Cooking with Chef Reine Sammut: Provence Culinary Vacation
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Cooking With Chef Reine Sammut - NEW
Cadenet, Luberon

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Once located on an old trade route in the southwestern French Alps, the Durance Valley today is a beautiful and peaceful setting populated by charming Provencal towns, fertile plains, and acres of olive and cherry trees. One such quaint town is the picturesque Lourmarin situated between Aix-in-Provence and Avignon, and at the base of the Luberon Massif. The meandering streets dotted with charming cafes, along with the town's Renaissance castle and fountain, have inspired artists for generations, including philosopher and writer Albert Camus who lived and is buried here.

Just five minutes outside of Lourmain is the beautiful Auberge la Fenière, your home for the program. Overlooking the valley, the 16 room boutique hotel is simple yet elegant, modern yet comfortable. The property includes both a bistro and a restaurant where you can enjoy Chef Reine Sammut and her fellow chef's creations. When not cooking with Chef Sammut, relax by the swimming pool amidst olive trees, explore the vineyards of the Luberon, and stroll in the gardens.

About the chef: While studying medicine in Avignon, Chef Reine met her husband Guy, left school and moved to Lourmarin. In 1975 they opened their first restaurant and Reine became interested in the art of cooking, learning from Guy's mother the secrets of home cooking. In a short five years, Reine took over as chef of the restaurant, producing food appealing to they eye and wonderful to taste. Reine has made many gastronomic journeys throughout France, learning and adding to her collection of recipes. In 1997 Guy and Reine opened their own hotel and Mediterranean cooking school, Auberge la Fenière. There is now a staff of 12 people in the kitchen, with Guy on hand as the wine connoisseur.  They are well recognized today with high marks in Gault-Millau.

About the cooking classes: No matter what your skill level, Chef Reine Sammut will tailor her cooking class to you. All of the chef's creations focus on local products, including produce from her own hectare garden, to make delicious Provencal and Mediterranean cuisine. Imagine making ratatouille, pistou soup, cod with spinach, and real bouillabaisse — just to name a few French classics that Reine loves to teach her students — and then enjoying your creations on the terrace. Chef Reine Sammut has a sparkling personality and her passion for cooking is contagious!

Cooking With Chef Reine Sammut - NEW Itinerary

Day 1: Wednesday

  • Arrival on your own, and check-in to Auberge la Fenière in Cadenet.
  • Time to relax and settle into your suite.
  • Welcome dinner.
  • Overnight.

Day 2: Thursday

  • Following breakfast, head to the kitchen for your first hands-on cooking class with Chef Reine and her team. You’ll learn how to make classic and seasonal French dishes, such as carpaccio de Saint-Pierre aux truffes or bouillabaisse.
  • Lunch to follow based on your efforts.
  • Afternoon on your own. Perhaps take a stroll in the gardens or take your car and explore one of the nearby charming villages.
  • Dinner in one of Auberge la Fenière’s restaurants.
  • Overnight.

Day 3: Friday

  • Breakfast.
  • Transfer on your own to Lourmarin to visit the Provencal market, where you will choose vegetables and other ingredients for your second hands-on cooking class.
  • Return to the kitchen for your second hands-on cooking class and start cooking!
  • Lunch to follow based on your efforts.
  • Afternoon on your own. You can relax by the pool, or perhaps enjoy a spa treatment.
  • Dinner in one of Auberge la Fenière’s restaurants.
  • Overnight.

Day 4: Saturday

  • Breakfast and check-out. Au revoir!