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Ever wondered what a Jackdaw Journeys French cooking class is like? We’re sharing some insight on the process and would love for you to come along!

 

 

Upon arrival in Provence, we are picked up by our driver and whisked off to the location of our hilltop hotel and cookery school. Two of the next four days of our tour will be spent in the kitchen (fully updated, of course) of a 19th century Provencal country house set in the middle of an edible garden full of herbs, vegetables, medicinal plants, and fruits. It is here where the magic of French cooking will take place!

 

 

In rustic Provencal cooking, the menu is always determined by what is in season and what can be purchased at the local markets or what can be harvested from the garden that day. In one cookery class I attended our Chef introduced us to a “night market.” At night markets, often times, the produce arrives late in the afternoons from the fields. This produce is still warm from the summer sun or the eggs might have just been laid by the chickens and they too may be still warm. One never knows what the day or night markets may yield. If we find beautiful fish just caught in the morning, then we will learn how to cook fish. If the cheeses look and taste amazing (which you are encouraged to try a sample offered by the vendors), we will cook something with that special ingredient. The menu is based on the traditional flavors and fragrances of Provence and the gifts of the Mediterranean Sea or the fertile land. This is why French food is often called, “The Cuisine of the Sun.”

 

 

 

Once back from our shopping excursion with our Michelin starred chef, you will find us donning our aprons (which we take home as souveniers) and learning what we will be cooking for the next four hours. Almost all classes are hands-on and will be taught in English or we will always have a translator with us. With our recipe cards close by, we chop, peel, measure, fry, question, laugh, sauté, and julienne our way through the class.

 

 

 

You see, the beauty of a cookery class is not that you only learn how to prepare different foods but you get to taste exactly what you have just prepared. We settle down with a bottle of French wine, our old and newfound friends, perhaps in the garden (weather permitting) or inside the dining room of the school and enjoy the bounty of the meal. For a few hours, we are allowed to see and taste the tradition and history of food in French garden-to-table cuisine.

 

 

There are really no words to describe the class fully, but we’d love for you to come along on our next tour!