Cooking Vacation on the French Riviera

Based in the Northern California Bay Area, Barbie has been involved in just about every facet of the culinary industry over a decades-long career. After studying restaurant and food service management in college, she moved to France and earned her Diplome Etudes de Culinaires from La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine in Paris while working at the famous restaurant Maxim’s. It was here that Barbie’s love of international cuisine and world travel were born. Today, Barbie owns Community Cuisine in Campbell, California where her cooking classes and educational programming bring together curious cooks looking to expand their repertoire in the kitchen with local farmers, artisans, chefs, and others focused on organic non-GMO ingredients, grass-fed and pasture-raised meats, and healthy recipes.

Join Barbie in the French Riviera for a special week of cooking, tasting, and touring in the glamorous Côte d’Azur. Your home for the week not far from Cannes will be one of two special places, Mas Bramafan or La Campanette, where Julia Child and her friend Simone Beck created the recipes that would form the iconic volumes of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. This unforgettable week of “slow travel” will explore Provencal culinary traditions as you visit local food artisans, producers, and markets as well as recipes from Julia and Simone’s cookbooks. When not in the kitchen, you’ll enjoy visits to Grasse, Cannes, Gourdon, Saint Paul de Vence, Valbonne, and more!

Highlights of your French Riviera Cooking Vacation

Your amazing French cooking vacation with Barbie Aknin will highlight the amazing part of the French Riviera where Julia Child and her friend Simone Beck worked on the recipes that form the volumes of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Your relaxed and informative week will include plenty of cooking, excursions, and laughter!


The exterior of your accommodation in France.Day 1:

  • Arrive at Mas Bramafan or La Campanette and settle in.
  • Time to relax, explore the grounds, enjoy a cup of tea, or brush up on Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Meet your fellow chefs over a glass of rosé as you prepare your first meal together.

Preparing a gourmet dinner during your French cooking vacation.Day 2:

  • Light breakfast at the farmhouse.
  • Following breakfast, visit Frederique and Isabelle, who raise heritage black pigs in the local mountains. These pigs live naturally, foraging on leaves, roots, nuts, fruits, and flowers. The care and respect they have for the animals and the quality of their meat are prized by Michelin-starred chefs.
  • After visiting the pigs, dine at their home, featuring Frederique’s home-cured and smoked meats.
  • In the afternoon, head to Grasse, perfume capital of the world, where you’ll visit Fragonard, the oldest perfume factory in Grasse.
  • Dinner tonight back at the farmhouse.

Goat cheese at the market in ProvenceDay 3:

  • Light breakfast at the farmhouse.
  • This morning, visit the open-air market in Cannes, Julia’s favorite. Friend Beatrice Levinson, Naturopathe – spécialisée GAPS, will guide you through the market as you take in the Provencal sights and smells while gathering ingredients for tonight’s dinner. Search out traditional regional specialties like tapenade, olive oil, goat cheese, spices and lavender honey.
  • Time to also visit the surrounding area.
  • In the evening, Beatrice will join you for dinner and prepare one of her specialties at the farmhouse.

Enjoying a cooking class on the French Riviera.Day 4:

  • Light breakfast at the farmhouse.
  • Today you will cook with chef Alain Llorca at Michelin-starred restaurant Alain Llorca. After starting with coffee and croissants, head down to the kitchen for a cooking class with chef and his staff. Celebrate your skills with champagne and an amuse bouche followed by a Michelin lunch overlooking the sea below. Très magnifique!
  • Dinner tonight back at the farmhouse.

Fish dish on the French Riviera.Day 5:

  • Light breakfast at the farmhouse.
  • Today, a tour through the French Alps and medieval villages. You’ll visit Gourdon, with its spectacular views of the French Riviera and Saint Paul de Vence, still surrounded by medieval ramparts dating from the 12th Century. Picasso, Marc Chagall, and Renoir all stayed and painted in Saint Paul de Vence, inspired by the Mediterranean light and superb environment.
  • Time for lunch and shopping during today’s tour.
  • Dinner tonight back at the farmhouse.

Picnic ready for enjoying on your culinary tour in ProvenceDay 6:

  • Light breakfast at the farmhouse.
  • Enjoy the sea air today on a boat to Saint Honorat, an island still home to 30 Cistercian monks and their monastery founded around the year 410.
  • Have a picnic lunch and tour the grounds including the original monastery and where the monks live now. If the weather is warm, stick your toes in the sea. The afternoon continues with visits to other seaside towns.
  • Dinner tonight back at the farmhouse.

Visiting Valbonne in Provence.Day 7:

  • Light breakfast at the farmhouse.
  • Visit the village of Valbonne which on Fridays hosts one of Provence’s best open-air markets. Unlike most medieval Provencal villages, Valbonne was built with an urban grid pattern dating to the early 16th century. The center of the village features a beautiful square, and there are small shops selling everything from handmade candies to clothing. Time for some shopping, or relax at one of the cafés and enjoy an espresso or glass of rosé while doing some people watching.
  • Dinner back at the farmhouse.

The beautiful port city of Nice in Provence, France.Day 8:

  • Light farmhouse breakfast followed by reluctant goodbyes.
  • Consider extending your trip for a day or two in cosmopolitan Nice on the pebbly shores of the Baie des Anges. Perhaps visit Musée Matisse and Musée Marc Chagall. The Cours Saleya open market dating to the early 18th century, is located off the Promenade des Anglais. Monday is the open air antiques and bric-a-brac market.

France Cooking Vacation Trip Details

Included in the 7-Night French Cooking Vacation


7 nights in a private accommodation on the French Riviera

Food & Beverages

  • Light daily breakfast
  • Two lunches
  • Seven dinners

Classes & Instructors

Cook with your hostess and other local chefs, including a Michelin-star chef, during your week-long exploration of French cuisine.


Excursions as per itinerary, transportation included

Transfer Details

Arrival and departure transfers are not included, but can be arranged on request.


  • House chosen wine and nonalcoholic beverages included at all planned meals at home and while on planned excursions

Not Included

  • Airfare to and from France and/or the Nice International Airport
  • Transportation to and from La Peetch at the beginning and end of the trip. We can help you arrange your arrival and departure.
  • Gratuities
  • Additional excursions or food and beverage except as specified in the itinerary

Accommodation Information

Your week long French Riviera cooking vacation includes accommodations at one of two private accommodations.

Please note that the accommodations have been rented “AirB&B style,” meaning there will be no daily maid service. We will have mid-week service if you desire. A washer and dryer is on the premises for your needs.

Option 1: Mas Bramafam

Mas Bramafam is a stunning, lovingly restored farmhouse which dates back to the 18th century.
Situated in the heart of three hectares of olive groves, it enjoys a south-facing position with stunning panoramic views from the house and the infinity pool. There are five en-suite bedrooms spread over 3 floors. Stone walls, wood floors, and modern touches make Mas Bramafan an exceptional property.


Option 2: Campanette
Simone and Julia spent much of their time cooking in Campanette, Simone’s summer home.
While Julia and Paul loved to entertain the who’s who of the food world, Simone used her home as a secluded, quiet refuge. Now owned by her nephew Christian Beck, it has been kept as it was with traditional French country decor. Only the bathrooms have been updated to modern standards.


Pricing & Tour Dates

Sample Pricing:
(pricing is based on specific room)

7-Night French Riviera Culinary Vacation Pricing

US$4870 per person based on double occupancy

    Please contact us to confirm availability and for details on how to book! 

    Pricing varies from $4870 per person to $6230 per person based on specific accommodation and room booked (double occupancy).

    Single supplement: please inquire.

    $1500 deposit due to confirm. Balance payment due August 22, 2022. 

    French Riviera Cooking Vacation Tour Dates

    Our 7-night French Riviera cooking vacation with Barbie Aknin is available October 15-22, 2022, for a minimum of 8 people.

    Please contact us to confirm availability and for details on how to book! 


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