Cooking Passport to Provence
La Cadiere d’Azur, Provence
About the location: La Cadiere d’Azur is a charming ancient Provencal hilltop village in the heart of the Bandol vineyards, where you will find the love of tradition, good living, fine food and wine has been preserved over the centuries. You home for your five-night culinary tour, the Hostellerie Berard and Spa is a delightful country inn in the heart of the village, set amid a cluster of beautifully restored old buildings, including an eleventh-century monastery with vaulted rooms, all surrounding the pool.
The Hostellerie boasts two wonderful restaurants: one an elegant gastronimic restaurant, the other a more casual but equally charming bistro. The Berard family have owned the property since it opened, and running the hotel is truly a family affair. The lovely and charming Madame Berard may be the person who welcomes you to the hotel; Sandra, her daughter, will assist you with any request, and Chef Rene Berard and his son Jean-Francois will oversee your cooking lessons.
About the cooking lessons: Born in this very village, Chef Rene Berard’s richly innovative cuisine is based on the traditional flavors and fragrances of Provence and the Mediterranean, and cooked using the finest local products. The “cuisine of the sun” is Chef Berard’s passion and a formidable way of sharing his love of the Provencal terroir and traditions with his guests. The chef’s cuisine reflects to perfection the seasons of Provence, and the program offers an exceptional introduction to his skill and craft. Although Chef Berard has won numerous awards and is held in the highest esteem by his peers, his true love is teaching and creating the same passion in his students. Lessons are taught a couple kilometers outside the village in the “Bastide des Saveurs,” a small house wonderfully outfitted and used exclusively for the cooking lessons, surrounded by exquisite herb and vegetable gardens.