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Regional Cooking and Food in Southwest France
September 10 - 15, 2024

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Note: Our itinerary strives to provide the participants with hands-on cooking classes, cultural visits, walks in the countryside, meals at Michelin restaurants but it is subject to change based on participants’ needs, the weather and the group consensus.  Participants can choose to come early or stay for a few extra days for an additional cost.

 

Day 1

ARRIVAL    

Once you have been shown to your room, you are encouraged to make yourself at home, start to relax and enjoy the surroundings of the historic Chateau de Balsac.  The Chateau has been renovated with modern conveniences for your comfort, and is set in a spacious park that includes a classic French garden, swimming pool, hot tub, and friendly goats. 

You will be serviced a light lunch prepared with local ingredients.  We will take this time to introduce everyone, review the itinerary, answer any questions and discuss the week ahead.

 

In the late afternoon, you will begin your first cooking class in the chateau's kitchen.  the evening ends with enjoying the food you have prepared with some local wines.

Day 2 

MORNING        

Breakfast at the Chateau Chateau breakfasts are sumptuous and typically include your choice of fruit, croissants, bread, home-made jams, eggs from the chateau's chickens, and more.

 

Educational Visit – We will tour a local sheep farm—La Ferme des Vezenies—that produces the milk used to make Roquefort and other cheeses. End with a tasting of tome, Roquefort and blue.

 

Village Walk – Salles la Source is a quaint hillside village where water that has traveled dozens of kilometers underground makes its appearance in a dramatic waterfall. 

 

AFTERNOON  

Return to Chateau -- enjoy a light lunch.

Participants have free time to explore the village and country-side before the afternoon's cooking class.  

 

 

EVENING

Cooking class and wine pairing with chef Adrien Lacaze

                         

Adrien has trained with several award-winning chefs in France including François Adamski, Cyril Lignac, and Christopher Hache.  That experience enabled him to refine his techniques and master his craft.  World travel and a trip to Japan inspired Adrien to broaden his palate beyond France, leading him to start Chef At Home, an activity that creates intimate culinary experiences for small groups”.

 

         Dinner at the Chateau   

 

 

Day 3 

EARLY MORNING    Abbreviated Breakfast Snack at the Chateau

 

Start the day with an accompanied visit to the Rodez Farmers Market, followed by a cooking class at L'Auberge du Château led by renowned chef Marc Cordy. You will work in his professional kitchen and enjoy your creations afterwards. 


 

“Marc has made it a point of honor for years to offer his customers gourmet, original cuisine, specially made from fresh, seasonal and local products.”

 

The Michelin Guide on Marc Cordy, chef and owner of L'Auberge du Château:

 

“…This place is well known to gourmets, who enjoy cuisine that gives priority to herbs, freshness and organic products…the chef doesn’t compromise!  Plates are full of colors and favors.”

 

AFTERNOON 

Relax at the Château; explore the countryside on foot or by bike. 

EVENING

Cooking class at the Château; prepare a light meal to enjoy in the evening. 

 

Day 4 

MORNING        

Breakfast at the Château

 

Drive to Conques, a stunning medieval village that is on the famous St. Jacques pilgrim route

 

Guided tour of the ancient Abbey and its Treasure

AFTERNOON

 Lunch in Conques

 

Return to the Chateau

Optional hike to local winery for private tasting

 

EVENING         

Dinner at Herve Busset, in Rodez.

 

The Michelin Guide’s point of view:        One Star  

“Chef Hervé Busset continues to present himself as a foraging cook. This produce that he gleans from the surrounding fields and forests is supplemented by purchases on the market opposite his new address. Hervé's creative cuisine is punctuated by nature: comfrey, marigold, woodwort, meadowsweet and nasturtium flowers season the plates with harmony and finesse throughout a surprise menu..”

 

Day 5 

MORNING

Breakfast at the Château

 

Optional cooking class: French picnic classics

 

AFTERNOON       

Lunch at the Chateau

 

Visit the Soulages Museum; guided tour

                         

Attend the cooking class at the Café Bras with expert chef Christophe Chaillou.

 

“The participatory classes allow you to learn recipes, techniques, cooking tips and tricks while using seasonal foods, surrounded by the good humor and the expertise of a passionate chef.”

 

“Christophe is originally from Vendée.  After working in the kitchens of Suquet in Laguiole, with Michel and Sébastien Bras for several seasons, he taught cooking for fifteen years.  He married an Aveyronnaise, Pascale, who works with him in the dining room.

 

EVENING

         Relax at the Chateau
 

Day 6

MORNING        

Breakfast at the Chateau

DEPARTURE

Option to stay overnight at the Chateau

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