Workshops

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L’Art de Bien Manger

L’Art de Bien Manger, which is not just cooking but after all the spirit that goes along with it. L’Art de Bien Manger with good people for a few days. Of course there will be cooking, lots of it, and wine, and champagne. French dishes and dishes from where we come from and new breeds. Porcelain, crystal glasses and silver. Pique-niques, delicacies cooked under the stars in summer. Bonfires, fairy lights in the trees. A midnight swim in the river for those who really dare (I wouldn’t, neither would Monsieur, because of the thing with the gleaming eyes). But most of all, there will be stories, intervals of our lives shared, a touch of the soul. That’s the Art. 

Three days workshops: 

The Picnic (21 – 23 May 2020)

May, lovely spring May with lunch in the garden, walks along the flowering meadows, and a revitalising freshness in the kitchen. 

May is just the perfect month for what we call The Picnic workshop, of merry outings and champagne on the lawn. Cooking activities will be centred around preparing little delicacies for the picnic basket, terrines and pâtés, salades gourmandes and little sweet treats, tartes and gateaus. In the evening, we will cook up the most glamorous dinners, sit at the large table with the windows wide open to let in the crisp spring air, sip a cognac at the fireplace later in the night. Tell the tale of your life.

 

Déjeuner sur L’Herbe (5 – 7 June 2020)

June, soft messenger of summer. When the air is gentle and embracing and won’t scourge you yet. The water still fresh and green. The month of Matisse, Renoir, Monet. We will have a hearty ploughman’s lunch under the old mirabelle trees, up in the hills. Go for wild herbs and gather generous bouquets of field flowers. Champagne andstrawberries. Strawhats and ribbons. Alfresco dinners, if the gods allow, set up the table in white among the fragrant roses. Cook quails and fresh trout. Smoke scallops and make cheese. Swim. 

Go for a nightly walk after dinner and count the stars. Come back for one last glass of burgundy ruby. 

 

Dinner under the Stars (7 – 9 August 2020)

Golden fields, fiery sunsets, the air warm long into the night. Bonfires with sparks matching the falling stars, sweet juicy mirabelles, the first apples of the season, purple dark figs, ever so rich and mellow. The month of gathering basketfuls of blackcurrant from the wild woods to make the most delicious tartes and confitures. 

We will move outside, have dinner under the stars, cook over an open fire, hang fairy lights into the trees. Swim, go boating. Lie lazily in the shade with a glass of elegant white. Dance around the fire, perhaps? 

 

Harvest Moon (18 – 20 September 2020)

The time of abundance and riches. Of baskets filled with apples and pears, champignons and cepes. Of elderberry wine in the evening, with your back leaning against the still sun warmed stones of the house. Of harvesting and preserving, feasting and thanks giving. 

September is the month reminding me most of my childhood in Switzerland. And accordingly, we’ll dig up some very Swiss treats, food I’ve always known as meaning home to me. Chäschnöpfli and Öpfelmues, Voresse and Ribel, Brennti Grem and Mering. Curious to learn what all those funny words are about?

 

Ride of the Valkyries (16 – 18 October 2020)

As the season will come to a close, we will host one last feast, hold on to the golden autumn with rich dishes, ruby red wine, fill the kitchen with a perfume of molten sugar and foreign spices. Perhaps a little dance to keep the fiery wind at bay. Strolls across the reaped land, hunting for fresh rose champignons and the first quince. Do some proper moonshining. Make champagne cocktails with hawthorn syrup. 

We will come together in front of the fireplace in the dining room at night, comfortablysheltered from the storm with a glass of inky red bordeaux, listen to stories, and unfold those of our lives. 

 

Logistics

Brief Outline:

The workshops will begin around 11am in the morning. We will start with cooking a light lunch together and slowly move into dinner preparations in the afternoon. Dinner will be at least a five course menu, for after all, we are in France. On the third day, we will prepare another light lunch together and round off the workshop with coffee and mignardises in the afternoon, except for The Picnic, which will be concluded with a festive dinner on Saturday. Group size is limited to six persons, to keep it neat and private.

Cost:

The cost of participation is EUR 1000.- per person for The Picnic and EUR 800.- per person for all other workshops. It includes two dinners (three dinners for The Picnic), three lunches, plenty of wine and all that goes along with. It does not include any fares andaccommodation. There are very nice B&Bs in the neighbourhood and we are more than happy to direct you to the one that suits you.

Location:

The workshops will be held at our private house in the upper north of Franche Comté, halfway between Paris and Zurich, or Dijon and Nancy. It is advisable to come by car. Upon your request we are happy to organise a driver who will get you at your own expense from the nearest airport or train station.

 

 

Mini L’Art de Bien Manger sessions: 

These are one day workshops with a focus on creating an elegant and sumptuous five course dinner based on seasonal local produce and a selection of fine wines. We’ll spend time outside in the garden foraging herbs and edible flowers, an occasional swim in the Saône or venture upstream by boat.

Each of the five mini L’Art de Bien Manger sessions in 2020 has its patron French painter, our source of inspiration for creating a magical atmosphere: Henri Le Sidaner for May, Albert Besnard for July, Jan Monchablon for August, Odilon Redon for September and Gustave Moroeau for October.

The mini workshops will take place on the following dates:

  • Le Sidaner: 9 May
  • Besnard: 11 July
  • Monchablon: 22 August
  • Redon: 5 of September
  • Moreau: 24 of October

 

Brief outline: 

The workshops start at 11am in the morning with a session on local produce and food philosophy, accompanied by a selection of French terrines, pâtés and cheese. In the afternoon we continue with the dinner preparations, diving into specific cooking techniques such as cheese making,smoking or pasta making. Group size is limited to six persons to keep it private and neat, so hurry up to book your spot.

Cost:

The cost of participation is EUR 280.- per person. It includes dinner, lunch and all that goes along with it. It does not include any fares and accommodation. There are very nice B&Bs in the neighbourhood and we are more than happy to direct you to the one that suits you.

Location: 

The workshops will be held at our private house in the upper north of Franche Comté, halfway between Paris and Zurich, or Dijon and Nancy. It is advisable to come by car, upon your request we are happy to organise a driver who will get you at your own expense from the nearest airport or train station.

Please contact us at lespoissonchats@gmx.ch for further information.

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