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Need help with cooking classes in Provence.

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DrBones Dec 3, 2010 02:11 PM

My wife is in chef school, and I am thinking of surprising her with 4 weeks in Provence, with perhaps cooking class the first week. I don't have a clue where to go. If we are only doing this once, where should we go? Ideas about good house rental choice also welcome.

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  1. boredough RE: DrBones Dec 4, 2010 05:54 AM

    It depends on which part of Provence you would like to stay in, but I prefer the Vaucluse & Bouches-du-Rhone (western section) - as opposed to Nice/Cannes/Monaco. IMHO it is closer to what you imagine Provence to be....those Peter Mayle villages with all the charm. Check out www.cheznous.com for home rentals. Besides plenty of other locations, this site should include homes available at the Domaine et Golf Pont Royal (between Aix-en-Provence & Avignon),which has the added benefit of being on a golf course, if by some chance that is one of your interests. (Do not rent directly from D&G Pont Royal's own site, as Chez Nous takes less commission from the owners.) As for cooking classes, I would suggest looking into the Bastide de Capelongue (www.capelongue.com), since I have researched this for another friend and determined that, if you've already got cooking skills, you should not waste time with an ordinary chef - but a 2-star chef such as Edouard Loubet. The site of his hotel complex is beautiful - overlooking the perched village of Bonnieux - and the facilities are modern yet very "provençal". Classes would be in English, and depending on the time of year, the rates for a week might be negotiable. However you should be aware that driving anywhere in Provence always takes more time than you would expect, so plan on one of 2 things: stay in the hotel for the week your wife will be "studying" (more price negotiation, possibly), or rent a home fairly close to Bonnieux. It's a a truly lovely part of Provence.

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      igorm RE: DrBones Dec 7, 2010 07:50 AM

      Go to mascornud.com and see their exceptional place to stay and information on Nito's cooking classes. Just outside St. Remy.

      3 Replies
      1. re: igorm
        ChefJune RE: igorm Dec 7, 2010 09:09 AM

        Ditto on Mas de Cornud. ;)

        1. re: ChefJune
          Jake Dear RE: ChefJune Dec 7, 2010 04:31 PM

          It is indeed a nice place but a few years ago my wife found the experience there a bit too rigid for her tastes.

          1. re: Jake Dear
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            Sherri RE: Jake Dear Dec 12, 2010 08:02 AM

            +1, Jake Dear. Chef June and I have been around and around about Mas de Cornud -- she loves it and I absolutely do not. We experienced far too many problems for me to ever recommend it.

            DrBones, what a lovely, thoughtful gift for your wife. Parigi sums it up best "un mec en or"! (roughly translates as: 24k good guy)

      2. Parigi RE: DrBones Dec 7, 2010 10:11 AM

        DrBones you are what the French call un mec en or !

        I have heard good things about this cooking school:
        http://www.auberge-lafontaine.com/

        I can't vouch for the school as I have not attended its classes, but I have been to the lovely village of Venasque several times. It is one of those listed plus beaux villages de France.

        Venasque is also located between two fabled Provence market towns; Vaison la Romaine and Ile sur la Sorghe.

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