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Gourmet French Cuisine

Gourmet French Cuisine

This culinary adventure commences on a Friday early evening, setting the stage with a delightful champagne reception followed by a sumptuous six-course gourmet dinner. 

This evening serves as a perfect opportunity to mingle with your fellow guests/participants and sample the exquisite cuisine that you will learn to prepare throughout the course.

The subsequent days are packed with exciting activities: Saturday morning kicks off with a visit to the enchanting market in Laval. As the locals do, you will immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere and explore the array of fresh seasonal specialties offered by the market. This market tour provides an immersive experience in French culture and culinary traditions.

After a leisurely lunch, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and delve into the kitchen for a hands-on cooking session as you prepare dinner.

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 are dedicated to the kitchen, where a combination of hands-on cooking and demonstrations will expand your culinary repertoire.

On Monday afternoon, a special pastry Masterclass awaits, led by a traditional French pastry chef. You will learn the art of making croissants and macarons, gaining insights into the secrets of French pastry craftsmanship.

On Tuesday morning, we prepare a late breakfast/brunch, ensuring you have ample energy before embarking on a visit to one of the most beautiful village in France, Sainte-Suzanne.

Sainte-Suzanne is often referred to as a “cité médiévale” or a medieval town. Its architecture and layout harken back to the Middle Ages, with narrow winding streets, timber-framed houses, and fortified walls that have largely remained intact over the centuries.

In addition to its fortifications, Sainte-Suzanne boasts several historic buildings, including the Church of Notre-Dame, which dates back to the 11th century, and the Château de Sainte-Suzanne, a medieval fortress that has been restored and is now a museum.

After an eventful afternoon exploring Sainte-Suzanne, we return to savor a well-deserved dinner, accompanied by a glass of wine, providing a perfect opportunity to unwind and reflect on the memorable few days filled with culinary delights and cultural excursions.

Wednesday morning continues with hands-on cooking until lunchtime. In the afternoon, a well-deserved break awaits as we venture to Vitré, a medieval city known for its captivating historical center, picturesque castle, charming cobbled streets, and old half-timbered houses. It’s a perfect opportunity to relax, explore, and indulge in some shopping.

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

Wednesday marks the final day in the kitchen, where you will once again be actively engaged in hands-on culinary creation, crafting a memorable dinner.

The course concludes with another remarkable six-course dinner, serving as a grand finale to celebrate the culmination of your culinary journey.

The primary goal of this course is to build upon your existing skills, instilling a greater confidence and understanding of ingredients and techniques. By the end of the course, you will leave with an enhanced culinary repertoire, ready to take your cooking to the next level.

Throughout the course, you will have the chance to refine your culinary skills, indulge in delectable meals, discover local markets and historical sites, and create lasting memories in the company of like-minded food enthusiasts.

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

Menu

Seared foie gras, spicy fig chutney

Caramelised scallops, cauliflower medley scented with truffle

Sorbet

Roasted duck breast aux cerises, crispy potato terrine

Cheese

Raspberry and lime bavarois, honeycomb and meringue

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.

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

14.00 Kitchen – We will begin the course and our journey in the kitchen with hands on

experience and demonstrations preparing for dinner. 

Welcome, explore kitchen/equipment etc…Refresher basic knife skills;

care of knives, safety, sharpening, chop and slice onion, carrot…

Demonstration/hands-on:

Salmon tartar, Monkfish prep, mussels prep, fish sauce. Lobster bisque.

Soufflé mise en place. Sorbet. Bread / focaccia making

Duck leg confit

17.00 Finish 

17.30 Aperitifs and nibbles

17.45 Back in the kitchen to finish prep

18.00 Dinner

Menu

(Depending on market and season)

Two salmon tartare, roasted buckwheat and

Espelette pepper

Sorbet

Monkfish tail served with a mussel and saffron sauce

Cheese

Grand Marnier soufflé with lemon verbena sorbet

Tea and coffee

Day 3 - Sunday

8.45 Breakfast

9.15 Menu Explanation 

Demonstration/hands-on: Pasta dough, tortelli, tagliatelle.

Cheesecake in a chocolate teardrop, Chocolate and earl grey tea ice cream. Snail bonbons, garlic espuma.

béarnaise mise en place, fondant potato, caramelised carrot, onion purée.

13.00 Lunch: Tagliatelle with smoked salmon crème fraiche, followed by cheese and homemade bread

14.00 Demonstration/hands-on:  Chicken butchery: marinated filet, stuffed chicken ballotine, and

crispy skin. Quail butchery. Veal blanquette.

Chicken stock, (white & brown), veal glace, fish stock.

Raisin and port réduction. Duck confit and foie gras terrine

17.00 Finish 

17.30 Aperitifs and nibbles

17.45  Back in the kitchen to finish prep

18.00  Dinner

Menu

Foie gras tortelli, pea purée and truffle foam

Smoked snail bonbons, garlic espuma

Sorbet

Quail and chicken medley, caramelised onion purée, 

raisin and port réduction 

Cheese

Coffee and baileys cheesecake in a chocolate teardrop,

Chocolate and earl grey tea ice cream

Tea and coffee

Day 4 - Monday

8.45 Breakfast

9.15 Menu Explanation 

Demonstration/hands-on: Mango dressing, Crème brulée. Sweet pastry, lemon tart, ice lime parfait,

honey wafer basket and tuile work. Onion soup. Crêpe mix. Caramel cages. Purée

13.00 Lunch: Selection of cheese and charcuterie served with fresh bread

14.00 Hands-on – Master-class with a Traditional French Patissiermaking croissants & macarons

17.00 Finish 

17.30 Aperitifs and nibbles

17.45 Back in the kitchen to finish prep

18.00 Dinner

Menu

Scallop carpaccio, mango dressing and Timut pepper

Chorizo and saffron crème brulée

Sorbet

Veal blanquette with a Dijon mustard potato purée

Cheese

Lemon meringue tart served with an iced lime parfait

Tea and coffee

Day 5 - Tuesday

9h00 – Brunch 

Demonstration/hands-on:

Eggs Benedict

Poached egg, smoked salmon, bacon, hollandaise sauce

Ham and cheese

Fresh bread

Orange and apple juice

Yogurt

Tea and coffee

10.00 We’re off to visit Sainte-Suzanne, medieval town, one of the most beautiful village in France

17.30 Aperitifs and nibbles

17.45 Back in the kitchen to finish prep

18.00 Dinner

Menu

Lobster bisque

Sorbet

Beef filet tournedos Rossini, truffle jus

Cheese

Crêpes Suzette flambées

Tea and coffee

Day 6 - Wednesday

8.45 Breakfast

9.15 Menu Explanation 

Demonstration/hands-on: Fish prep, vegetables. 65°c egg

Cheese sauce and croque monsieur.

Choux pastry, diplomate cream, St Honoré

13.00 Lunch: Croque Monsieur/ Madame and green salad.

14.00 Excursion and shopping in Vitré, medieval town and chateau

17.30 Aperitifs and nibbles

17.45 Back in the kitchen to finish prep

18.00 Dinner

Menu

Duck confit and foie gras terrine

65°c egg, truffle and fleur de sel

Sorbet

Seared seabass, with a grapefruit beurre blanc 

Cheese

Saint Honoré

Tea and coffee

Day 7 - Thursday

9.00 – Breakfast

Departure before 10.00

Prices

– Euros € 3197.00 per person, shared ensuite bedroom with twin beds or double bed.

(Euros € 3547.00 per person including an extra day for the Mont St Michel excursion)

– Euros € 1997.00 non-cooking friend or partner 

(Euros € 2347.00 per person including an extra day for the Mont St Michel excursion)

– Euros € 547.00 single room supplement (depending on availability, might be in a local Bed and Breakfast)

What's included

 – Champagne on arrival
 – 6 nights ensuite accommodation
 – All food including 6 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 6 dinners
 – Soft drinks all day
 – All tuition with a professional French chef
 – All equipment needed
 – Excursion to Laval’s market, shopping and sightseeing
– Excursion to Sainte-Suzanne, medieval city and fortress
 – Excursion to Vitré, medieval streets, 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 Saint-Suzanne Chateau (€4 Euros)

– 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 a Friday 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)

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