Cooking in the French Alps

Selected by Le Figaro magazine as one of ‘les plus belles chambres d’hotes’ (the best b&bs) in all of France.

Enjoy a luxurious six-night exclusive 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. 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.


Latest Review

We gave this trip 5 stars
Thomas (Thom) & Edith (Edie)
Ohio
Trip taken May 2018
Nikki and Hugh are fantastic people and felt like long-time friends at the end of the trip. Nikki kept us very busy with meal preparations for both lunch and dinner, often working on 5-7 things at the same time. Nikki was also good at identifying weaknesses in our backgrounds and encouraging us to work on those areas (for example, I did more pastry related things than I have ever done before). Trips to Annecy and to the market in Moutiers were both interesting and informative and full of photo-ops. Hugh has done fantastic work on the Chalet and we got to see the early stages of his latest project and to hear tails of the Tour de France. Overall it was certainly a week to remember!

Trip Details

Your 4 intensive cooking sessions will be with host Nikki, who was born in Melbourne, Australia, and who 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.


We Can Help Plan It All

Flights, additional nights and tours, Transportation, and Much More

We might not be able to pack for you, but there are tons of things we can help with to make your vacation that much better.

Contact us for more information, or you can indicate your interest during check out and we will follow up directly!

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Itinerary

Day One

Your French chalet during your cooking vacation in France

  • Arrival transfer from Geneva or Lyon airports, or Albertville train stations.
  • Upon checking into he chalet, Nikki and her husband Hugh will show you around and help you settle in. If you’re arriving early in the day, an afternoon tea and cake will be served.
  • Nikki and Hugh will also welcome you to this wonderful region of France by serving an aperitif before dinner.
  • During the three-course dinner Nikki will explain the week ahead.
  • Overnight.

Cooking in the French Alps


Day Two

  • Breakfast will be served in the vaulted dining room.
  • In the morning, begin your first cooking class, which will focus on the preparation of a traditional Savoyard lunch. During class, Nikki will explain how the local history and traditions are linked to the local produce.
  • Lunch to follow based on your efforts.
  • In the afternoon we put on our walking boots and we take a look at the surrounding villages, the history of the area and how they operated as a community back in the 1700’s, or you can rest, read and enjoy the scenery from one of the many lounges dotted around the property.
  • Return to the chalet to relax before dinner is served.
  • Overnight.

Enjoy a snack during your France cooking vacation


Day Three

  • After breakfast, visit a local market to source and purchase the ingredients for the evening menu. During this visit, Nikki will talk about and select the best breads, pates, and cheeses from the market for your lunch.
  • Weather permitting we will take our freshly purchased picnic lunch and enjoy it by a stunning mountain lake.
  • In the afternoon, take part in your second cooking class, where you’ll make dinner using ingredients from the market.
  • During dinner based on your efforts, learn more about how the local wines enhance the local produce.
  • Overnight.

Cooking courses in France


Day Four

  • Breakfast.
  • Spend the morning in your next cooking class preparing the food for your dinner. Nikki will also share more about the history of the Savoie and local customs.
  • Lunch is at a local restaurant in the valley (drinks not included), followed by a few hours of resting and relaxation in the natural thermal springs – 5 pools at different heats, 2 saunas and 2 steam rooms. Massages can be arranged upon request at an extra cost. Transfer back to the chalet.
  • Pre-dinner drinks, followed by a three course meal and local wine is served downstairs in the vaulted dining hall under chandelier.
  • Overnight.

Dessert class in France


Day Five

  • After breakfast, depart for a picturesque journey to the unforgettably beautiful and historic mountain lake town of Annecy where we will spend the day. A real jewel of the Alps, Annecy delivers on all fronts: breathtaking scenery, quality shops, gourmet restaurants, as well as streets and buildings dating back to the 12rh century.
  • Lunch will be taken either on the lake during a boat tour or in the old town.
  • After returning to the chalet, enjoy an aperitif together before Nikki serves you dinner.
  • Overnight.

View of the French Alps


Day Six

  • Breakfast.
  • After breakfast we meet in the kitchen for our final hands on cookery class, fun creating a variety of lovely local dishes using many of the cheeses from the region.
  • Lunch together, discussing everything you have learned.
  • Free time to relax and pack before your farewell dinner.
  • Overnight.

Cooking in the French Alps


Day Seven

  • Breakfast followed by check out by 10 am.
  • Return transfer to Geneva or Lyon airports or Albertville train station.

Trip Details

Included in the 6-Night Trip

Accommodations

6 nights accommodation in double or double twin room

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 5 lunches
  • 6 dinners
  • Local wine, water, and coffee with all meals served at the chalet

Classes & Instructors

Your 4 intensive cooking sessions will be with host Nikki, who was born in Melbourne, Australia, and who 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.

Excursions

  • Walking tour of the area with your hosts
  • Market visit
  • Visit to thermal springs
  • Excursion to Annecy, the beautiful lake town of the Alps

Transfer Details

  • Round-trip group transfers to/from Geneva or Lyon airports, or Chambery or Albertville train stations

Not Included

  • Drinks during meals out (lunches days 4 & 5)

Accommodation Information

This alpine chalet retreat was once a barn, until it was renovated into a luxurious bed and breakfast by husband and wife Hugh and Nikki. In addition to the cooking school, lounge area, formal dining room, and farmhouse kitchen, there are three bedrooms decorated in a Savoyard style and featuring modern amenities, including plasma TV and free WiFi.

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Pricing & Tour Dates

Looking for tour date information?


Year-Round Pricing:

6-night Program
US$3500 per person based on double occupancy
  • Add US$500 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)

30% deposit due to confirm booking.
Balance payment due 60 days prior to tour start date. Questions? Please contact us!


Tour Dates

Available any week for a minimum of one person.

2019
October 27-November 2
November 3-9
November 10-16
November 17-23
November 24-30
December 1-7
December 8-14
December 15-21
December 22-28

2020
Sample dates. Please inquire for availability.

January 1-February 14 (sold out)
February 16-22
February 23-29
March 1-9
March 15-21
March 22-28
March 29-April 4
April 5-11
April 12-18
April 19-25
April 26-May 5 (sold out)
May 10-16
May 17-23
May 24-30
May 31-June 14 (sold out)
June 15-21
June 21-27
June 28-July 4
July 5-11
July 12-18
July 19-25
July 26-August 1
August 2-8
August 9-15
August 16-22
August 23-29
August 30-September 5
September 6-12
September 13-19
September 20-October 17 (sold out)
October 19-25
October 25-31
November 1-7
November 8-14
November 15-21
November 22-28
November 29-December 5
December 6-12
December 13-19
December 20-26

Pricing & Dates

Class Pricing

Reviews

We gave this trip 5 stars
Thomas (Thom) & Edith (Edie)
Ohio
Trip taken May 2018
Nikki and Hugh are fantastic people and felt like long-time friends at the end of the trip. Nikki kept us very busy with meal preparations for both lunch and dinner, often working on 5-7 things at the same time. Nikki was also good at identifying weaknesses in our backgrounds and encouraging us to work on those areas (for example, I did more pastry related things than I have ever done before). Trips to Annecy and to the market in Moutiers were both interesting and informative and full of photo-ops. Hugh has done fantastic work on the Chalet and we got to see the early stages of his latest project and to hear tails of the Tour de France. Overall it was certainly a week to remember!
No rating given with this review
Awesome environment, great and useful recipes and tips. Nikki and Hugh were the consummate hosts and great fun. I would highly recommend the trip to anyone looking for a beautiful location and practical, delicious food ideas. [Regarding The International Kitchen staff:] Yes. Always helpful. Adrienne C., Morna P., Sarah M., and Trudy R., AZ
No rating given with this review
The hosts (Chef Nikki and her husband Hugh) provided a warm, kind and welcoming environment during the entire visit! Every effort was made to ensure the stay at the chalet and the cooking course was comfortable, safe, educational and enjoyable!!! The cooking classes were excellent and very educational!!! Visiting a nearby farmer's market to select and taste local produce to prepare for the cooking classes was wonderful! The walking tours to nearby villages and important cultural landmarks was greatly appreciated! In addition, the hosts introduced our group to a few of the special local residents in the community near the chalet further enhancing the entire visit! Overall, the cooking program in the French Alps was a wonderful culinary and cultural experience provided with great heart, warmth, hospitality and pride by the hosts!!! [Regarding The International Kitchen staff:] The staff at International Kitchen was consistently "very" knowledgeable and courteous! One important suggestion I would like make is to for The International Kitchen to address the guest's "dietary preferences" during the initial paperwork before confirming the trip. And then of course, to pass these requests along to the hosts. Did I miss this? For example, I am a vegetarian (who also eats, chicken, fish, fowl, and dairy) but not red meats. Deborah T., CA
_Response from The International Kitchen:_ We're happy to hear you had such a wonderful time in France, Deborah! Thank you for your feedback. We do ask our guests to inform us of any dietary restriction, and we have since amended our reservation information form, making it easier to let us know so we can pass the information on to the chefs._
No rating given with this review
The Chalet in the French Alps was stunningly beautiful for its architecture, interior decor, and nature. The wide spacious kitchen was so well laid-out with 4 ovens, 2 induction stoves, 2 sinks and expansive table for preparation of meals. Nikki's instructions and menus were easy to follow and duplicate at home. She was very organized and gave helpful tips when needed as well as the use and awareness of fresh organic products. Evening meals were always plated and presented so beautifully plus being yummy with lots of good wine. Excursions and exposure to local areas/towns nearby was interesting and informative. Especially enjoyed the local Tuesday market in Moutiers where one wanted to purchase everything! Thank you Nikki and Hugh for the memories and friendship. Our hosts were most gracious, hospitable and generous making us feel welcomed from our first meeting saying their home was ours. [Regarding the cooking vacation packet:] Yes, very thorough and detailed. However, didn't need the hairdryer I brought. [Regarding The International Kitchen staff:] Adrian was courteous, helpful and responsive. Rhoda L. & Helen M., Canada
No rating given with this review
Nikki and Hugh are incomparable hosts. They make you feel like family. The cooking instructions were excellent. Nikki's a terrific teacher, and she uses ingredients that we can readily find at home (even in Indiana). The accommodations are wonderful and the scenery simply can't be beat. You guys are great! Robert, IN
No rating given with this review
The trip was perfect. It was totally catered to my needs and wants. Nikki and Hugh were great hosts creating an environment that is inclusive, engaging and inviting. The location was spectacular high up in the French Alps, but you still felt connected to the world. I liked that. Nikki listened to what I wanted to cook and we prepared several dishes together from starters to desserts. This was exactly what I was looking for in the experience. Also the accommodations were outstanding. The room was comfy and cozy very conducive for a good night sleep. The food was amazing as well. I can't say enough about how much Nikki and Hugh made this a trip to remember. Jennifer
No rating given with this review
The family environment that Nikki and Hugh provided was so welcoming! I loved the chalet, the village, the hosts and their guests. The lodging was amazing! The food was wonderful and the hospitality of the family was totally over the top! Suzy, FL