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Dec 6, 2009 11:21 AM

Cooking classes in Provence

We will be in Provence for a week in July (neat St.Remy) and I would love to find a place that does 1 day cooking classes to sign up my two kids ( aged 24 and 19) as a gift - one is completely fluent in French and another has some basics. I would like them to get inspired, rather than learn to cook. We will have a car so can drive a reasonable distance for a good experience. Any advice would be much appreciated. Any other nice food-related activities that we can do while touring the area?

thank you!

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  1. Cooking school:

    Have lunch at Bistrot du Paradou 30 minutes south of St. Remy. Reservations a must. Friday is traditionally grand aioli; lamb, when on the menu, is superb. 4 course €49 euro no choice lunch includes a bottle of house wine/2 people, good local cheese plateau + owner Jean-Louis Pons, an institution in his own right. Wife and daughter "man" the kitchen. Peter Mayle ruined this place, but "checklist tourists" have moved on and most diners now are locals.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mangeur

      Mas de Cornud, a few kilometers east of St. Remy, offers cooking classes.

    2. This place in Arles offers cooking lessons that include a market tour.
      I have not taken it, but have bookmarked the site for the b&b which interests my friends.
      Very near St Rémy, Arles is a very compact yet serious foodie town. While your kids are "in class", you can check out all the wonderful eateries - from bistros to starred temples, - and walk it off in all the great archeological sites.

      1. Please see my post here:

        Christian at the Auberge de la Fontaine does cooking classes and he is fluent in English, French & German. I believe he will also take you to the chefs' market, if you want, to buy the ingredients.

        2 Replies
        1. re: demo5

          Very interesting thread.
          Venasque is one of my fave villages in the Lubéron part of the Provence. Which "chef's market"? Vaison le Romaine or Isle sur la Sorgue?
          But why live. Just let me hammer my head on the wall here. Last June we rented a house in Goult and I went to the Café de la Poste every morning to have my crème and my croissants and my Trib. I never saw John Malkovich (who lives in Lacoste, no?). -- Worse, I never looked; he could have been at the next table...

          1. re: Parigi

            It's a market in Avignon. I think he gets up early and drives there at 6 am or so to get what's good. He might also take you to Metro, which is like a Costco for chef's in France and which isn't open to the public.

        2. I know the folks who run and teach at both the cooking schools mentioned, and you will have an enjoyable learning experience with either of them. ;)

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