David’s passion as a professional chef for French cuisine, made him move to Gramont in 2002. He and his wife Vikki specifically selected the Tarn-et-Garonne region, situated as it is in the heart of Gascony, for its famed gastronomic repertoire. David and his wife ran the chambres d’hotes and table d’hotes for four years, however the popularity of David’s cooking soon attracted the attention of talented local chef Bernard and from their newfound Franglais friendship the cookery school was born.
Motivated by their shared love of France, Vikki Chance and her husband moved to Gramont in 2002. They specifically selected the Tarn-et-Garonne region, situated as it is in the heart of Gascony, for its famed gastronomic repertoire. With the original intention of establishing a chambres d’hotes and table d’hotes they began their new life by carefully restoring an old farmhouse and barn. They ran the chambres d’hotes and table d’hotes for four years and after a great success the cookery school was born.
Bernard has owned and run a successful restaurant in Gramont for over 25 years and his traditional menu has earned him a respected reputation in the region. Bernard and David's vision was to design a program that would enable students of French cookery to work their way up from mastering of knife skills to executing impressive four-course meals in just under a week. They wanted to use their combined knowledge as professional chefs from either side of the Channel to make French cookery enjoyable.
Tricia Mack Great Britain
August 2017, BookCulinaryVacations
Wonderful location ...quiet beautiful rural village...large, well appointed accommodation,, interesting programme which included cookery with outings to the market and local area..
And the ever flowing wine ..,always available..and the fun we all had !
Liesbeth Brown United States
June 2017, BookCulinaryVacations
The hospitality and the friendliness knew no bound. Both David and Vikki are excellent hosts. David and Bernard taught me all a lot about cooking and have very high standard. It was very much hands-on. This was so much better that I expected. I had a most wonderful time and will definitely return.
Heather Spence New Zealand
It is my pleasure to write a review of the Foundation Course I attended at the Gascony Cookery School. It was perfection from the minute I arrived in Gramont when I was swept up to the church as there was a musical recital happening, to the sunflower crops being at their most beautiful (they were late flowering so that was lucky) to the great sunny July weather! The atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming, the accommodation delightfully decorated; comfortable beds all the things like fluffy towels; hair drier and good shower too. The cookery course content is delivered in a very professional manner. Chef David is inspiring; endlessly patient but has high expectations of what he can help you to achieve. I felt so proud of the finished dishes - so good to look at and even better to eat at a lovely outdoor setting with the new friends from all over the world. It was a privilege to dine at the Auberge and work there with Chef Bernard. French regional food at its best. I would just add that liking to eat duck from its quack to its tail feathers will enhance your experience greatly. I traveled alone to Gramont so being collected at the airport was a luxury. Combining cooking tuition with the local market visit and other sightseeing opportunities was perfect for me. It is a stunningly pretty village and surrounding region. Vikki is a fabulous hostess, fun and so hospitable. She was also very helpful and flexible with individual travelers and their requirements, like me, who wanted to arrive earlier than normal. So, if you like all the above and like aperitifs and divine nibbles on a sunny terrace after a great day in the kitchen then choose the Gascony Cookery School. If it wasn’t on the other side of the world I would be back to do all the other courses offered. I got to sample some of the dishes from the charcuterie course! Wow! The raised pie was sensational.
I wanted to thank you and David again for a wonderful week at your cooking school. The whole experience was just amazing. The balance of cooking and excursions was perfect. It was so nice to meet Bernard and your friends and relatives, and also to tour the old mill. Sue and Mike have a beautiful place, as do you. Looking forward to trying the recipes on our own for our family and friends. Hopefully we will have similar results!
Lisa United States
I had the most wonderful time at the Gascony Cookery School. It was a combination of perfect things: a perfectly low-key chambre d'hôte in a perfect small town in the perfect French countryside. The course itself was challenging, well run, and very very fun. Every meal we shared was delightful, delicious and perfectly wonderful. I traveled solo (not the only solo in our group, but the only first-timer) and was welcomed into the group seamlessly. The hardest thing was having to leave. I'm already planning a return trip, and it can't happen soon enough.
a traveler United States
My experience at Gascony Cookery School could not have been better. I was traveling by myself and didn’t quite know what to expect, but Vikki and David were the most gracious hosts. The idyllic town of Gramont and the accommodations are beyond beautiful and welcoming. We learned so much working with chef’s David and Bernard, I’m happy I took the foundation course because it gives me an excuse to come back for the advanced course! If you are looking for a cooking vacation that is both relaxing and hands on learning, Gascony Cookery School is the perfect choice.
a traveler United Kingdom
I don't often write reviews because they can often be taken in different ways. But I have to put this review in place, because the Gascony French Cookery School is far more than a cookery school! David and Vikki, the owners and Bernard, the French chef who owns the Auberge restaurant, live in an idyllic village and they have created an experience which is truly 'Franglais' in feel and internationally welcoming. From the authenticity of working in a real restaurant kitchen with a French chef who clearly loves what he does, switching to working with English chef David in his kitchen, within our four days, we learned so many professional tips (and I am in the hospitality business!), and just smiled the entire time. David and Vikki are a genuinely welcoming couple who have thrown their dream home open to those who want to enjoy a few days cooking tuition, but the atmosphere lends itself to mucking in and creating a real family atmosphere. We met some people from America and UK as the next crew pitched up. We knew all our group well as it was a special weekend for us, but the new recruits didn't know each other and were clearly bonding by the time we disappeared off to Toulouse airport, via a quick detour through two towns to see some architecture as our French taxi driver who lives in the village thought we should! I could go on, but frankly you will stop believing me - this place is simply the place to go for some informal and enjoyable cooking skills set in a modest but genuine family style environment - enjoy!
Angela and Stewart Wright United Kingdom
This was my husbands birthday present. David, Vikki and Bernard were so welcoming and patient. The teaching, food and experience is something to be experienced and one we want to do again sometime. We learned a lot in such a small amount of time. Thank you.
a traveler United Kingdom
I've run out of superlatives: Gramont already feels like a second home, so welcoming are David, Vikki and Bernard (and everyone else in the village, I must admit). The "Returners" course is extremely well judged, and builds on the things we learned before, teaching new skills and honing those we already had. The time just flew by; on the evening of the first day we felt like we'd been there for ages, then suddenly it was time to go! I'd say, if you hardly ever do any cooking, go; if you do a lot of cooking, go; if you just want to spend a great time and your partner wants to cook, go! I'll reiterate about the great value of the transfers, it's a fraction of the costs of taxi.
a traveler United Kingdom
My daughter surprised me with a trip to the cookery school for my birthday, we arrived a little later than expected and was greeted with warmth and a 'no dress code here, drinks waiting for you on the terrace'. What a great way to start! We thoroughly enjoyed the cooking with David and Bernard and will certainly be putting in to practice what we have learned. The group were lovely and David and Vikki are wonderful hosts. Thank you for creating brilliant memories, Linda and Zoe.
Jo United Kingdom
Just back from a week at the Gascony Cooking School. As a returning pupil, it was a delight to spend some more time in the lovely village and learn some more great recipes. The atmosphere was relaxed and the cooking and teaching was fabulous. I learned so much more and I will be practicing everything back home. Thanks to David, Vicki and Bernard. I will be back as soon as I can get more time off.
My husband surprised me with a week at the cookery school along with my Swedish daughter to celebrate a momentous birthday. The setting is fabulous and the teaching is superb. David and Vikki are wonderful hosts and make you feel like family. We had only four in our class and we all bonded immediately. Cooking with Bernard at his restaurant was a great experience. At the same time we were there, there were two people who returned for the second time, and another for his third time. What better recommendation can you have?
a traveler United Kingdom
An awesome escape to paradise! Amazing week at this beautiful cookery school. David, Vikki and Bernard are just the most wonderful and accommodating hosts, the location is stunning, tranquil and remote, letting you escape the hustle and bustle for a few days. I loved the way David and Bernard taught, easy to understand with some quite complex cooking, the end results were outstanding.The rooms are tastefully decorated, mine had a amazing view of the countryside and was spotlessly clean. The food, when not cooking is fantastic, local cuisine cooked either by David or Bernard. I cannot recommend this 'cookation' highly enough and will be attending the 'returners' course as soon as diaries allow. I left my wife and son at home for the week (I get a pass every year to do a weeks cooking course somewhere in the world), this course is just as perfect for singles or couples, our group bonded in seconds and we had a great time. Book it, you won't be disappointed, it should be at the top of your bucket list, should you have one.
I was lucky enough to do the six-day program earlier this month. It was a fantastic week! I have left with new skills in the kitchen, an increased appetite for French food and the most wonderful memories of Gramont and its surrounding areas. David and Vikki are fantastic hosts and really make you feel at home while staying at their absolutely beautiful property. The rooms are very comfortable and wonderfully furnished! The view is... well too nice for words! Bernard was also fantastic, it was great to see his kitchen and learn some of the dishes he serves in his restaurant. The balance of cooking, eating and activities is wonderful. I would recommend to anyone wanting to learn new cooking skills, eat great food, meet fantastic people, and have a fun week in France!
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