top of page

Regional Cooking and Food in Southwest France
September 11–15, 2023

Day 1 — Monday September 11

Attendees are responsible for arranging their own transportation to Rodez. There, at the airport or train station or other location of their choosing, they will be met by someone from the program who will drive them to the Chateau. Some workshop participants are scheduled to arrive Monday afternoon.

UPON ARRIVAL

Settle into your room

Relax in the Chateau park

Light supper in the Chateau dining room

Welcome and Introductions (brief)

Explore the Chateau de Balsac – Get to know it’s architectural elements and history. See how the building evolved over hundreds of years.

 

Day 2 — Tuesday September 12

 

MORNING        

Breakfast at the Chateau

 

Meet and get acquainted with your hosts, Jill, Malana and Roland, and your fellow participants. What has brought you here for a week of cooking and food exploration?

 

We will go over the itinerary and answer any questions.

Drive to a few local farms.   We will tour a local sheep farm that produces the milk used to make Roquefort and other cheeses. End with a tasting of  cheeses: tomme and Roquefort.  Visit a local farm store cooperative        

 

AFTERNOON  

Lunch at the Chateau – Featuring locally produced meats, cheeses, vegetables and wines.

 

Food Preparation Demonstration using food sourced at local farms and the farm store we visited in the morning.

 

Visit a winery and vineyard in Balsac. After the cooking demonstration we will take a short walk to meet the wine maker in his vineyards, then walk back to his winery for a tour and tasting. Return to Chateau for a rest before dinner.  

 

EVENING

Dinner at the Chateau

           

After dinner enjoy the village, the chateau and its park at sunset

 

 

Day 3 — Wednesday September 13

 

MORNING

Breakfast at the Chateau

Drive to Rodez

 

Visit the outdoor market in Rodez. Explore the market with Jill and help pick out the ingredients for the meal you will be making in the afternoon.  You will have the opportunity to meet the farmers and other purveyors  and learn how the local Averyonese prepare their specialites.

 

AFTERNOON

 

         Return to the Chateau for an afternoon of cooking the ingredients you have found at the farmer’s market.

 

EVENING

 

Dinner at the Chateau

 

 

Day 4 — Thursday September 14

 

MORNING        

Breakfast at the Chateau

Drive to Belcastel, a well-preserved medieval village with a stunning chateau dominating its skyline, designated one of “the most beautiful villages” in France. Visit the Chateau de Belcastel and village.  

 

Lunch at Le Vieux Pont     

AFTERNOON

 

After the lunch in Belcastel, we will return to Balsac and you have the opportunity to walk to the ruins of  the Prieuré du Sauvage, a monastery established by an ancient religious order that thrived for six centuries. You have the option of returning to the Chateau on foot or by van.

 

Cooking demonstration – Focus on the French amuse bouche and desserts.

 

EVENING         

Light dinner at the Chateau  

 

 

Day 5 — Friday September 15

 

MORNING

Breakfast at the Chateau       

 

Cooking demonstration -- prep vegetables and sauces for the evening meal        

 

Hike to villages in the valley below Balsac. Enjoy a leisurely walk from the Balsac plateau, passing through vineyards, horse paddocks and old stone farmhouses.  We will arrive at the village of Bruejouls with its red stone buildings and picturesque medieval streets. We continue (walking or riding) to the village of Clairvaux for lunch.

 

Lunch at La Grange  (Clairvaux)

 

 

AFTERNOON

 

After lunch we will tour the village of Clairvaux and stop at a couple of wineries for a tasting. You can either return by car (10 minutes) or hike back to the Chateau (1 hour).

 

EVENING

          Early Dinner at the Chateau
 

DEPARTURE

    Option to stay overnight or the weekend at the Chateau

bottom of page