Cooking in a French Chateau
Moumour, Oloron Sainte Marie (Béarn)
It has been suggested that French cuisine originated in the South West of France, the Basque country, but also in the neighboring Bearn. The region is known for the dry and sweet white wines of the Jurancon area, as well as for the red from the Madiran. You will get to taste both as you explore the local cuisine in a true farm-to-market and market-to-table experience.
About the accommodations: It is the pittoresque little village of Moumour that you will find your home for the week, a beautifully restored Château set in a luscious park with stunning views of the Pyrénées. Summer residence of the bishops of Oloron Sainte Marie, the nearby town with a medieval cathedral, the chateau is grand and has been totally renovated to modern 5* luxury standards. It is an ideal starting point for exploring the beauties of the National Parc des Pyrénées, which is right around the corner.
Your hosts for the week are the owners, Christine, a sculptor who did the interior decoration of the Château, and Laurent, who will be your Chef and instructor. Laurent always loved cooking, and after selling his shipping business, Christine and he opened a bed and breakfast in the Château. To improve his already fine cooking skills, Laurent followed intensive courses at the Alain Ducasse institute in Paris, and Bocuse in Lyon, as well as working with chefs in restaurants in Paris, Marseille and Florence. Laurent, or "Chef Larry," cooks with a passion, not only traditional French dishes like coquilles St. Jacques and crème brulée, but all sorts of sauces, vegetarian and vegan dishes, and even some molecular cooking.
For partners that do not like to cook, there are many options to occupy your time, from a nearby golf course to a sculpture class with Christine, the library, gymnasium, home cinema, or swimming pool.