffles, macarons and chocolates!

You’ll enjoy 6 nights in one of two 4 star hotels located within walking distance of the cooking school, and each has been renovated to have every modern convenience while retaining its old French charm. Your hosts will be happy to pick you up before your lesson, although many guests find the walk enjoyable or use a bicycle throughout their stay. Located in the quiet hamlet, it’s lovely to explore on foot and each has a swimming pool to relax in during your free time.

Do not be intimidated! This is a wonderful holiday perfect for any level and you will learn a vast range of skills to take home in just the one week you spend with Sidney and Alison.

Your Local Host:

Alison & Sidney

Join professional yet fun & friendly chefs Alison and Sidney, a dynamic kitchen duo who have cooked for the likes of Queen Elizabeth II & the royal family, Richard Attenborough, Mick Jagger, Madonna, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton (to just name a few), and can’t wait to show you their secrets and recipes while you’re their guest.. Read More

Experience Itinerary

Arrival

– Arrive in the afternoon, check in and get settled in to your accommodation
– 7pm: Enjoy a welcome champagne cocktail and the opportunity to meet fellow guests along with your hosts during a ‘Taste of the Loire Valley’ buffet

Where will I be staying?
– You will be staying in one of two 4 star hotels located just a few minutes walk from the cooking school (transfers are provided if needed)
– The hotels are set in a tranquil hamlet with access to lovely cafes, historical buildings, a great spa, and great rural walks
– Each hotel offers single, twin or double ensuite rooms, with air conditioning, TV and internet with classic decor
– All bedrooms are fully air conditioned and have an ensuite bathroom with a shower
– Both hotels have swimming pools for you to enjoy, along with delicious buffet breakfasts every morning
– Both have a bar and restaurant on site as well as lovely common areas inside and out
– Accommodation is included for 6 nights / 7 days
– Check in anytime after 2pm on day 1 and check out by 11am on day 7
– If you want to stay for extra days in the accommodation, you are welcome and an additional day cooking class can also be added, just email or call us to chat through what you’d like to do – we’ll be happy to help

Gold Medal dishes & brûlées

– 9am: Wake up and enjoy a traditional French breakfast at your hotel
– Head to the cookery school for your first cooking lesson; this morning you will be making two Gold Medal dishes, these dishes are simplified and easy for you to prepare back home in your own kitchen
– You will cover:
The art of butchering, cooking and working with poultry and duck
Fricasse of Guinea Fowl with Morrels and a Touraine Sauce
Seasonal Duck Dish
Pommes Fondantes, Dauphinoises and Seasonal Vegetable dish

– Enjoy the lunch you created with the group accompanied by regional cheeses and fresh bread
– In the afternoon, you will learn Chef Alison’s take on a Trio of Gourmet Brûlées
– This will be a hands on class on how to create stunning desserts using Brûlee as the main focus
– After some leisure time, meet up with everyone for a demonstration and dinner

Chateau visit & desserts

– 8.30am: Traditional French breakfast at your hotel
– 9:30am: Depart for Chateau Chenonceau and take the morning to explore at your leisure
– 12.30pm: Enjoy some lunch in the charming Orangerie restaurant set in the gardens of Château Chenonceau
– After lunch, head back to the farmhouse where you will participate in a hands-on cooking class of ice-cream and Alison’s Mousse au Chocolat
– 7:00pm: Enjoy a seasonal dinner

Food market & macaron

– This morning you will head out to Tours’ best bakery to pick out breakfast
– As Wednesday is market day, today you’ll be able to explore both the indoor ‘Les Halles Food Market’ and the twice weekly outdoor market
– Take some time out today to walk the medieval streets, take in some history and culture, or just sit and people watch, it is up to you
– Lunch today will be a traditional French lunch at the farmhouse, prepared by Chef Alison
– 2:00pm: Alison will share with you her passion for creating and preparing one of the world’s most sought after classics, the Macaron, with her special twists:
Exotic Chocolate Macaron
Seasonal Macaron Creation
Taking the Macaron on a Contemporary journey into the future
– After some leisure time before dinner, get ready for dinner at a Michelin Starred Restaurant

Fish lesson & afternoon excursion

– Thursday mornings at 4am, the farmhouse receives the fresh fish delivery from the Atlantic port of La Rochelle
– Today is all about fish! Learn to identify, test for freshness, and hone in on your fish skills by working on the following items:
Sidney’s “Smoke, Fire and Spice” Fruits of the Sea creation
Preparing and working with Mussels, fresh from the Atlantic coast
You’ll prepare a seasonal Fish course using the fresh catch of the day
– Afterwards, enjoy your seafood feast, followed by some free time before meeting up for dinner
– During your free time, feel free to hike, cycle, have a river walk, play boules, or treat yourself to a massage at a renowned local spa
– Visit the picturesque town Angles sur Anglin or go to le Grand Pressigny to get in some sites and culture
– 7:00pm: Make your way back to the farm house for tasting of Loire Valley wines and French chocolates – the perfect match!

Souffle & group BBQ

– After breakfast, you’ll head out to the local goats cheese farm and meet the local producers where you can taste and experience some of the finest goats cheese in the world
– After the farm, you’ll learn how to perfect the Souffle and prepare some amazing dishes that focus on the local goats cheese, featuring the following:
Cheese Soufflé
Soufflé Grand Marnier
Sidney’s hands of French Bread Making
– You’ll be able to feast on this at lunch in the Orchard
– In the afternoon, using local and fresh ingredients, your host Alison will guide you through preparing a dessert to impress even the most discerning guest
– You will also assist Sidney in preparing for tonight’s Zulu BBQ and have the opportunity to learn some impressive local dishes from the African continent
– 7:30pm: Join everyone for your cooking certificate of completion, along with Champagne
– Your holiday will be wrapped up with a  Zulu BBQ “A Taste of Africa”, inspired from Sidney’s upbringing, where you can feast on the following:
Mozambique Chicken Peri Peri
Chakalaka Sauce
Lamb Samosas
Durban Vegetable Bhajis
Putu Pap
Sidney’s childhood nanny’s (Edith’s) Fruit Chutney

Departure

– Enjoy breakfast before your departure by 11am

Loire Valley

Location Info

This French cookery school is located in a small French hamlet on the river Creuse in the stunning Loire Valley. The region is home to European Renaissance which brought with it a rich and diverse culinary history and depth.

When you’re n..

  • 6 nights 4-star hotel accommodation in a private ensuite room
  • 22 hours of cooking and instruction throughout the week with two professional chefs
  • Welcome “Taste of Loire Valley” buffet and glass of Champagne
  • A chocolate and wine tasting
  • Dinner at a Michelin star restaurant
  • All meals including wine at dinner
  • Transport for all excursions and activities in the itinerary
  • Entrance into Château Chenonceau
  • Personalised apron and recipe folder
  • Return transfers from Chatellerault train station
  • Check in any time after 2pm on day 1 and check out by 11am on day 7

French Culinary Adventure