Three of the best French cookery schools
Brush up on your culinary savoir-faire with one of these residential French cookery schools
The Gascony Cookery School
If you love the rich, earthy cuisine of Gascony – think foie gras, cassoulet and duck confit – then the Franco-British team of Bernard Corbière and David Chance offer the perfect programme to help you rustle up some regional favourites. In the village of Gramont, in the Tarn-et-Garonne département, aspiring chefs can work on their knife skills and learn to execute an impressive four-course meal using local ingredients over a three- or six-day period. A charcuterie course is also available. Prices start from £480 per person, including all meals and accommodation.
Tel: (Fr) 5 81 78 17 00
Côté Cours, Le Saint-James
Le Saint-James, the luxury hotel and Michelin-starred restaurant based in the village of Bouliac, just outside Bordeaux, also has its own cookery school, the Côté Cours. Under the expert guidance of chef Benjamin Bonnay, guests can choose from a range of lessons, including sweet and savoury dishes, bistro cooking and culinary techniques, which are held in a beautiful kitchen-conservatory. Beginners and experienced cooks are welcome and there are special classes for youngsters. Prices start from €55 (€25 for children).
Tel: (Fr) 5 57 97 06 00
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The Secret Garden-France
Chef and teacher team Rinus and Lesley Woermeijer welcome guests to their cookery school at l’Huilerie, a farmhouse in the Loir Valley (without the ‘e’). One- to five-day courses are available, during which groups prepare and cook food before enjoying the results at night over candle-lit meals. Two-hour speciality classes include making truffles and chocolates, macarons and bread. Prices start from €45 for a short course and €165 for a whole day. All-inclusive holidays start from €465.
Tel: 0131 202 6080