Provencal cooking holiday - Michelin Star Chef

Provence Region, Provence, France

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Holiday Itinerary

Go learn to cook in this beautiful country house amidst the Bandol vines and the olive trees and enjoy hands on cookery classes with a Michelin star chef to learn the fine art of Provencal cuisine and gain a behind the scenes look at the local producer’s and their artisan goods that make this region a foodie’s paradise.

Stay in the beautiful country hotel and enjoy southern French hospitality at its finest. The accommodation and its grounds boasts several buildings offering a total of 40 rooms and suites, two highly commended restaurants, including a Michelin star awarded restaurant, extensive gardens growing vegetables and herbs, as well as a relaxing spa with a range of beauty and massage treatments and an extensive thermaespa.

‘La Bastide des Saveurs’ a carefully renovated 19th century house with picturesque blue shuttered windows is where your cookery classes take place, just a short 3km drive from pretty hilltop village of La Cadière d’Azur. After gathering herbs and vegetables fresh from the garden, guests can wander back to the well-equipped kitchen to begin their hands on cookery classes with Michelin start chef René or his son, chef Jean François.

During your 5 night / 6 day course you will be taken on four culinary excursions where you will visit a local vineyard, honeybee farm, olive grove and cheese farm and see the producers of these fine local ingredients at work.

This hands-on Provencal cookery course offers a unique opportunity to discover the secrets of French cooking from a Michelin star Chef who will be your passport to Provencal cuisine and the Mediterranean way of life.

This is a wonderful introduction to Provence’s rich gastronomic culture set in relaxing surroundings, a must for any French food enthusiast.

- Your hosts are French but speak perfect English and will teach the classes in French and English
- Minimum age 18
- Note: We strongly recommend car hire to fully explore the area as there is no public transport available and taxis can be expensive in the area
- Note: You will also need a car/taxi to go from the hotel to the cooking kitchen which is around 3km drive each way and transport is not included

Travelling Solo?

- These cookery holidays make great singles holidays and singles are welcome to join an existing group
- Solo travellers can book a private single room for a compulsory single supplement
- To book a private single room, email or contact us via live chat (click on the ‘start chat’ link at the bottom of this page) or call us to check availability

Provencal Cooking Holiday Start Days
- This course runs on set dates from April to October
- All arrivals are on a Sunday, departures on Friday morning
- If this course appears ‘on request’ we can usually accommodate your requirements, to check availability, email us on or call us on +44 (0)208 144 5990 with your preferred dates and someone will get back to you very quickly

Provencal Cooking Holiday Itinerary
The itinerary is for guidance only and is subject to change depending on the group’s needs and wishes but is typically as follows:

Day 1 – Sunday – Arrival day and welcome dinner
- Check-in to your accommodation anytime after 2pm and enjoy exploring the hotel and settling in to your room and relaxing before gathering in the evening for your welcome dinner
- The 4 course welcome dinner is a chance to meet fellow guests, and enjoy the offerings of the hotel’s impressive restaurant
- Please note that drinks will be charged as an extra and if you would like wine, the hotel boasts an extensive wine cellar

Days 2 – Monday – Cookery class and afternoon culinary excursion
- Enjoy a leisurely French buffet breakfast before heading off to Bastide des Saveurs, your cookery school location 3km away from the hotel (transport is not provided)
- After everyone has their chef’s hat and aprons on, Michelin star rated chef René will begin your first cookery class
- Head in to the garden to gather herbs, fruit and vegetables in preparation for the delicious dishes on today’s menu a Provencal stew with choice cuts of meat cooked with the freshly picked herbs and vegetables
- Each cooking lesson will last around 3 hours and will focus on cooking typical Provencal dishes learning all of the secrets from René and his son, Jean-François
- After your cooking lesson, sit down on the terrace or in the dining room and enjoy eating the meal you’ve just prepared with drinks included
- After lunch you’ll take one of the culinary excursions planned to give you an insight into local French culinary life
- Today’s visit may be a tour of a Bandol AOC vineyard where you’ll discover more about the famous wine from the region and sample its goods in a wine tasting session
- The rest of the afternoon and evening is free for you to relax at the hotel, enjoy exploring the village, or have dinner out at the hotel or other local restaurant

Day 3 –Tuesday – Visit to the fish market and afternoon cooking class
-After breakfast, head out to the colourful fish market in Sanary-sur-Mer along with your host and meet the local fruit and vegetable producers, cheese-makers and fishermen as they go about their day at the market
- You’ll have the chance to see the day’s catch come in to the port with freshly caught produce before heading back to Bastide des Saveurs armed with today’s ingredients and fresh fish
- Today’s class will incorporate the fresh ingredients you purchased at the market to create a sumptuous fish lunch which you’ll enjoy after the class with your fellow guests

Day 4 – Wednesday – Cookery class with chef René and afternoon culinary excursion
-After another French buffet breakfast you’ll return to the kitchen to discover more Provencal culinary secrets with your professional chef
- Today’s class is focused on the region’s vegetables, famed for their incredible taste ripening under the Provencal sun
- Chef René or Jean François will pass on top tips for creating a sumptuous vegetable feast which you’ll enjoy once the class is finished, in the sunshine on the terrace or the dining room
- After lunch you’ll be taken for another culinary excursion which today may include a visit to a local olive oil mill, giving you the opportunity to learn more about one of France’s prized products

Day 5 – Thursday – Cooking class and culinary excursion
-Following a leisurely breakfast it’s back to the kitchen at Bastide des Saveurs for your final cookery class
- Today’s class is dedicated to those with a sweet tooth as you learn about the region’s sweets and desserts
- You’ll discover one of Provence’s favourite dessert tarts – chocolate moelleux  a chocolate pudding with sumptuous melting centre that will defy even the most savoury loving foodies to resist seconds
- After lunch enjoy a final afternoon culinary excursion, perhaps to a local honey producer which includes honey tasting to sample another artisan product

Day 6 – Departure Day Friday
- After breakfast guests are asked to check-out of their rooms by 11am ready for departure taking home with them new Michelin standard cooking skills to impress your nearest and dearest back home and an insight into French life that will stay with them long after the holiday is over

About Your Chefs
- Born in La Cadière d’Azur, Chef René's superb and richly innovative cuisine is based on the traditional flavours and fragrances of Provence and the Mediterranean
- Using only the finest local products, Chef Rene deserves his Michelin star status and along with his son Jean Francois will teach you to cook to the highest standards in a fun and friendly environment
- Flavours produced by the warm Provencal sunshine are Rene’s passion
- Although your Chef has won numerous awards his true love is passing on his skills and enthusiasm to others

What Will I Learn?
- The cooking course will concentrate on the typical cuisine of Provence: its meats, fresh fish, fruits and vegetables, herbs and sauces
- At the start of your course, your Chef will discuss menus with you to ensure you cover any particular skills you want to learn during your cookery class
- You will also learn about the production of various artisan products on your culinary excursions in the afternoons to visit local producers
- Discover the methods behind the production of great Bandol wines and the differences between them in wine tasting session
- Learn about the honey making process on a visit to a local producer and take part in honey tasting
- How olive oil is made at a local olive oil press
- A behind the scenes look at the market and the fishing fleet bring in its catch of the day
- How to use the freshest ingredients to let the flavours speak for themselves in Provencal cooking
- The art of presentation in cooking to finish off your work in the kitchen to impress dinner guests

Sample Menus
Many herbs and vegetables are picked from the garden, dishes vary according to the season and what food is available may include:
- Olive tapenade
- Salmon with lime and ginger apples shot steam and fresh spinach
- Provencal stuffed meat
- Daube casseroles
- Tarte tatin du tomate
- Roulade
- Cripsy pastry with strawberries and thyme from the garden
- Caramelized apple feuillatage
- Please note: dietary requirements must be communicated at the time of booking via the Special Requests box

The Accommodation At Hotel Berard
- Your accommodation is set at the Hotel Berard, a luxury hotel and spa set in the heart of the peaceful Provencal village of La Cadière d’Azur
- There are a total of 40 twin/double rooms and suites, all with a private bathroom
 - If you are travelling solo, there is a compulsory single supplement stay in a twin/double room (see the 'Costing and Extras' tab)
- The hotel is made up of three seperate accommodation options, each showing their own character and with their own special charm
- The beautiful rooms offer every comfort of a hotel with the relaxed and easy going feel of a family run Provencal countryside retreat
- Bedrooms are decorated in a beautiful and traditional French style in neutral colours
- All rooms offer picturesque views over the Bandol vineyards vineyards and the surrounding quaint villages
- Each bedroom has a private bathroom, air-conditioning, safe, satellite TV, mini bar, free WiFi, and a hairdryer
- Hotel Berard also has a luxury spa on site
- The spa is inspired by ancient Roman Baths, and is the perfect place to relax and unwind
- You can book a wide range of therapeutic treatments and massages for an extra cost during your stay
- There is a stunning outdoor swimming pool for your use and a spacious fitness room
- Bikes can be hired from the hotel for an extra cost
- Accommodation is included for 5 nights/6 days
- Check in by 2pm on day 1 and check out by 11am on day 6

- All breakfasts are included and served as a French buffet style at the hotel
- The lunch that you’ve learned to cook on days 2-5
- A 4 course welcome dinner on arrival on your first evening
- Days 2-5 you are free to take dinner wherever you choose (extra cost)
- If you have dietary requests, these must be communicated to us at the time of booking

Free Time In France
- This French cookery holiday is packed with culinary delights and excursions but in your free time you may want to explore the local area
- The local village of La Cadière-d'Azur is a medieval village still with 3 remaining medieval gate and ancient walls as well as 16th century churches to explore
- In the village there’s also a local museum and several shops and cafes to wander around
- There are numerous local villages dotted around the area which make for a pleasant afternoon exploring this picturesque region of France
- Your hosts will give you lots of information on what activities are on offer in the local area such as the local markets, wine tasting, and more
- The Côte d’Azur is just minutes away with its famous beaches and coastline it too makes for an excellent drive for those looking to get some sea air and sunshine
- It is recommended to have a car to fully explore the area and you may find you wish to stay on for a few nights to get the most out of your trip!

Immerse yourself in the Provencal sunshine and way of life to pursue your passion for fine French cuisine on this French cookery holiday with a difference.