Tarts ready to bake during a cooking class in France
The cooking school in France
Checking the duck during a cooking class in France
Cooking lesson in the south of France
Cooking class in southern France
Dessert ready for the table during your culinary vacation in France
Artichokes at the market in southern France
Plating dishes made during your cooking classes in France
Savory pie made during your cooking classes in France
Sunflowers near the gite in Gascony that is home for your cooking vacation
View outside of the gite in Gascony that is home for your cooking vacation
Another room of the gite in Gascony that is home for your cooking vacation
Bedroom of the gite in Gascony that is home for your cooking vacation
Double room of the gite in Gascony that is home for your cooking vacation
Bedroom of the gite in Gascony that is home for your cooking vacation

Cooking in Gascony

Plating dishes made during your cooking classes in FranceThis trip is eligible for our Worry-Free Booking promotion.

Situated in the heart of the Gers in South-Western France, this cooking school is the perfect setting for your initiation into French cuisine. The location has been specifically selected by your hosts for the region’s famed gastronomy and the area’s culinary prestige is rivaled only by the beauty of its landscape; a combination of rolling hills, meandering rivers and fields upon fields of golden sunflowers. In addition to the picturesque region’s gastronomic treasures, this corner of the French countryside is saturated with European history. Now one of the least populated areas in France (a fact which enables Gascony to proudly retain its core ‘Frenchness’), Gascony was invaded by the Romans, the Vikings and the Visigoths, each civilization leaving behind remnants of their occupation. From forts and castles to beautifully preserved Roman baths there is a plethora of excursions and sightseeing activities to be enjoyed during your free time at the cookery school. Alternatively, the school is also in easy driving distance of Toulouse and Bordeaux and, for those wishing to extend their European exploration, you are only a train ride away from the Spanish city of Barcelona.

Your home for the duration of the five-day course will be the historic French commune of Gramont. The village of Gramont is a closely-knit community and boasts, in addition to its status as a national heritage site, the Chateau de Gramont, a well-maintained medieval castle and one of just six national monuments in the Midi-Pyrenees region. Your hosts for the week, David and Vikki, are an English couple whose long love-affair with French food and culture finally led them to renovating the old Gascon auberge in which you will be staying.


Latest Review

I gave this trip 5 stars
Terri
Wisconsin
Trip taken May 2018
Loved the classes and going between the school and the auberge across the street. Very different teaching styles and loved them both.

Trip Details

Your 4 days of cooking classes will take place in a large, professionally-equipped kitchen and for this David will be joined by locally acclaimed French chef, Bernard, in guiding you through your introduction to French cookery. Both David and Bernard are experienced and talented chefs in their own rights and their unique Anglo-Franco partnership allows for a method of tuition that is completely accessible to English speakers, whilst at the same time preserving the authenticity of your truly Gallic experience of French cuisine. Your menu for the week has been carefully crafted in order to showcase the best of Gascony’s culinary delights and includes, amongst other dishes: cassoulet, ballotine de poulet and tartes aux pommes. All of the ingredients that you will cook with are sourced from the local, open-air markets which you will visit during your stay. Aside from familiarizing yourself in this way with any new produce and flavors, your time spent at the local marchés promises to enhance your experience of French life through your contact with the people whose cuisine and culture you will be experiencing.


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Itinerary

Day One

Farmhouse in Gascony

  • After settling into your room and acquainting yourself with the village and your fellow cookery school guests, your hosts David and Vikki and French chef Bernard will be waiting to welcome you on the terrace. Greeting you with local aperitifs and hors-d’oeuvres they will provide an overview of the week ahead before serving an exquisite four-course supper. This dining experience will be repeated every night of your stay and is inclusive in the overall price.
  • Following dinner, relax on one of the three terraces, where you can admire the beautiful sunset.
  • Overnight.

Cooking course in France


Day Two

  • After beginning the day with a traditional breakfast of croissants, fresh bread, cold meats, cheese, home-made jams and local honey, you will start with a tour of the kitchen and a lesson in basic knife skills. Following this, learn to prepare a simple French dressing, sauce suzette, and an ornate puff pastry dessert, gâteau pithiviers.
  • Next, use your new knife skills by making David’s famous pizza gersois: a homemade pizza with onions, sun-dried tomatoes, peppers, duck breast, and olives. Your class continues with some pâtisserie, such as a sweet pastry like pâte sucrée, that will be used as a base for a pastry you will make the following day.
  • After a typical long French lunch — based on your culinary efforts — head across the street to an auberge to learn the art of foie gras, including mi-cuit, traditional, cru, and pain d’épices, as well as how to make cassoulet, Chef Bernard’s most popular dish. Your class ends with a tour of Bernard’s restaurant, where you will be spending much of your time during your cooking vacation.
  • Next, it’s time to make crepes and use the sauce suzette you prepared earlier as the finishing ingredient. You’ll also make two more traditional pastries, perhaps a pâte sablée and a pâte sucrée.
  • In the evening, tour the local wine museum while enjoying a glass of wine. Dinner to follow at Bernard’s restaurant; the signature menu will include the duck foie gras that you made earlier.
  • Overnight.

Cooking vacation in Gascony


Day Three

  • An early breakfast at 9:00 a.m.
  • Today you will attend the local markets and select ingredients for this afternoon’s class. The markets are sure to whet your appetite, as you learn about the region’s seasonal produce. You will then lunch in a traditional local café in the Roman town of Lectoure before returning to the school to begin your afternoon classes.
  • In this session you will fillet a fish, prepare a velouté sauce, and
 practice your knife and pastry skills to create a delectable tarte aux pommes.
  • Prior to starting dinner, there will also be a quick lesson, led by David, on plating and presentation skills. Each dish you prepared today will be part of your dinner.
  • Overnight.

French market


Day Four

  • Breakfast.
  • David will show you how to employ your newly acquired knife skills to bone a chicken in order to make ballotine de poulet and a rich, mushroom sauce to accompany it.
  • After this main course you will set about preparing a tarte au citron as well as an entree of soupe aux deux poivrons (two-pepper soup). Lunch to follow based on your efforts.
  • In the afternoon, visit Gramont’s 17th-century chateau, which is a well-preserved Renaissance castle.
  • You will then be invited back into the kitchen to practice your presentation skills and to serve and sample the dishes that you prepared earlier with your hosts.
  • Overnight.

Bedroom in Gascony


Day Five

  • Breakfast.
  • Return to the kitchen to prepare six dishes over the course of three hours, your most intensive time in the kitchen. This cooking class will focus on French desserts, and you’ll make such delectable treats as une crème patisserie, une crème caramel, and une crème brulee. Then you’ll switch from the sweet to the savory and make the iconic French sauce, béchamel. Lastly, you’ll work on sugar spinning and make a reduction sauce, jus de vin rouge.
  • Lunch.
  • In the afternoon your hosts will take you on a tour of the Chateau de Cassaigne, an Armagnac distillery in Condom where you can study the history of Armagnac and perhaps enjoy a dégustation of the locally produced spirit.
  • Time permitting, a visit to the ancient fortified village of Larrissingle, a beautiful Roman relic, will follow.
  • Dinner at Bernard’s restaurant; the menu will include the dishes you worked on in class, including the cassoulet you prepared earlier int he week, and the desserts you made today.
  • Overnight.

Baguettes in France


Day Six

  • After a final hearty breakfast, departure. Au revoir!

Please note that in addition to the classic itinerary, there is also a 3-night French Charcuterie option. Please inquire for details.

Day One

Apple dessert in France

  • After settling into your room and acquainting yourself with the village and your fellow cookery school guests, your hosts David and Vikki and French chef Bernard will be waiting to welcome you on the terrace. Greeting you with local aperitifs and hors-d’oeuvres they will provide an overview of the week ahead before serving an exquisite four-course supper. This dining experience will be repeated every night of your stay and is inclusive in the overall price.
  • Following dinner, relax on one of the three terraces, where you can admire the beautiful sunset.
  • Overnight.

Sunflowers in southwest France


Day Two

  • After beginning the day with a traditional breakfast of croissants, fresh bread, cold meats, cheese, home-made jams and local honey, you will start with a tour of the kitchen and a lesson in basic knife skills. Following this, learn to prepare a simple French dressing, sauce suzette, and an ornate puff pastry dessert, gâteau pithiviers.
  • Next, use your new knife skills by making David’s famous pizza gersois: a homemade pizza with onions, sun-dried tomatoes, peppers, duck breast, and olives. Your class continues with some pâtisserie, such as a sweet pastry like pâte sucrée, that will be used as a base for a pastry you will make the following day.
  • After a typical long French lunch — based on your culinary efforts — head across the street to an auberge to learn the art of foie gras, including mi-cuit, traditional, cru, and pain d’épices, as well as how to make cassoulet, Chef Bernard’s most popular dish. Your class ends with a tour of Bernard’s restaurant, where you will be spending much of your time during your cooking vacation.
  • Next, it’s time to make crepes and use the sauce suzette you prepared earlier as the finishing ingredient. You’ll also make two more traditional pastries, perhaps a pâte sablée and a pâte sucrée.
  • In the evening, tour the local wine museum while enjoying a glass of wine. Dinner to follow at Bernard’s restaurant; the signature menu will include the duck foie gras that you made earlier.
  • Overnight.

Cooking class in Gascony


Day Three

  • An early breakfast at 9:00 a.m.
  • Today you will attend the local markets and select ingredients for this afternoon’s class. The markets are sure to whet your appetite, as you learn about the region’s seasonal produce. You will then lunch in a traditional local café in the Roman town of Lectoure before returning to the school to begin your afternoon classes.
  • In this session you will fillet a fish, prepare a velouté sauce, and
 practice your knife and pastry skills to create a delectable tarte aux pommes.
  • Prior to starting dinner, there will also be a quick lesson, led by David, on plating and presentation skills. Each dish you prepared today will be part of your dinner.
  • Overnight.

Day Four

  • After a final hearty breakfast, departure. Au revoir!

Trip Details

Included in the 5-Night Trip

Accommodations

  • 5 nights accommodations at the chambres d’hôtes

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 4 lunches
  • 5 dinners
  • Wine, water, and coffee included

Classes & Instructors

Your 4 days of cooking classes will take place in a large, professionally-equipped kitchen and for this David will be joined by locally acclaimed French chef, Bernard, in guiding you through your introduction to French cookery. Both David and Bernard are experienced and talented chefs in their own rights and their unique Anglo-Franco partnership allows for a method of tuition that is completely accessible to English speakers, whilst at the same time preserving the authenticity of your truly Gallic experience of French cuisine. Your menu for the week has been carefully crafted in order to showcase the best of Gascony’s culinary delights and includes, amongst other dishes: cassoulet, ballotine de poulet and tartes aux pommes. All of the ingredients that you will cook with are sourced from the local, open-air markets which you will visit during your stay. Aside from familiarizing yourself in this way with any new produce and flavors, your time spent at the local marchés promises to enhance your experience of French life through your contact with the people whose cuisine and culture you will be experiencing.

Excursions

  • Local market visit
  • Visit of the 17th-century chateau of Gramont
  • Excursion on day 5 to the Chateau de Cassaigne, an Armagnac distillery, and, time permitting, a visit to the ancient fortified village of Larrissingle.

Transfer Details

  • Transfers are not included but can be arranged from the Toulouse airport or Agen train station, about an hour from Gramont, for around 70 Euro per car (each way).

Included in the 3-Night Trip

Accommodations

  • 3 nights accommodations at the chambres d’hôtes

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 2 lunches
  • 3 dinners
  • Wine, water, and coffee included

Classes & Instructors

Your 2 days of cooking classes will take place in a large, professionally-equipped kitchen and for this David will be joined by locally acclaimed French chef, Bernard, in guiding you through your introduction to French cookery. Both David and Bernard are experienced and talented chefs in their own rights and their unique Anglo-Franco partnership allows for a method of tuition that is completely accessible to English speakers, whilst at the same time preserving the authenticity of your truly Gallic experience of French cuisine. Your menu for the week has been carefully crafted in order to showcase the best of Gascony’s culinary delights and might include amongst other dishes: cassoulet, ballotine de poulet and tartes aux pommes. All of the ingredients that you will cook with are sourced from the local, open-air markets which you will visit during your stay. Aside from familiarizing yourself in this way with any new produce and flavors, your time spent at the local marchés promises to enhance your experience of French life through your contact with the people whose cuisine and culture you will be experiencing.

Excursions

  • Local market visit

Transfer Details

  • Transfers are not included but can be arranged from the Toulouse airport or Agen train station, about an hour from Gramont, for around 70 Euro per car (each way).

Accommodation Information

Your accommodations at the chambres d’hôtes will be in one of the five classically furnished guest rooms (there are two double rooms on the ground floor; and, three double rooms, one room with a king-sized bed, and a room with a double bed and single bed on the upper floor). In true Gascon manner David and Vikki will make you feel as welcome and comfortable as possible in your new home from home.

Please note that not all the rooms have air conditioning. If this is a requirement for you, please let us know at time of booking and we will make every attempt to guarantee you a room with AC. Note also that in the Spring and Fall months the chambres d’hôtes can be cool and we recommend you dress in layers.

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Pricing & Tour Dates

Looking for tour date information?


Pricing:

5-night Program
US$1745 per person based on double occupancy
  • Add US$150 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)
  • Subtract US$775 per non-cooking companion

30% deposit due to confirm booking.

This trip is eligible for our “Worry-Free Booking” promotion*, which means your deposit is fully refundable up to 31 days prior to the trip start date. Questions? Please contact us!

*See our terms & conditions for details and exclusions.


Tour Dates

Available the following weeks for a maximum 8 participants.

2020
April 26-May 1
May 3-8 (Special game course – please inquire)
May 24-29
May 31-June 5
June 21-26
June 28-July 3
July 19-24 (Advanced course – please inquire)
July 26-31
August 16-21
August 23-28
September 13-18
September 20-25 (Special game course – please inquire)
October 11-16
October 18-23

2021
May 2-7
May 9-14
May 30-June 4
June 6 – 11
June 27-July 2
July 4-9
July 18-23 (Advanced course – please inquire)
July 25-30
September 5-10
September 12-17
September 26-October 1
October 3-8
October 24-29
October 31-November 5
November 7-12

Looking for tour date information?


Pricing:

3-night Program
US$1005 per person based on double occupancy
  • Add US$90 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)
  • Subtract US$380 per non-cooking companion

30% deposit due to confirm booking.

This trip is eligible for our “Worry-Free Booking” promotion*, which means your deposit is fully refundable up to 31 days prior to the trip start date. Questions? Please contact us!

*See our terms & conditions for details and exclusions.


Tour Dates

Available the following dates. Please note that in addition to the classic itinerary, there is also a 3-night French Charcuterie option. Please inquire for details.

2020
May 24-27
May 31-June 3
June 21-24
June 28-July 1
July 26-29
August 16-19
August 23-26
September 13-16
October 11-14
October 18-21

2021
May 2-5
May 9-12
May 30-June 2
June 6 – 9
June 27-30
July 4-7
July 25-28
September 5-8
September 12-15
September 26-29
October 3-6
October 24-26
October 31-November 3
November 7-10

Pricing & Dates

Class Pricing

Reviews

I gave this trip 5 stars
Terri
Wisconsin
Trip taken May 2018
Loved the classes and going between the school and the auberge across the street. Very different teaching styles and loved them both.
No rating given with this review
In early August 2012 we spend a brilliant week in Gascony, far from our home in Los Angeles!  We honed our cooking skills: slicing, blitzing, flipping, flambeing, kneading, filleting, plating, and more.   With patient guidance, we produced delicious and beautiful meals from traditional recipes of Gascony. And, we enjoyed the food in the good company of our gracious hosts David & Vikki, Bernard and friends. The lovely accommodations in the quaint village offer a fine setting for this fun and instructive, exceptional experience. Tim S., CA
No rating given with this review
The cookery school provided us two brilliant Chefs, David and Bernard, and one amazing hostess, Vikki. What a great trip! Just the right balance between productive and challenging cooking, and touring castles and surrounding areas. The views were stunning and the accommodations were spacious and absolutely charming. I would and will recommend this trip to all my friends! I was provided with enough information to be sufficiently prepared for the trip. I would recommend however, that future participants bring a little notebook to take down all the little tricks and tips we get from the Chefs. Richard Davis was my contact at The International Kitchen. Richard was awesome. He would return my call or emails almost immediately. He preemptively inquired about all my travel plans and had everything organized and confirmed. I truly felt that nothing was amiss since Richard was taking care of it! Anne B., Ontario
No rating given with this review
I really had a great time. The classes were small enough so each person received some 1:1 time with David. Vikki was always happy, positive and helpful. The classes were not too difficult and the recipes used were practical and one's I hope to make once I'm back in the States. The Auberge was nice as well. Good food, good friends, good wine. Angela A., CA