4 Days French Cooking Holidays in Gascony, France

  • Gascon Cookery School Le Petit Feuillant, Gramont, Tarn et Garonne, France, 82120

Overview

Culinary Vacations in Gascony, France

In this culinary holiday, you will receive an introduction to French cuisine that will hone your cooking skills and give you several exciting dishes and desserts to wow your dinner guests with. You will learn French recipes and techniques - from knife skills, pastry, fish filleting, foie gras, cassoulet, desserts and sauces. Beginners, experienced cooks and non-cooking participants are welcome to join!

Highlights

  • Market visit
  • Cooking classes
  • Wine museum tour and tasting
  • Local aperitifs and hors doeuvres
  • 3 nights accommodation
  • 4-course dinner
  • 3 days with instruction
  • English
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Our own standards are extremely high and we continually strive to make sure that our accommodation, furnishings, sundries and level of cleanliness are met consistently to provide you with a trouble free and outstanding holiday experience. If you are looking for accommodation in the South West of France, then our Chambres dHtes located in Gramont, Gascony, offers traditionally furnished rooms that have been refurbished to the highest standard while retaining the charm of this outstanding French 17th century building that they are housed in.

All rooms are based on an authentic style of a French Chambres dHtes accommodation with added modern luxuries such as air conditioning for those hot summer evenings in Gascony. All rooms have ensuite facilities, air conditioning, heating and full access to a choice of three south facing terraces that we have here at the Gascony Cookery School.

Our holiday accommodation in the South West of France offers a great base to explore the heart of Gascony and visit such towns as Lectoure, Condom, Agen, and Toulouse. Within a short drive there are the outdoor swimming facilities of St Clar and Fleurance. The historical town of Lectoure not only has an outdoor public swimming pool and one of the most outstanding examples of a Roman spa in France. Visit here for a dip in the soothing thermal waters and unwind with a relaxing body massage or revitalizing facial.

Single room

All rooms have double beds and are styled in an authentic French regional style to the highest standards. Rooms have en-suite facilities, air conditioning, heating and full access to a choice of three south facing terraces.

Double room

All rooms have double beds and are styled in an authentic French regional style to the highest standards. Rooms have en-suite facilities, air conditioning, heating and full access to a choice of three south facing terraces.

Suite

All rooms have double beds and are styled in an authentic French regional style to the highest standards. Suite rooms have addition beds and are suitable for those sharing or families. Rooms have en-suite facilities, air conditioning, heating and full access to a choice of three south facing terraces.

Sunday

Once you have been shown to your unique room, you are encouraged to make yourself at home, start to relax, live the Gascon way and enjoy the surroundings of our historic village Gramont which is home to only one of six national monuments in the Midi-Pyrnes, the Chteau de Gramont

As the evening arrives you are invited to join us for local aperitifs and hors doeuvres on the school terraces that look out to the Midi Pyrenees with unrivalled views of the Gascony countryside. This is a great time to meet other students and guests and for us to discuss the week ahead

With the aroma of your first nights exquisite four-course dinner prepared by your chef David in the air and your taste buds experiencing local wines, your French cookery holiday is well and truly underway

After dinner take the opportunity to relax on one of our three terraces, experience one of the stunning Gascony sunsets and soak in the atmosphere of our very unique location and Gascony lifestyle

Monday

Morning

To make the most of your time at the Gascony Cookery School, we like to serve breakfast at 08.30 a.m. which consists of a traditional French affair of local breads, croissants from the local village of St Clar and homemade preserves. There are also cereals, yoghurts, fruit and a good helping of coffee, tea and orange juice available

Following breakfast its straight into the kitchen of chef David who will conduct a short tour of the kitchen and an introduction to basic knife skills. Once your knife skills are honed its onto preparing a simple, French dressing and sauce suzette before beginning work on your pastry skills by preparing a gateau pithivers, an ornately decorated puff pastry dessert with a delicious crme darmandes at its centre

With your first French dessert of the week successfully completed, you will then be given the opportunity to hone those skills even further by replicating chef Davids famous pizza gersois, a freshly made pizza base topped with local onions, peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and thinly sliced duck breast

Your first morning will conclude with further patisserie practice as you prepare a pte sucre, a form of sweetened pastry, which will provide the base for the tarte aux pommes that you will make on Tuesday afternoon

Afternoon

Following a traditionally long French lunch you will make your way across the road to the Auberge where chef Bernard will introduce you to the art of preparing foie gras. You will prepare four different types of foie gras - mi-cuit, traditional, cru and pain dpices before turning your attention to another quintessentially Gascon dish, cassoulet

Bernard will share with you his tried and tested wisdom as to the best way in which to prepare his restaurants most popular dish before giving you a tour of his sixty five cover restaurant

You will see and experience the difference between Bernards kitchen and Davids and the opportunity to compare these very different cooking environments and the difference in cooking for an intimate number of guests and catering on a more commercial scale

Your next task with Bernard will be to make crpes for the evening dinner and your sauce suzette prepared at the beginning of the day will be finishing ingredient to this traditional French classic. As the first day comes to a close you will return to chef Davids kitchen to complete two final pastries, pte sable and pte sucre

Evening

You will be invited to take a tour of the wine museum with wine in hand at Bernards restaurant and experience his signature menu gourmand: an haute cuisine experience in traditional Gascon manner that will include the three different types of duck foie gras that you prepared earlier. Bon apptit!

Tuesday

Morning

Breakfast will be at 09.00 a.m. because today you are off to market. With shopping baskets and shopping lists in hand we will make our way to the local market town of Fleurance. Here you will be able to familiarize yourself with the regional produce and select the fresh ingredients that you will be using in the afternoon class and during your time with us

Fleurances market is a host to an array of tasty Gascon treats that are sure to whet your appetite. You will then continue on to the nearby Roman town of Lectoure where you will lunch in a local caf before returning to the cookery school for the afternoon cooking class

Afternoon

Chef David will begin by instructing you in the correct way to fillet a fish before preparing the perfect veloute sauce as an accompaniment. You will then be given another opportunity to practice your pastry and knife skills by creating a beautifully presented Tarte aux Pommes

Evening

Before dinner you will be invited back into the kitchen with Chef David to focus on plating and general presentation skills. The fish in velout sauce and tarte aux pommes that you prepared earlier will be the centre piece of the evenings menu, giving you the chance to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

Wednesday

Breakfast will be served as usual, until 10.00 a.m. and we ask you to kindly vacate your room before 11.00 a.m.

Bientt!

Gascony still remains as one of the most "French" parts of France. It is largely unspoilt by tourism and retains a great deal of character and charm. Property prices, like everywhere, have increased recently, but the region still remains comparatively excellent value for people seeking a permanent residence or holiday home.

History

Gascony is the ancient name of a former duchy in South West France. Steeped in history these lands were ruled by the Romans, conquered by the Visigoths and then by the Francs. By the end of the 10th century, its dukes had achieved autonomy from the French crown but in 1052 Gascony fell to Aquitaine and came under English control in the 12th century. It was the nucleus of English possessions in France until regained by the French at the end of the Hundred Years War (1453). The department of the Gers is the heart of Gascony, so often described as the Tuscany of France. It is a region of gently rolling hills, hilltop bastide towns & villages, an abundance of rivers and wide-open spaces.

Gascony today

Gascony is a land of rich and fertile soils which has historically elevated its produce and cuisine to the top of the French culinary table. Gascony is still very much a farming region, a land of wheat, maize and sunflower fields and fabulous wines that are so often overlooked outside of France. Armagnac is the oldest of the French eau de vies and is still made by individual producers who care more for their product than the profits of a multinational business. Gascony is famed for its garlic and is the true home of foie gras, the region is a gastronomic delight. Gascony is located in the department of Gers, one of the least densely populated departments in France. There are no heavy industry or auto routes. It has some of the cleanest air in all of Europe. It is therefore no surprise that Gascons live longer than any other people in France.

Learn about and indulge French dishes in this culinary holiday.

Arrival by airplane

Stansted to Bergerac - Ryanair

Stansted to Carcassonne - Ryanair

Luton to Bordeaux - Easyjet

Gatwick to Toulouse - Easyjet and British Airways

Birmingham to Bordeaux - BMI

Manchester to Bordeaux - BMI

Bristol to Toulouse - Easyjet

Arrival by train

Take Eurostar from St Pancras to Paris and then change for Toulouse.

Distances

  • From Bergerac - 65 miles, 1 hour 20 minutes by car
  • From Bordeaux - 90 miles, 1 hour 50 minutes by car
  • From Calais - 610 miles
  • From Carcassonne - 70 miles, 1 hour and 30 minutes by car
  • From Toulouse - 40 miles, 50 minutes by car
For information about the booking conditions, please send Gascony Cookery School an inquiry.

Verified BookCulinaryVacations.com reviews

  • Review by Heather Spence from Mahia, 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."

    BookCulinaryVacations.com website, edited

  • Review by Karen Duffy

    "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!"

    BookCulinaryVacations.com website, edited

Testimonials

  • Review by Lisa from Washington, USA

    "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."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by A traveler from New York, USA

    "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."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by A traveler from Petersfield, 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!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Angela and Stewart Wright from 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."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by A traveler from England, UK

    "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."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by A traveler from Broxbourne, UK

    "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."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Jo from London, UK

    "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."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Ann

    "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?"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by A traveler from Newbury, UK

    "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."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Tammy from Melbourne, Australia

    "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!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

Gascony, France

The Gascony Cookery School offers practical, accessible, and enjoyable initiation into French cookery guided by two professional chefs of French cuisine.

Speaks English

from --

4 days / 3 nights

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