The International Kitchen Blog: A Christmas Cooking Vacation with Le Calabash
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A Christmas Cooking Vacation with Le Calabash

Next December 19, 2013 Previous

Visiting another country during the holidays is a wonderful way to take part in local traditions. Plus, finishing your holiday shopping overseas is another perk. Each December, Chefs Sidney and Alison of Le Calabash Cooking School invite guests to learn all about French Christmas traditions, while saving some time for holiday shopping too.

Christmas log, or Buche de NoelFrom the moment you arrive in the Loire Valley for this special holiday trip, you'll be put in the holiday spirit with mulled wine. Cooking class menus even have a seasonal holiday bent, as Chef Sidney will teach you all about dishes like guinea fowl with seasonal stuffing, while Chef Alison will lead dessert courses that include such delicious creations as Christmas pudding, Bûche de Noël (Christmas logs), and pannetone bread and butter, to name just a few.

But it's also Christmas time wherever you go in France. In the Loire Valley, the Chateau Chenonceau is stunning year round, but come Christmas time it's even more magical with its holiday decorations. Every year the chateau is decorated in a different theme, and fir trees have an important place in each one of the castle's rooms.

Christmas at Chateau Chenonceau Chateau Chenonceau Christmas trees

After five nights in the Loire Valley, Chef Sidney and Alison escort you to Paris to experience the City of Light during the holidays. Here you'll discover the amazing array of Christmas markets. Shop on the Champs-Elysées, where you can find delightful Christmas tree ornaments as well as traditional Christmas foods in the largest city holiday market. The shopping continues at E.DeHillerin, a kitchen equipment store unlike any in the U.S. If you're in the mood to ice skate too, the market at the Place de la Trocadero has a rink situated among snow villages and 120 stands.

Arc de Triomphe at Christmas Paris Christmas shopping

Christmas is a magical time in France, and Chefs Sidney and Alison know how to make it even more special. Not only will return home with some unique Christmas gifts, but you'll also come back with a plethora of French-inspired Christmas dishes that are sure to wow your family and friends.

While Le Calabash just wrapped up their 2013 holiday trip, space still remains, currently, for their 2014 Christmas cooking vacation, which is scheduled for December 13-20.

By Liz Hall

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