Gourmet Explorer Advanced

Cookery Holiday £1,550

6 night/7 day Advanced Gourmet Explorer – A unique opportunity to cook with two of France’s finest chefs, exploring regional delicacies, fine wines and delicious produce from the Languedoc region.

8 26 £200 Friday Thursday
Maximum class size Hours of Tuition Single Room Supplement Start Day End Day

Dates (Friday to Thursday)
7 – 13 October 2016

Whether or not you have already enjoyed one of our 3-day or 6-day Gastro Academy courses, the Advanced Gourmet Explorer 7-day holiday will progress your cooking skills to a higher level.

Aimed at proficient or professional cooks, or chefs seeking a higher degree of French culinary skill, the hands-on lessons will span everything from knife skills and presentation techniques to learning some of the methods and secret tips used by our top modern French chefs in their creation of haute cuisine which is revered worldwide.

The emphasis, as with all our French House Party cookery courses, will be on the combination and balance of flavours and texture, using the freshest ingredients. You will also learn to present each dish with meticulous attention to detail.

Demonstration and hands-on periods will be divided into sessions devoted to particular culinary skills. Among the skills you will cover and practise during this course are:

  • Boning and preparation of a variety of fishes and meats
  • Stocks, Sauces, Soups, Coulis, Emulsions
  • Ice Creams And Sorbets
  • Preparing foie gras from raw
  • Preparing and presenting shellfish
  • Pasta
  • Meringues, soufflés, caramelisation, sugar-spinning
  • Using chocolate in cooking and for decoration
  • Pastry techniques, macaroons
  • Making French bread

On the final day, you will have the chance to put your new-found skills to good use and compete – either singly, in pairs or in teams – in the French House Party Chef’s Challenge, devising a finale dish of your own to really impress our Head Chef!

As part of the 7-day vacation, there will also be a degustation of regional wines with the emphasis on wine and food-matching, a visit to an olive growers’ factory co-operative to taste and compare their top products, and two evening meals out at fantastic local restaurants.

Any Questions?

Q: How does this course differ from the usual Gourmet Explorer?

A: One difference will be the number of people accepted on the Advanced course. We will limit client numbers to 8 in order to ensure greater personal attention from the chefs. Non-participating partners are, of course, welcome at a reduced rate.

Q: And other differences?

A: The formatting will be much more closely defined. While Gourmet Explorer hands-on sessions involve guests in producing two, three (or even four) specific courses which are then served for the meal which follows the session, the approach of the Advanced course will be for each session to be devoted to the mastery of a particular culinary skill at a high level. Although clients will obviously sample what they have prepared, the dishes will not be constrained by lunch or dinner timings or menus.

Q: Does that mean clients sometimes won’t eat what they make?

A: Occasionally, that’s possible. But what is more likely, for example, is that if the morning sessions have been spent making ice-creams, meringues and patisseries, then the main lunch course will be provided by French House Party staff – with clients’ creations for pud.

Q: Will the Gourmet Explorer Advanced contain more hours of cooking than the regular Gourmet Explorer course?

A: At 7 days, the Advanced course is a day longer than the standard Gourmet Explorer, so obviously the overall number of hours will be greater.

Q: So how many hours’ difference, exactly?

A: The Gourmet Explorer Advanced will contain about 22/23 hours of instruction and hands-on-sessions with our chefs, plus an additional afternoon spent under a chef’s supervision, when clients will be able to take their own “free-style” French House Chefs’ Challenge. This takes the total cooking time to about 26 hours, compared to 17 hours on the Gourmet Explorer. You will probably spend more time cooking on this course than you would with any other holiday cooking school in France.

Q: That’s a long time in the kitchen! Will it be very exhausting?

A: The course is intense in order to include all the essential culinary skills required for French haute-cuisine – but some of the time may be spent sitting and watching a chef’s demonstration, before you get to do it yourself. Also, we still schedule some relaxing events into the programme. For instance, there will be an optional visit to one of France’s largest olive-growing co-operatives, enabling people to sample the many types of olive oil, in much the way of a wine degustation. Talking of which, we will also retain our vineyard visit or at-home wine-tasting and, as with Gourmet Explorer, dinner and wine at two excellent restaurants – at least one of them with one or two Michelin stars – will be included in the price.

Q: What if I decide to skip one of the cookery sessions and chill out instead?

A: lt is important to remember that with The French House Party, nothing is compulsory. You are on holiday, after all, so if you decide that a session on pasta-making or boning fish is something you can afford to miss in favour of sunbathing – then be our guest and pick out your favourite sun-lounger by the pool ….

Q: Will there be any washing up?

A: Yes – lots – but thankfully, just as with all our cookery courses, clients are not expected to do any of it!

Prices: £1550 pp, two sharing room.
Single occupancy of double room (all our rooms are doubles): £200 supplement.
Non-participating partner sharing room: £350 reduction.