Christine D , June 2023

I am so, so psyched I treated myself to a course at Eric Duvin’s cookery school in the northwest of France. I’m already dreaming of when I can go back. I did the 5-day “Market” itinerary in June 2023.

Lessons were smart, thoughtful, and fun. Through hands-on work and Eric’s demonstrations, you’ll encounter many aspects of classic French cuisine, from souffles to sauces, starters to mains to desserts. You’ll learn how to think about pacing, plating, and serving, and how to create and add those extra touches that delight your dinner guests. It goes without saying that everything you eat will be gorgeous and delicious. You’ll receive recipes to take notes on and bring home–you definitely want to take notes.

As a teacher, Eric is really the best. He’s absolutely in control of his craft and his kitchen, but he’s also down-to-earth and patient: there’s literally no ego about him. If there’s something particular you want to learn, or a skill you want to practice, talk to him. You’ll love his anecdotes about working for some quite elite clientele, and you’ll learn so much from his decades of experience.

If you care about what you eat; if you love learning by doing, and want to learn from the absolute best; if you want a hands-on speed run of French cuisine with practical skills you can apply at home; if you want to see a beautiful region of France outside of Paris; this course is worth your while. One piece of advice: wine isn’t included in the course fee, so plan to shop from Eric’s wine list and add to your appreciation and enjoyment of the full experience. Another: if you can, do tack on an extra day and visit one of the region’s destinations with Eric. Our group got to visit Mont St.-Michel, which was really special and fun.

Shannon B , April 2023

First of all, Eric is an amazingly talented and experienced chef. His skill, quiet confidence and ability to teach, made for an extremely productive 6 days. I got exactly what I’d hoped for, a comprehensive introduction to French cooking techniques as well as the ever important presentation of dishes.

I was the only student in my class so recipes were reduced to serve 2 or 3 which will be far more useful for me than preparing primarily for large dinner parties. The property is beautiful with almost every tree, shrub or sprout happily producing food or flavor. The house has a warm and cozy atmosphere, the guest rooms are spacious and comfortable.

The kitchen is nothing less than inspirational. And everything is sparkling clean and well looked after. Honestly, this was one of my all time favorite holidays ever! Be sure to hone up on your Frisbee skills! Mac, the laconic and lovable house dog has what can only be described as an obsession with his red disc…but he’s always polite about it. Who’s a good dog?

Michelle B , March 2023

I would definitely recommend Walnut Grove Cookery School to anyone that likes to cook. Chef Eric’s knowledge and hospitality are second to none.
I can’t wait to practice my newly learnt skills on my friends and family.
The pace of the course was perfect and Eric is incredibly patient with everyone.
I will definitely be booking another course, the Market one looks great.
Thank you Eric for opening your beautiful home and sharing your skills, see you next year!

Kaytia K , March 2023

The Walnut Grove Cookery School is set in the most bucolic scene of France. Surrounded by rolling hills, the school offers a place of learning while also providing a true haven for escaping the busy lives most of us live.

The course itself provides a deep knowledge and nuance that only someone as experienced as Chef Eric could provide. I learned so many things that can’t be taught at a distance or through textbooks, truly gaining an understanding of the texture, the taste, the craftsmanship required in cooking great food. The days were long, in that we were on our feet cooking most of the time, but you are heavily rewarded with a gorgeous meal every night. I am so grateful for the time I spent there, it was money incredibly well spent. A worthwhile investment in myself. Furthermore upon my return home, when recipes didn’t exactly align with my high altitude location, Chef Eric was happy to troubleshoot with me from across the ping until I could get it right. He is good humored, extremely knowledgeable, and students are lucky to have him as a teacher. 12/10 recommend.

Sabrina K , January 2023

I had the best time with Chef Eric at the Walnut Grove! I learned broad stroke cooking techniques as well as details in presentation and plating that I will take back with me to enhance my daily cooking! He was very knowledgable and created a fun and creative environment in the kitchen. Wonderful experience!

Alan T , Sept 2022

You can learn French cuisine from a book, or a school wherever you live, but why would you do that when you could travel to the French countryside and learn in a small-group setting with an accomplished French chef?

A beautiful 90-minute train ride gets you from Paris to Laval, France. Chef Eric Duvin greets you at the train station. After a short drive, you arrive at the school, an old farm situated in picturesque rural France. The farmhouse sits on several hectares and is updated with modern amenities without diminishing the old-country charm. I’m not sure what I was expecting for a room, but I was surprised by the modern touches in decor and delighted by the giant, comfortable bed. The en suite bathroom is not private, rather the toilet sits next to the shower, separated from the rest of the room by a 4-foot-high wall. This might not be ideal for new couples who’ve yet to break certain barriers of intimacy.

The room temperature was kept comfortable at night by a fan. There are some windows to open wide and enjoy the fresh air, although you’ll probably want to keep them closed at night, unless the crowing of a rooster at 5:30am is how you like to wake up. I prefer the digital chirp of my cellphone, because that rooster did not have a snooze button.

The class description says, “intensive,” and that is accurate. The course is jam-packed with demonstrations, instruction, and hands-on work. Plan on working hard all day, then enjoying the product of your labor in a 6-course meal at the end of the night. Don’t let the word “intensive” scare you, though. Chef Duvin’s patience and lively demeanor make the environment fun.

Fair warning: you are there to learn to cook, but Chef Duvin’s dog, Mac, does not care. Mac requires a game of frisbee catch a few times a day. You’ll know when it’s time, as Mac will pick up his frisbee and stand at the door of the kitchen wagging his tail, staring at you with big, hopeful puppy-dog eyes. Of course, you are not obligated to entertain Mac, but I challenge you to look into those eyes and say, “No.”

To break up the hard work, we took a trip to near by Vitre, a charming small town with amazing architecture, Churches, specialty food shops, and cozy pubs. You’ll also tour the same sheep farm where Chef gets some of the cheese you’ll eat while at the school. It is deeply satisfying to eat a meal prepared by your own hand, using ingredients from places and people you’ve seen in person. One of my favorite aspects of the class was the fresh vegetables we used, straight from the garden Chef has been cultivating for several years. I’ve had many of the plants he was using to make salads, but they taste so much better when harvested fresh from the garden 5 minutes before you eat. Eat some cherry tomatoes right off the vine, pick and eat fresh mint, purple basil, kale, and parsley. You’ll be blown away by the flavor.

There is a gang of chickens roaming free in the yard, and a pen with more chickens and two cute goats. As you learn to chop vegetables and butcher chickens and fish, you’ll collect scraps. Those scraps become joy as you watch the farm animals gobble them right out of your hand. I must say, farm life agrees with me, as long as it’s only for a week or so. Then, I have to get back to dirty subway rides and bodega cats.

Get ready to eat, learn, eat, learn some more, then eat until you think that there is no room left to put another bite, then eat some more. Or, you could exercise some self-restraint and eat slightly less than I did, which is probably a good idea.

In any case, book the class. You won’t regret it.

Rene D, Sept 2022

If you are looking for a fabulous French Cooking School, I would highly recommend this school. My mother and I had a wonderful week learning, laughing, cooking and eating fabulous food. The location is beautiful, our room was very nice and Chef Eric was the best teacher. We now have a much better grasp of French cuisine and wonderful lifetime memories. Thank you Chef!

Yelena M, Sept 2022


Thank you for the most Wonderfull experience! We enjoyed every moment of it. We learned a lot and will apply these techniques and knowledge in our kitchens. Your kindness and patience touches our hearts. Nelli, Lily and Yelena

Luisa Q, Sept 2022


I had an amazing time! You made the experience fun and enriching! The dinner menus were always creatives and delicious! I wish you a lot of success with the business and lots of happiness!

Paula R, Sept 2022

Eric, I not only learned a lot about cooking, I had fun too! From the technical aspects to hearing stories about the Duke and getting out the house to adventure, every aspect of this course was truly wonderful. All I can think of is how much I want to come back for seconds!

Luisa Q, Sept 2022

The course is amazing! From location, the food you’re offered, the course itself and to the general experience… everything was fantastic! No better feeling than waking up to some warm baguete and finishing the day with proper fine french dining and a glass of port wine. Chef Eric is adaptable with food restrictions and food preferences, and a bit of tourism is included as well, so the course is an amazing experience overall. 10/10 would recommend and be back for a part 2!

Michelle B, Sept 2022

This is the best of the many cooking schools I have attended. Thank you Chef. You are an amazing person as well as a great Chef! FUN – FUN – FUN and knowledgeable.

Pam Mc, August 2022

This cooking school was absolutely amazing and exceeded my expectations! Eric went above and beyond to adapt the course to suit my culinary abilities. He was extremely knowledgeable and took the time to find answers to my random questions and educate me on unfamiliar cuisine. For example, I didn’t know what a floating island dessert was, so he shifted around the course to include it. It is clear Eric is passionate about what he does, and this course is a must! I recommend booking a course at Walnut Grove. You will not be disappointed or go hungry lol!

The accommodations are modern and beautiful. Mac, Eric’s dog, is very sweet and always up for some frisbee. I hope to book another class with Eric in the future and bring some friends and family!

Sylvia Mc, May 2022

The most amazing experience. We learned to make great French food in a bucolic setting in the country. The chateau is charming and the grounds are simply beautiful. Homegrown veggies and fresh eggs from the chef’s chickens are used in the food we prepared. Plus we used and sampled many local items. I learns lots of tips and tricks to improve my cooking game. To top it off, the chef prepares a 5 course meal each night as you unwind from the days lessons.

And, like many of the other reviews said, it was very hard to leave this amazing place! You won’t regret your decision to attend this cooking session!