3 Days Workshops

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. 

Jeanne’s Dîner (23-25 June 2022): When I cleared out the attic during one of our house renovation projects, I stumbled across a faded, crumpled menu card, dates somewhen in the twenties of the last century. And I was hooked. Who was hosting this little soiree back on that beautiful early summer evening on the 29 May and why, who were the invites, and what presents did they bring along. What did they wear and what topics were discussed during these hours. What were their hopes and dreams, and how would they materialise… 

During this workshop we walk along Jeanne’s path, solve the mystery of this long bygone soiree and revive it by cooking this historic menu. We will go to the market to source the right ingredients, delve into old school cooking techniques and learn about wine pairing. 

Day1: Arrival of attendees in the afternoon, getting to know each other and settling in, learn about Jeanne and do some proper sleuthing into her story, riddles and yarns while sipping champagne. A light dinner will be provided. 

Day2: The early bird catches the worm, we head to the weekly farmer’s market in the morning to gather all the ingredients needed to reproduce Jeanne’s Dinner. After having filled our baskets, we’ll have a stroll through the little provincial town and picknick on the old fortifications. After a short break we start with a wine tasting in our cellars to learn about wine pairing French wines. Then we continue with the preparations for a convivial dinner together, sort of warming up for the big event on Saturday, as well as some preparations for Jeanne’s Dinner that need to be taken care of well in advance. 

Day3: We will visit the local Brocante before lunch and get inspired by the variety of knick knacks and pretty things. A light lunch will be provided. After lunch, we might go for a swim in the river and start with the preparations for the big event in the evening – Jeanne’s Dinner. We learn about table setting and etiquette, French cooking techniques and menu composition. 

Participation fee: EUR 850 per person. It includes three dinners, two lunches, plenty of wine and all that goes along with. It does not include any fares and accommodation. There are very nice B&Bs in the neighbourhood and I am more than happy to direct you to the one that suits you. 

Subscription deadline: 22. May 2022. 

Booking: Please contact me at hello@lespoissonchats.com for further information or click here.

Grand Boustifaille (25-27 August 2022): {Boustifaille – Repas copieux, bombance. A sumptuous meal, blast.}

Our classic culinary workshop, aka the great gorge, which is themed just around food. And wine. It’s a lot about eating too. And French table culture. There’s alfresco lunches and aperos in the garden, time spent in the kitchen preparing all the delicacies, some time spent in our historic wine cellar too. 

It’s late August, golden fields, fiery sunsets, the air warm long into the night. Sweet juicy mirabelles, the first apples of the season, purple dark figs, ever so rich and mellow. Inbetween we swim, go boating. Lie lazily in the shade with a glass of elegant white. 

We will get to know each other during apero on Thursday afternoon, discuss the menu and decide who cooks what and how and why. Thursday night, a light dinner will be provided. On Friday we cook a three courses menu for lunch together, followed by a short break. In the afternoon we’ll have a deep dive into preparing French terrine, followed by a wine tasting in our historic cellar. We then slowly move into preparing a four courses dinner. On Saturday morning, we finish baking the terrine, a light lunch will be provided. After a break in the afternoon, we begin with the preparations for the six courses festive dinner, setting the table and get into that champagne mood.  

Participation fee: EUR 850 per person. It includes three dinners, two lunches, plenty of wine and all that goes along with. 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. 

Subscription deadline: 24 July 2022.

Booking: Please contact me at hello@lespoissonchats.com for further information or click here.

Moonshining (20-22 October): {moonshining – the practice of making or smuggling distilled spirits}

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. Do some proper moonshining and celebrate with a rustic feast. 

Day1: Arrival of attendees in the afternoon, getting to know each other, outlining the programme, as well as settling in. Discussion of the recipes we will cook together, dive into food history, and discuss the basics of distillation. We’ll have apero together, followed by a light dinner which will be provided. 

Day2: Late morning walk to the house, where we will prepare a light lunch together, followed by a short break. In the afternoon, we prepare for next day’s country feast, learning about local food traditions and ways. We continue with a wine tasting in our historic cellar and then move into preparations for the dinner, cooking an elegant five courses festive dinner together, based on local and seasonal ingredients. 

Day3: We head out to the distilling venue and under the guidance of an experienced moonshiner start the magic. This is a long process, during which we will set up the table in the barn and prepare for a rustic little feast with local specialties, amongst which sausages cooked in the alembic. We take a little stroll through the vineyards before heading back for a late afternoon break to get ready for the night. We will celebrate the close of the workshop with a rich dinner at a renaissance auberge, where the cook prepares the foods in the huge antique fireplace, reminiscent of knights and gentry coming together after a good hunt. 

Participation fee: EUR 850 per person. It includes three dinners, two lunches, plenty of wine and all that goes along with. It does not include any fares and accommodation. There are very nice B&Bs in the neighbourhood and I am more than happy to direct you to the one that suits you.

Subscription deadline: 25 September 2022.

Booking: Please contact me at hello@lespoissonchats.com for further information or click here.

Logistics

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

Given the heavy organisation and preparation and in order to avoid frivolous bookings, participation fees are non-refundable.

Important: The workshop will be hosted with a minimum of three participants. In the event of less than three subscriptions on the day the subscription deadline expires, individual solutions will be sought with attendees, e.g. transferring the subscription to the next workshop date.

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