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Gourmet Explorer

Cookery Holiday £1,460

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

10 17 £200 FRI WED
Maximum class size Hours of Tuition Single Room Supplement Start Day End Day

Dates (Friday to Wednesday)
May 6 – May 11, 2022

Gourmet Explorer Sample Schedule

Day Time Activity
Day One (Friday) Arrival

You will be collected at either Toulouse or Carcassonne Airport or railway station by your chauffeur and a light lunch provided.

(Please note: While no charge is made for transfers from Carcassonne, Toulouse is 75km away and therefore a moderate charge for transfers of £50 per person will apply, to be paid in advance.)


Either: There will be a private wine-tasting visit to one of the nearby vineyards of the region.

Or: We will visit a chocolatier where you will be able to create your own box of chocs to take home with you.


Fizz and Canapés followed by a four-course dinner with a selection of wines.

You’ll receive details about the weekend’s programme together with your personalised recipe-book containing the know-how behind the creation of classic French dishes.

Day Two (Saturday) 08.30 Early breakfast and then off to Carcassonne market to take in the stunning array of the best fresh and organic seasonal products: fruit, vegetables, cheeses, olives and much more.

Leave the market to visit La Cite, Carcassonne’s medieval fortress which attracts millions of visitors every year. You will marvel at this magnificent World Heritage castle full of shops and houses – a walled city dating back to the 7th Century.

Lunch is arranged for you at a lovely restaurant in the city, including wine. There will be time for you to look around this spectacular place before or after lunch.

15.00 Leave Carcassonne to drive home. It will take 30 minutes. On arrival prepare for your hands-on ‘Classic French Cooking’ session with Chef Laurent Jeannin, preparing the evening’s dinner.
16.00 This session will last about three hours culminating with our Chef’s demonstration of “dressage” – the display and presentation of a dish.
19.00 Aperitifs on terrace before returning to the kitchen to display and present your own dressage of the evening meal.
19.45 Dinner with a selection of wines.
Day Three (Sunday) 08.00 Breakfast then to the kitchen under the tutelage of our Champion patisserie chef, Remi Touja, winner of France’s top patisserie award, the Sucre d’Or. You’ll spend the morning preparing lunch under the tutelage of your Chef
12.30 Lunch.
Afternoon This is a free afternoon, although we usually plan one of our optional food or wine-related outings for those who wish to take part.
19.00 Your driver will escort you to a superb restaurant for dinner, wine included, picking you up later that evening to take you home.
Day Four (Monday) 08:30 Breakfast
09:30 – 12:30 Cookery session with our Michelin-starred Chef d’Excellence, Jean Marc Boyer
12.30 Lunch – as you have prepared it
15.00 Jean Marc’s second cookery session, making three courses of the evening meal.

After a short break to enable you to change for dinner (and grab a glass of fizz!) you will return to the kitchen to carry out the “dressage” – the presentation and serving of the meal – under Jean-Marc’s direction.

Dinner is at home, with a selection of wines.

Day Five (Tuesday) 08.30

Breakfast then to the kitchen for cooking session.

You will spend the morning with Jean Marc Boyer, preparing lunch for 12.30.

13.30 Short “extra skills” cookery session with Jean-Marc. (1.5 h)
15.00 Vehicle leaves for outing: this option will vary according to your particular course. Examples of a guided visit are below:

  • A cheese-making goat farm.
  • An olive oil producer and factory to sample some varieties.
  • A honey farm.
  • A visit to Limoux to learn from the makers about the ancient creation and method behind the famous sparkling wine Cremante de Limoux – a technique later duplicated by wine- by wine-growers in Champagne. Fizz-sampling included.
  • A hazelnut farm to learn about their journey from the trees to their processing for food manufacturers (or example, the pulp is used in Nutella).
  • A truffle-hunt in the Black Mountains with a visit to a Truffle Museum. *NB this option only applies to courses from February – March).
19.30 Dinner at a fine local restaurant, wine included.
21.30 – 22.00 Driver arrives to take you home from restaurant.
Day Six (Wednesday) 09.00 Breakfast.
10.00 Our chauffeur drives you to Toulouse/Carcassonne airport, or local railway station


Gourmet Explorer Sample Menus

Menu 1

  • Baby leeks vinaigrette with licorice
  • Spiced veal with béer and new spring vegetables
  • Veloute of beans and cucumber with coriander
  • Seasonal scallops with pear compote, petits pois with lime
  • Scallops St Jacques with toasted almonds, spinach
  • Tarte au Citron
  • Small chocolate flan and orange salad
  • Croissants


Menu 2

  • Green asparagus with prawns
  • Fillets of red snapper with basil, summer vegetables with parmesan crumble
  • Strawberries ‘au gratin’ with basil
  • Veloute of green asparagus
  • Roasted langoustine with green asparagus
  • Fillet of roast lamb, compote of petits pois and pimento
  • Baked brioche with salted butter, marinated strawberries, vanilla cream
  • Parmesan breaded Asparagus with pepper coulis
  • Green asparagus both cooked and raw with perfumed vinaigrette
  • Grilled foie gras with yoghurt and truffle oil
  • Croissants

Menu 3

  • Green zébra tomatoes in basil and olive oil
  • Baked duck with saffron tomatoes
  • Tiramisu with figs
  • Brochettes of goat’s cheese with sésame and cherry tomatoes
  • Escalope of foie gras with figs and reduced balsamic vinegar
  • Guinea fowl with Sechuan pepper and cocoa, mashed celeriac
  • White tomato confit with vanilla
  • Tartare of red tomatoes with tarragon and yellow tomato jelly
  • Filet of trout and sesame braised lettuce hearts, jus of red peppers
  • Tarte of figs and Rosemary
  • Croissants

Menu 4

  • Creamed pumpkin with scallops
  • Yellow curry with mashed rutabaga
  • Apple meringues with caramelized pistachios
  • Foie gras with creamed coconut
  • Cassoulet with beans and foie gras of duck
  • Duck grilled with cheese, celery and apples
  • Pears with candied ginger caramel, cream tea with jasmine
  • Caramelised scallops with beetroot and orange purée
  • Pigeon with foie gras and stewed sweet potatoes
  • Soft chocolate cakes
  • Croissants