7 Days French Cooking Course in Brittany, France

  • French Dining School, Kerrouet House, Kerrouet, 22330 St Goueno, Brittany, France

Overview

Cooking Holidays in France

Learn the skills of the masterchef! Impress family and friends with gourmet dishes of exceptional quality, taste, and design. Elevate your knowledge and skills in cooking with the Michelin trained Chef Poul. Work in a stress free environment at the Manor house and the surrounding pastoral village, a truly magical experience. You will always learn something new as you experiment and learn new techniques. The best part of it is enjoying the results of your hard work during long lunches and dinners. You will leave knowing that you have seen and touched the essence of Brittany.

Highlights

  • 9 cooking classes
  • Wine or cider tasting
  • Michelin star trained chefs
  • Guided advice to places of interest
  • Course folder with menus and recipes
  • Graduation ceremony and certificate
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • 4 lunches and 6 dinners

Group sizes

The maximum participants in the group is 8.

  • 5 days with instruction
  • Danish, French, German, Norwegian, Swedish, English
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Chateau de la Touche

The 16th century chateau is located in the Cote d'Armor in Brittany, close to Lamballe and Moncontour, embedded by a delightful castle park. The closest town is called Trebry. Built in the 16th century the Chateau de la Touche is a jewel right by the Atlantic Coast. Influenced by the Italian Renaissance, the castle could almost be allocated to the style of Ludwig XIII. With regards to the fantastic site, the castle has been opened to individuals as a holiday destination since 2007.

The chateau's facilities:

  • Idyllic castle park
  • Sunbathing area/lawn
  • Unaffected lake land
  • Car parking
  • Free bike rental
  • Barbecue
  • Ping pong
  • Horse stable

Kerrouet House

Just three hours from Paris and under one hour from Rennes, Saint Malo, and Dinan, the school is located in the Kerrouet House, a 16th century stone longère. The Kerrouet House French Dining School offers five day hands-on cookery courses in the center of the Brittany region of France.

Kerrouet House was built in the 16th century as the home of the tax collector for the nearby Manor of Plessy and two other manor houses in the area. As a "royal" longère, it fell into neglect during the French Revolution and was abandoned for many years. In recent times it has been home to a professor of Mathematics (Sorbonne) but it went to a near derelict state in the 1990's.

The house was discovered on a holiday visit to Brittany. Despite the jungle of nettles, brambles, thistles and ivy, Niall fell in love with the monastic stone entrances, grand fireplaces and royal chimney. Over the past few years artisans have worked hard to restore the property and now the premises are used as a popular cooking school with a growing international reputation.

It is a unique home based cooking school located in the medieval village of Kerrouet in central Brittany. The school is focused on gourmet quality French and modern European cuisine. Students are encouraged to get actively involved in all areas of food preparation. The school offers courses at all levels in French and modern European and Scandinavian cuisine.

We are the cooking school and culinary vacation provider of your choice because we offer quality school facilities and fully supportive learning mediums as we use a variety of tools to enhance your learning experience at the school. Courses are varied to ensure everyone gains the necessary cooking experience they need with our Michelin trained chef.

Our school is small and flexible enough to cater for your individual or corporate requirements which is a great team building opportunity. We can arrange gift vouchers so you can celebrate that special occasion with cooking classes for birthdays, weddings, stag and hen parties or just a novelty Christmas gift.

We value our students, that is why we offer the service they deserve. This of course includes detailed individual folders complete with menus and course recipes. We also do follow up menu advice. At the end of their classes with us, a graduation ceremony is held to culminate the week. Each student is awarded beautiful certificates to take home, frame up, and exhibit in their kitchen.

You will start your course on Sunday evening, with an introductory meal. On Monday, you start at 10:00 with introductions, course program, and safety issues (use of knives etc). Kerrouet House will discuss each daily menu before they commence preparation and actual cooking. Menus will vary depending on markets and the season. In general, the class will undertake food preparation for full lunch and dinner at the school each day to include starter, main course and dessert/cheese with wine.

Expert guidance on specialist areas including fish, seafood, shellfish, meats, game, cheeses, soups, sauce preparation, stock making, baking, breads and pastries, smoking, preserving, menu planning, table setting, wines and the use of knives and kitchen equipment. Whatever your level Kerrouet House will ensure you gain key skills which can only be acquired from working alongside highly skilled and experienced chefs.

Whether it be preparing lobsters, smoking salmon, making sorbets, mousselines, pastries, sauces, ice creams, garnishes and the best of the wonderful world of French cuisine, Kerrouet House will be there to turn you into a competent and confident home chef. You will gain lots of culinary tips and knowledge. All meals taken at the school are to Michelin standard. Guided tours to food markets and beautiful medieval towns arranged.

  • Poul Jensen

    Poul Jensen has over 30 years in the restaurant and wine business. He trained and graduated from one of the best French restaurants in Denmark (Gammel Aalbyhoj - Relais Gourmand - Tradition et Qualitie). He gained invaluable experience at some of the world's most esteemed restaurants including Longueville Manor (Jersey Channel Islands); Mietta's Restaurant of Melbourne (Australia) and the world renowned liner the QE2. In London Poul worked for Noble Rot (Mayfair) and The Walbrook Club (City of London) with Albert Roux.

  • Niall O'Reilly

    Niall has worked in the entertainment industry (National Theater London) for many years but now enjoys doing what he does best. He is particularly interested in nutrition for healthy living and food safety. Niall harvests his own organic tea (lime tree blossom) along with a host of other specialties. He also developed Kerrouet Royale - a world class cocktail which is named after the local village!

Kerrouet Village

The village of Kerrouet lies in the heart of "The Mene" ; the beautiful rolling hills of Brittany which are so famous for walking and cycling holidays. Kerrouet is located 1 hour from Rennes with links to Eurostar in Paris and Charles de Gaulle Airport as well as direct flights to Paris, Edinburgh and Dublin. Dinard Airport is a 40 minute drive with Ryanair links to London and East Midlands.

Nantes Airport has direct links to Dublin, East Midlands, Leeds Bradford, and Marseilles. St Malo port and the wonderful seaside resorts of Val Andre are only an hour away. Only 3 hours from Paris via rail to Rennes. Cancalle, also nearby, is world famous for its oysters and seafood. The world famous "Kerrouet Royale" was created in Kerrouet and named after the village. Students get a taste of this cocktail upon graduating from the school.

Brittany

We are located in one of the most beautiful unspoilt places on earth. The roads are free of traffic. The night sky is free of light pollution. The gently rolling hills of Le Men are delightful for both cyclists and hikers with their extraordinary collection of hidden medieval hamlets and friendly locals.

Enter any bar here and males are expected to shake the hands of all other males present and kiss all females twice on the cheek. You may come as a stranger but you will leave as a friend. We are positioned within a few hours drive of two of the top tourist destinations in France. Le Mont St Michell to the north and Carnac to the south.

Other exciting places to visit on your trip to Brittany include the famous walled town of St Malo, the medieval towns of Dinan, Josselin and not forgetting one of the best food markets in France (March des Lices) at Rennes on a Saturday morning. Prepare to be bowled over by the sheer variety of seafood and products on offer.

Activities
  • Cooking classes
  • Golf course nearby
  • Horse riding/rental
  • Swimming
  • Swimming pool nearby
  • Tennis court nearby
General
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Garden
  • Restaurant nearby
  • Special menu request
Services
  • Car rental nearby
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Library
  • Shop nearby

Please note that menus change according to season and market conditions.

Lunch on Monday

  • Chicken stock making for the week
  • Starter: Bruschetta on toasted bread
  • Main: Salmon fish cakes on a garden salad with homemade sauce remoulade
  • Cheese: Selection of French cheeses

Dinner on Monday

  • Starter:Artichoke in a citrus soup
  • Main: Langoustine stuffed chicken leg with mushroom sauce
  • Cheese: Selection of French cheeses
  • Dessert:Panna Cotta with fresh summer fruits

Lunch on Tuesday

  • Starter: Gazpacho
  • Main: Turkey breast marinated in soya, ginger and chili served on a salad with toasted pine kernels
  • Cheese: Selection of French cheeses

Dinner on Tuesday

  • Starter: Grilled scallops with endive soup and chives
  • Main: Veal fillet with basil sauce, crme fraiche potatoes and rosemary roasted vegetables
  • Cheese: Selection of French cheeses
  • Dessert: Lemon cake with cointreau creme fraiche

Lunch on Wednesday

  • Starter: Small tomato pizza
  • Main: Warm smoked fish on a salad with horseradish cream
  • Cheese: Selection of French cheeses

Dinner on Wednesday

  • Starter: Grilled Langoustines with garlic butter
  • Main: Frikadeller Danish styled meat balls with potato salad and cucumber salad
  • Cheese: Selection of French cheeses
  • Dessert: Tiamisu

Lunch on Thursday

  • Students are free to visit places of interest including Le Mont St. Michel or have a trip to a food market (which may be arranged with a local driver on request).

Dinner on Thursday

  • Starter: Mushroom risotto
  • Main: Pan fried skate wing with lemon, capers, parsley & new potatoes
  • Cheese: Selection of French cheeses
  • Dessert: Caramelized strawberries served with cinnamon and a poppy seed ice cream

Lunch on Friday

  • Starter: Mussel soup with saffron
  • Main: Caesar Salad
  • Cheese: Selection of French cheeses

Dinner on Friday

  • Starter: Lobster bisque
  • Main: Slow roasted lamb with oven baked vegetables
  • Cheese: Selection of French cheeses
  • Dessert: Poached peach with a sabayon sauce and fresh raspberries

The following meals are included:

  • Dinner

The following dietary requirements are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
(If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation)

The local taxi driver can take you to places of interest including food markets, historic venues, and local places of interest. Kerrouet House recommends places to visit, but do not organize tours themselves owing to insurance costs. Also, you can rent an electric bike available at cheap rates (20 EUR per week).

  • 4 lunches
  • 6 dinners
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • 9 cooking classes
  • Course folder with menus and recipes
  • Graduation ceremony and certificate
  • Michelin star trained chefs
  • Pick-up and drop-off to Lamballe Rail station and Kerrouet House
  • Wine or cider tasting
  • 2 lunches (Sunday and Thursday)
  • Airfare
  • Local transport
  • Personal expenses
  • Tours or specialist trips to food markets and places of interest

Driving directions from Paris

  • Motorway A11 from Paris to Rennes and then the N12 from Rennes to Lamballe - Moncontour.

Arrival by airplane

The nearest airports to the location are Rennes-Saint-Jauques-Airport (RNS) or Brest Airport (BES). The nearest with regular flights into the UK is Dinard-Pleurtuit-Saint-Malo Airport (DNR) with regular flights to London Stanstead, Nottingham East Midlands, and Bristol.

Arrival by train

One may catch the TGV from Paris to nearby Lamballe station.

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 15% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 60 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 60 days before arrival.

Verified BookCulinaryVacations.com reviews

  • D
    Review by Anonymous

    A nice start to a culinary experience

    CONS Cons: It was a large group and not enough for everyone to do.

    PROS Pros: Poul and Niall were wonderful hosts. Very generous and accommodating. They certainly kept the wine flowing. Learned a few very useful tips and enjoyed the preparations and the dinners.

    7.5 Value for money
    5 Accommodation & facilities
    7.5 Food
    10 Location
    7.5 Quality of activity
    7.5 Overall impression

    2017-May-22 06:46:32

Testimonials

  • Review by Nancy R. Johnson from Stockholm, Sweden

    "A memorable girls getaway and three days (April 10-13, 2016) at Kerrouet House! We are a group of international women who love to cook and eat well. I heard about the French Dining School from a friend who had been there several times. She was right! The hosts are wonderful! So welcoming and easy going, it felt as if we always knew them. We learned so many cooking techniques and methods that we could use in our everyday lives. The demonstrations were helpful as were the inside secrets from exceptional Chef Poul! The accommodations were clean, cozy, and perfect for our group. I loved the early morning walks before breakfast to take in the fresh air and beauty of the french country side and the joyful dinners with friends and our wonderful hosts. Be sure to bring a light jacket this time of year as it could be windy and cool, and take time to visit the gorgeous castles during the day. As tempting as it is to nap, you won't want to miss the beauty this area offers. I highly recommend French Dining School to anyone looking for a wonderful culinary experience in the beautiful french countryside."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Christine B.

    "What a wonderful week my sister and I spent at Kerrouet House. Against a relaxed, humor-filled happy atmosphere, Chef Poul instilled in us basic techniques, proper ways of preparing and presenting dishes, and the art and pleasure of eating wonderful food in good company. How Paol manages to keep cool amongst all us rookies, whilst keeping his eye on numerous different things at once, I will never know: he is a master of multitasking! Both he and Niall made us feel so welcome in their home, and we really did feel part of the family for the time we were there. Nothing was too much trouble for them. We made new friends, learnt so much, and explored a pretty part of Brittany. I cannot recommend the course highly enough."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Alice Louh from Crowborough, United Kingdom

    "I spent a wonderful week at the French Dining School with my mum for her 50th birthday, and I can't think of a better way to celebrate. We spent the mornings preparing and cooking delicious meals for lunch, and the same again in the evenings, which gave us the afternoons to explore the beautiful surrounding countryside by foot. The food was outstanding, and we learnt so many dishes and techniques that I have already put into practice at home. Poul and Niall are both excellent company and fantastic hosts and truly went above and beyond to make us feel welcome. The school is set in beautiful countryside, though it is very remote, so I would recommend driving if possible, or renting a car. A trip to remember for years to come."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Rita from Cavan, Ireland

    "I just returned from the most amazing week spent in the French Dining School in Kerrout with Poul, a brilliant Chef, whose love of cooking inspired us, his students to try our best to master the skills he so brilliantly illustrates and also, Niall who kept all things running smoothly with his wit and easy manner. The ambiance of Kerrout is so peaceful and comfortable. We thoroughly enjoyed help prepare, cook and of course, eat this wonderful food with delicious wines to accompany chosen by Poul, our Michelan Chef. We toured the beautiful countryside on our daily hours off and had a wonderful week."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Patricia K from New York, USA

    "My husband and I spent a delightful week cooking with and enjoying the company of Poul and Niall. We cooked delicious food, but that is not what made our experience special. The recipes are things we will cook at home (bought ingredients for two of them today), and Poul provided very helpful guidance on technique and planning -- things that are critical to people like us (very busy, but want to eat well). Poul and Niall also have wonderful life experiences that they shared with us and we felt at home and welcome in their lovely kitchen and home. We made new friends.We had a rental car and it is easy to get around. Poul and Niall provided great suggestions on what to do in the afternoons. We stayed in a gite in walking distance to the school. It was comfortable and quiet - just what we were looking for on our break. My husband and I love to cook and eat well and have done other cooking courses on vacation. This one was the best."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Wales, UK

    "I read the reviews on Trip Advisor and they played a big part in booking a holiday at the school. All the reviews are true. Three of us had the benefit of Poul's experience and knowledge for five days. I learnt so much, lots of tips on how to cook, also what kitchen equipment helps, and how to lay a table. Poul was kind enough to pick me up from the airport and we went for a trip to St Malo. This generous spirit is indicative of the school's approach. We had fabulous food, great company (thanks Scott and Suzanne from USA), a learning holiday that I want to return to. I highly recommend this cookery school."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by David from Bath, UK

    "My wife and I spent a glorious week with Poul and two other guests at his school. The standard was astonishingly high, firstly in the michelin star standard of skill and experience shown by Poul, secondly in his skill as a teacher, thirdly in the high quality of the wide range of fish and meat which we cooked, fourthly in the well chosen accompanying wines, and fifthly the charming ambiance of his charming house. If they gave michelin stars to cooking schools this would most certainly be on the list."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Singapore

    "A week at the French Dining School in Kerrouet, Brittany with chef extraordinaire and terrific teacher Poul Jensen was a wonderful experience I hope to have the opportunity to repeat time and again! The vacation was at a 400 hundred year old farmhouse that's been lovingly restored, both quaint yet fully equipped.It was a small class where we each had the chance to get directly involved - picking up knife skills, discovering the secrets behind each delectable dish, preparing sauces from scratch, plating with an eye to aesthetics (we eat with our eyes too), and learning to pair each course with a wine that best brought out its flavor.I had a fantastic holiday cooking, eating, walking (working off all those extra calories in the midst of the lovely countryside bursting with beautiful hydrangeas), and best of all, making new friends! The excellent teaching and warm hospitality from Poul and his partner were such a delight. Add to that the delicious lunches and dinners we learned to prepare under Poul's encouraging guidance - he made even the most difficult dishes seem easy.All combined to make for a most enjoyable experience that I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys good food and great teaching! I must stop short of giving away Poul's recipes - but I can assure you that there are tempting treats in store for you when you go on this delightful trip that will have you impatient to return for more!"

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Tallinn, Estonia

    "Poul the schools chef is a talented chef and teacher. Together with my wife, we returned home, from a very enjoyable week, with many new cooking skills that we now share with friends and family.The school recommended good accommodation offering the chance to stay with warm and friendly local expatriates, as well as ideas for visits to local towns and markets. Overall a very relaxing and enjoyable experience."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by Suzi from North Carolina, USA

    "I accompanied my grandson (17 years old) to Brittany so that he could attend Chef Poul's class. I joined them each day for lunch and dinner to enjoy the fruits of other labors. The meals were expertly prepared and presented. I arrived most days a little early so that I could take advantage of the Internet. I could overhear Chef Poul talking and teaching.As a retired school administrator, I am keenly aware of "best practices" of teachers. Chef Poul exhibits all of them. He had the students learning culinary skills with hands on experiences as well as teaching them subtle "soft" skills like presentation, setting the table with proper utensils and glasses, added touches of flowers, etc. But the thing I enjoyed most listening to him was his support of their efforts.Watching them skin a skate for the first time and gaining confidence with each stroke of the knife (yes, they were taught the proper knife for each particular task) and then to sit down a few minutes later to a great meal was an adventure greater than any I ever expected. The atmosphere of the classroom/kitchen was so warm and inviting. By the way, he constantly had them cleaning and putting away.There was never a messing look to the area to interfere with the next task. He helped them see the beauty of planning in the morning for not only lunch but things needed to be done ahead of time for the evening meal so they never seemed rushed or off schedule. It takes a master teach to make it seem so easy and enjoyable. If you limit me to one adjective about my observations over the week I would choose, Calm.Chef Poul also arranged for us to rent a 2 bedroom gite within walking distance of the school. My experience as an observer and official taste-tester makes me want to return as a student. I have a friend that want to go so you may get another review from me next year. Highly recommend the school and the gite run by Sharon and Dean. Satisfied and satiated."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by Molly from Totnes, United Kingdom

    "If you're looking to learn to cook wonderful food in France then look no further. I have just returned from a delightful week learning to cook delicious food under the expert tutelage of Poul. When researching my trip I wanted a school where I would learn a variety of dishes (including starters, mains, sides and desserts), would be taught in a relaxed environment and most importantly would be able to get 'hands-on' in the cooking experience.French Dining School delivered on all of these points, meeting and far exceeding my expectations. Expect to cook a two course lunch and three course dinners every day (apart from Thursday where lunch is free for exploring!), as well as lots of other little treats along the way (think cheesy biscuits and tasty cookies!). Poul made sure we were always learning something new but still had time to taste, experiment and learn new techniques.I cooked many things that were new to me, and picked up some extra tips and tricks gleaned from Poul's many years working in restaurants. Meals are enjoyed with the other students in Poul's lovely home, where the wine is free flowing and the conversation even more so. Poul also arranged lovely accommodation for me in Gaynor and Ray's local B and B which I also highly recommend. 100% recommended, amazing experience."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from London, UK

    "Cook your own lunches and dinners with masterful guidance from the Chef. Fantastic recipes and pleasant informal meals in a company of wonderful hosts, great interactive learning experience. The venue is an ancient and lovingly restored house in a charming little Breton hamlet. Good location allowing you to explore the area when on leave from your culinary duties. If you ever feel guilty about overindulgence in good food, kick start your morning with a jog around the village through surrounding farmland."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

A unique home based cooking school, located in the village of Kerrouet in central Brittany, focused on gourmet quality French and modern European cuisine.

Speaks English

from --

7 days / 6 nights

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