French Cooking School Vacation in Burgundy: Rue Du Lac
The leading provider of cooking vacations since 1994

Robert Ash Cookery School
Macon, Burgundy

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About the location: Southern Burgundy is especially rich in history – from the prehistoric site of the Solutré rock with vineyards carpeting its lower slopes (below left), to the famous Abbey of Cluny and the Château of Pierreclos (right). The River Saône runs through a landscape which includes the famous vineyards of St. Vérand (home of St. Véran without the ‘d’), Pouilly-Fuissé, the southern Mâconnais and the hills of the Beaujolais. Mâcon itself is a fascinating town at the river’s edge. Rue du Lac is an enormous converted farmhouse standing in two acres of grounds a few miles south of Mâcon, southeast France.

Rooms are basic but comfortable, (with ensuite bathrooms if desired). There is a swimming pool and sun terrace, and plenty of room for relaxing in or out doors. If weather permits, breakfast can be served poolside — other meals can be enjoyed on one of the two garden terraces.

About the cooking lessons: Robert Ash, chef-patron of London’s legendary and award-winning Blythe Road Restaurant proposes an incredible Burgundy cooking school vacation. Join him in the very heart of France for an all-inclusive culinary tour that combines expert hands-on cooking lessons, fabulous food, and fascinating visits. The main teaching kitchen is equipped to a high standard, with every conceivable tool of haute cuisine. There is a second kitchen which is also for the use of guests.

Robert Ash Cookery School Itinerary

Day 1

Note: though the daily programs shown here are typical, the actual dishes prepared will vary from week to week according to market supply. The intention is to use the very best and freshest ingredients, and to demonstrate as many useful techniques as time allows.

  • Transfer from Lyon (St. Exupéry) airport (about one hour transfer time), Mâcon-Loché TGV or Mâcon-Ville rail stations (approx. 15 minutes).
  • If arriving on your own plan to arrive by 6:00 p.m. at the latest.
  • Enjoy a welcome drink with Chef Robert. Settle into your room, then enjoy a delicious supper at 7:30 p.m. This meal, like all the others during your stay, will be accompanied by select wines from Burgundy and the Mâconnais region.
  • Overnight.

Day 2

  • Breakfast served from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 am.
  • Receive your welcome packet including recipes, a personalized folder, and an apron.
  • First hands-on class at 10:00 a.m. Prepare lunch, which might consist of: bar à la crème de fenouil avec ses pommes dauphinoises (roast fillet of sea bass, cream fennel sauce and potatoes dauphinoise) and tarte tatin, plus a lesson to begin preparing confit de canard (duck confit).
  • Lunch will be served at 1:00 p.m.
  • The afternoon session may feature saumon en papillotte (salmon in paper parcels) and desserts including Italian biscotti.
  • Dinner will be served at 7:30 p.m.
  • Overnight.

Day 3

  • Breakfast.
  • Morning cooking class, which might include: oeufs carême (a dish devised by Queen Victoria’s personal chef), confit de canard, and profiteroles au chocolat.
  • Lunch at 1:00 p.m.
  • This afternoon you have an optional visit to le Hameau du Vin wine museum in Romanèche (about 10 minutes away), where you will enjoy a tour and tasting, followed by a visit to the nearby Maison Jacoulot, producers of liqueurs and eaux-de-vie.
  • Dinner at the house at 7:30 p.m.
  • Overnight.

Day 4

  • Breakfast.
  • Set off early this morning for Lyon, about an hour away, and visit the justly-celebrated les Halles market. Peruse the fish and shellfish, the oyster bars, the meat and cheese vendors, the wine, bread and patisserie, vegetables, spices, and confectionery – all of the highest quality! You will also visit a specialty kitchen equipment shop.
  • Lunch will be at an excellent restaurant in central Lyon.
  • Return around 6 pm and chef’s supper at 8:00 p.m.
  • Overnight.

Day 5

  • Breakfast.
  • Your morning class might include: pintade rôtie avec pancetta, rosti et sauce chanterelles (guinea fowl wrapped in pancetta with rosti potatoes and chanterelle sauce), millefeuille de fraises (strawberry millefeuille) or mousse au chocolat grand marnier.
  • Lunch at the house to follow.
  • In the afternoon, free time, or enjoy an optional trip to the wineries of Pouilly Fuissé and St. Véran.
  • Return to the house for dinner and presentation of certificates of completion at 7:30 p.m.
  • Overnight.

Day 6

  • Late breakfast and morning at leisure.
  • Chef Robert will be at your disposal throughout the morning to review any of the recipes and techniques.
  • During the morning guests will be transferred to the Lyon airport or either of the Mâcon railway stations.
  • If you are using your own transport you should plan to depart by midday.