Cooking in the French Alps
Fontaines Naves (La Lechere, Savoie)
Enjoy a luxurious six-night Savoyard cooking vacation at the lovingly restored Chalet located in the heart of the French Alps, just south of Switzerland’s Lake Geneva and with roads leading into Italy. The Savoie has long attracted visitors not only for its unforgettable scenery of dramatic mountain peaks and lush, green valleys but also for its rich and unique French culinary dishes that are, in part, inspired by Italy.
These dishes feature a host of local foods, from cheese to mushrooms, potatoes, and apples. Seafood as well as freshwater fish and crayfish also abound. The Savoie even has its own pasta: Les Crozets, which is made with buckwheat flour. Whichever season you choose to visit, the colors, clean air, abundance of flora and fauna, and unrivalled seasonal produce of the region will leave you wanting to come back for more.
About the accommodations: Your home for the week is a luxurious chalet lodge, which was recently named one of "les plus belles chambres d'hotes" — one of the best B&Bs — in all of France by the prestigious Le Figaro magazine. It is situated 90 minutes from Geneva and Lyon and offers stunning views across the mesmerising Col de la Madeleine, an historic climb on Le Tour de France. Located in the charming mountain hamlet of Fontaines Naves, the chalet was lovingly restored and decorated in true Savoyarde style by husband and wife Hugh and Nikki. Today, the beautiful alpine retreat hosts up to six people, and the public spaces include a beautifully appointed lounge with an open fireplace, formal dining room, and farmhouse kitchen. The historic mountain lake town of Annecy is 50 minutes away and the world famous ski resorts of Courchevel and Meribel (part of the Three Valleys, the biggest ski domain in the world) are a 30-minute car ride.
About the cooking classes: Your host Nikki was born in Melbourne, Australia and has always had a passion for food, wine, and rustic architecture. After her stint at Hotel & Catering College, she left for Europe in search of a new dream. This took her to many exciting places, allowing her to gather a multitude of culinary experiences along the way. She eventually settled in the Savoie where she has been part of the community ever since. Nikki enjoys nothing more than sharing her knowledge of 25 years of living and cooking her way around France.
In your hands-on classes that take place in the lodge’s cookery school, Nikki promotes a relaxed atmosphere where she will build your confidence and knowledge based on your skill set, whether your want to learn fundamental culinary techniques or recipes that require a higher level of technical skills. Nikki has a talent for taking the traditional food of the region and giving those recipes a modern twist. Most of all, you will laugh and learn in a relaxed atmosphere.