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At Lot-et-Garonne, you will not find more traditional cuisine than fat duck. All generations come together to prepare confit and foie gras, once or twice a year. During this culinary course, Le Gargantua will take you to a beautiful farm, with an independent producer, someone who puts all his efforts and passion into producing the most succulent duck by concentrating on the well being of his livestock. You will have the opportunity to see fat duck cuisine for yourself, while you learn and taste delicious fat duck based dishes!
Despite the derelict state of this 1850 stone farmhouse, when Le Gargantua Cooking & Patisserie Holidays in France was first seen in 2004 by its actual owners, it was love at first sight. It was renovated it for 3 years, keeping all the original features and eventually opening in 2007. Bedrooms are situated on the first floor. Four spacious and comfortable double bedrooms of an average size of 22 square meters (227 square foot), all with private en-suite facilities: pantagruel room (twin beds), gargamelle room (double bed), grangousier room (double bed), melusine room (four poster double bed). Furnishings and decoration are of traditional French country style. The house and bedrooms have bags of character, with exposed stonewalls and sloping ceilings, showing original oak beams. The perfect mix of rusticity and elegance.
Arrival from 16:00. Settle in and make yourself at home. You will meet Le Gargantua Cooking & Patisserie Holidays in France before dinner for a welcome drink with canaps, followed by a three-course dinner.
Leave after breakfast to visit the farm to get ducks and livers. Each person will get their own duck and liver and come back for lunch. From 13.00, you will get to the kitchen, to cut up ducks, render the fat, cook foie gras and salt-cure meat for the confit. You will have time to relax or to go for a drive. At 19:00, an aperitif will be served before dinner.
After breakfast, you will get to the kitchen to make rillettes. Afterwards take a break to have your lunch. Then, go back to the kitchen, from 13:00 you will make cou farci (stuffed neck), cook confit and grattons. You will finish around 16:00, so you can have some free time before meeting again for an aperitif before dinner.
Departure in the morning. The room is yours until 11:00, if you have your own vehicle. Drop off to Tonneins train station will be for the 8:10 train. You will be leaving with all your preparations, so please make sure you have the necessary equipment not to break the cold chain.
During the holiday, you will visit an authentic traditional fat duck produce farm.
French-born, Marlene, welcomes you in the heart of the Gascony countryside, for a fully hands-on cooking course in English. Marlene was born and raised in Calais, where she was a wine buyer. She has always been a food lover, whether it involved making it or eating it. Cooking is her passion and she loves to share it!
This holiday will take place in Lot-et-Garonne, France. Lot-et-Garonne is known as the Garden of France". The landscape is quite unspoiled, nature and wildlife are preserved, and agriculture is thriving. The surrounding colors are the ones of wheat and sunflower fields, vineyards, and the deep green of the pine forest of the Landes de Gascogne. The guesthouse, Le Gargantua Cooking & Patisserie Holidays in France, is located in the tiny village of Anzex, surrounded by glorious sunflower fields, only a couple of minutes drive away from the pine forest of the Landes de Gascone. It enjoys a very pleasant climate, mostly dry and sunny.
This is a land of eventful history, featuring Richard the Lion Heart, the musketeers, and Henry IV. Many old stones still stand; silent witnesses of the region's historical heritage. Discover the Gallo-Roman relics, Romanesque churches, the impressive castles, and the old wash-houses.
During this culinary holiday, guests will receive daily lunch, breakfast, and three-course dinner. Your daily continental breakfast will consist in bread and croissants, fresh fruit, coffee, English tea, cereals, yogurts, home-made jams, and local honey. Lunches and three-course dinners will include wine. Preparing fat duck is quite technical and time consuming, so you will do nothing else for 2 days. Confit, foie gras, rillettes, cou farci, grattonsyou will do it all and you will take it all home for the pleasure of your friends and family. The only restriction is that what you produce will have to be transported in an icebox, without breaking the cold chain.
Your time off will basically be from 16:00 to 19:00, after your cooking sessions, so you can relax in your room, in the lounge, diner, or even in the garden. Maybe read a good book or take a little siesta. If you have a car (which is recommended for the duration of your stay, if you wish to visit the area at the end of your cooking days and time off, or simply to go into town) you can explore the area. You can try some bikes on site that Le Gargantua is happy to let you use across the surrounding countryside.
Follow the sign to Agen
Do a left onto the D11, towards Damazan / Anzex, for about 5 miles
Turn left onto the D120, towards Anzex / Villefranche (do not turn left into Anzex)
Le Gargantua is on that very road, about 2 kilometers from the junction, on the left hand side
There is a shuttle service between BordeauxMrignac Airport (BOD) and Bordeaux train station, called Jet Bus. Departing from terminal B (arrivals level) at the airport, the Jet Bus shuttle connects BordeauxMrignac Airport (BOD) to Bordeaux train station, via the city centre every hour, 7 days a week. The ride from start to finish lasts around 45 minutes, depending on traffic.
You can catch a Eurostar from London to Paris, or a fast train from most cities in Europe to Paris. You then need to get to Paris Montparnasse station, to catch a train to Bordeaux or Agen. Lot-et-Garonne local train station is Tonneins. There are TGV (fast trains) or slower regional trains coming to Tonneins from Bordeaux or Agen. There is approximately 1 train every hour.
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