Cooking course "market" Itinerary

Embark on an extraordinary cooking course that commences on a Friday evening with a delightful champagne reception, setting the tone for an exceptional culinary adventure. Following the reception, indulge in a luxurious six-course gourmet dinner, providing a taste of the exquisite cuisine you will master throughout the course. This evening also serves as an opportunity to connect with your fellow guests/participants and familiarize yourself with the culinary style you will be learning.

The subsequent days unfold as follows:

Saturday morning takes you to the enchanting market in Laval, immersing you in the local culture. Like the locals, you will explore the market, discovering the abundance of fresh seasonal specialties it has to offer. Delight in a captivating Market Tour that showcases the essence of French culinary traditions.

The afternoon is dedicated to hands-on culinary experiences in the kitchen. Guided by Chef Eric, you will dive into various techniques such as butchery, fish preparation, knife skills, sauces, seasoning, and more. The session incorporates a couple of demonstrations to enhance your learning.

Sunday and Monday continue the culinary exploration with a combination of hands-on cooking and demonstrations. During these sessions, you will further expand your repertoire by delving into the art of making pasta, bread, utilizing sous vide techniques, mastering sugar and chocolate work, pastry creation, and dinner preparation.

Tuesday brings an exciting challenge as it marks the opportunity for you to demonstrate your newly acquired skills. On this final evening, you will take charge of preparing the dinner, allowing you to showcase your culinary prowess and creativity.

After lunch, a journey awaits to Vitré, (or Fougères for returning customers) a historical medieval city known for its captivating castle, enchanting cobbled streets, and picturesque old half-timbered houses. It’s a perfect moment to relax, absorb the ambiance, and indulge in some shopping.

Returning to the kitchen, the focus shifts to perfecting the finishing touches and artful presentation of the dinner.

The course concludes with another remarkable six-course dinner, where you can savor the culmination of your culinary journey and celebrate your achievements.

The primary objective of this course is to build upon your existing skills, ensuring you leave with enhanced confidence and a deeper understanding of ingredients and techniques. Each day is designed to nurture your culinary abilities, empowering you to elevate your cooking to new heights.

Through a combination of market visits, hands-on experiences, demonstrations, and culinary challenges, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of French cuisine and its intricacies. The course aims to equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to take your cooking to the next level, enabling you to create exceptional dishes with confidence and flair.

The itinerary may be subject to change according to the market in order to take advantage of the seasonal/regional foods.

Day 1 - Friday

Arrival in the afternoon

17.00  – Introductory talk with complimentary champagne and canapés,  

Discussing aims and course structure 

18.00 – Dinner 6-course gourmet dinner


Chicken liver and foie gras parfait, Sweet and sour chutney

Caramelised scallops with cauliflower purée

scented with truffle oil


Pan-fried breast of duck à l’orange,

crispy potato terrine.


Chocolate and passion fruit bavarois

Tea and coffee

Day 2 - Saturday

8.45 –  Breakfast (to include fresh croissants, breads and preserves, orange juice, local apple juice, yogurts, tea and coffee.)

9.15 – Off to Laval’s market for shopping and sightseeing.

12.00 Returning to The Walnut Grove, we will break for lunch and feast on our treasures. 

Charcuterie, bread, cheese and fresh soup (Seasoning Techniques How to bring the best out of your ingredients)

14.00 – Kitchen – We will begin the course and our journey in the kitchen with hands on experience and demonstrations preparing dinner. 

Welcome, explore kitchen/equipment etc…Basic knife skills; care of knives, safety, sharpening, chop and slice onion, brunoise of carrot…


Soufflé mise en place, black garlic ice cream, Salmon filet (sous vide), hollandaise mise en place. Crêpes mix

Coq (or chicken) butchery, marinade for coq au vin.

17.00 – Finish 

17.15 – Aperitifs and nibbles

17.30-  Back in the kitchen to finish prep

18.00 – Dinner


Goat cheese soufflé

with black garlic ice cream


Salmon filet (sous vide), served with

crushed new potatoes, spinach

and a hollandaise sauce


Crêpes suzette flambées

Tea and coffee

Day 3 - Sunday

8.45 – Breakfast

9.15 – Menu Explanation 

Kitchen: Demonstration /hands-on

Pasta dough, sweet pastry, quiche, Bread making. Trout filleting and smoking.

Lemon tart and parfait.

13.00 – Lunch homemade quiche, fresh bread and salad, followed by cheese

14.00 – Demonstration / Hands-on: Tagliatelle. Coq au vin, Trout mousse, 

meringue, honey wafer baskets plus tuile work. caramel cages.

17.00-  Aperitifs and nibbles

17.30-  Back in the kitchen to finish prep

18.00 – Dinner 


Home smoked trout mousse


Traditional Coq au vin and fresh tagliatelles


Lemon verbena meringue tart with iced lime parfait

served in a honey wafer basket

Tea and coffee

Day 4 - Monday

8.45 – Breakfast

9.15 – Menu Explanation 

Demonstration /  hands-on : Crème brulée, parmesan biscuit

Apple panacotta, apple gel,  raspberry sorbet.

Duck confit.

13.00 – Lunch Selection of charcuterie, salads, homemade bread & pickles

14.00 – Demonstration /  hands-on:  Duck confit terrine, chutney. Monkfish prep, vegetables and sauce.

Pomme fondante and celeriac purée. Chicken stock, (white & brown), veal glace, fish stock

17.00-  Aperitifs and nibbles

 17.30 –  Back in the kitchen to finish prep

18.00 – Dinner


Pomme fondante, celeriac

purée, pear and truffle

Pumpkin and parmesan crème brulée

with parmesan biscuit


Braised monkfish

with seasonal vegetable and a saffron sauce


Apple panacotta with apple

gel & raspberry sorbet

Tea and coffee

Day 5 - Tuesday

8.45 – Breakfast

9.15 – Menu Explanation



ice cream, cheesecake in chocolate case, chocolate work.

Chicken dish, vegetable and sauce

Snail Bonbon, garlic purée.

13.00 – Lunch Barbecue.

14.00 – Excursion and shopping in Vitré, 1000 years old medieval town and castle.

17.00 –  Aperitifs and nibbles


17.30-  Back in the kitchen to finish prep

18.00 – Dinner


Duck confit terrine, fig and apple chutney

Crispy snail bonbon, garlic purée, rocket oil


Chicken challenge  (your dish, your design)

At least 3 different cooking method…


Coffee and baileys cheesecake with

 chocolate and earl grey tea ice cream 

Tea and coffee

Day 6 - Wednesday

9.00 Breakfast

Departure before midday

Prices - "Market" Itinerary

– Euros € 1995.00 per person, shared ensuite bedroom with twin beds or double bed.

– Euros € 1095.00 non-cooking friend or partner 

– Euros € 395.00 single room supplement 

What's included

 – Champagne on arrival
 – 5 nights ensuite accommodation
 – All food including 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
 – Soft drinks all day
 – All tuition with a professional French chef
 – All equipment needed
 – Excursion to Laval’s market, shopping
 – Excursion to Vitré, medieval town, chateau, shopping
 – Transport from Laval train station at scheduled times
 – Molton Brown toiletries
 – Menu and recipe folder to take home
 – Course certificate
 – Free Wifi

What's not included

 – Travel

– Entrance fee to Vitré’s Chateau museum (€6 Euros)

 – Laundry (€25 Euros)

 – Wine and alcoholic beverages

Wine and other alcoholic beverages can be purchased from our bar

Options to Add on

Extend your stay with Thursday Morning departure. 
Visit some  amazing places in Western  France where I will be your guide. 
To choose from:
Enclosed by its ramparts, Saint-Malo conceals a thousand treasures. You’ll discover them as you stroll at your own pace through its irresistibly charming alleys. First step: go through its doors.
Cancale; This pretty port is a delight both for the eyes and the taste buds. Voted a remarkable site of taste, Cancale has long been famous for its oysters and shellfish. These seafood delights are even better when enjoyed while admiring the wonderful Mont Saint-Michel in the middle of the bay.
Dinan; Enclosed by nearly three kilometres of ramparts, the town of Dinan and its 14th-century castle proudly overlook the Rance river. Below, the small marina is the starting point for some lovely walks along the estuary, while above, corbelled houses complete the tour of this town with medieval charm. 
Positioned on the border between Normandy and Brittany, Mont-Saint-Michel was both a place of passage and a fortress for the Duchy of Normandy.
From the 14th century onwards, the successive conflicts of the Hundred Years War between France and England required new, powerful fortifications to be erected. The Mount, defended by a few knights loyal to the King of France and protected by a wall flanked by several defensive towers, managed to resist attacks by the English army for nearly 30 years.
One thousand three hundred years of history. 
Villedieu-les-Poêles; Capital of copper, 

In the heart of the copper city, The Copper Workshop, is one of the oldest workshops still in activity. We are perpetuating the great tradition of French copperware and gastronomy, which is why great leaders come to see us.

(that’s where I get my copper pots retinned)