4 Days Retreat

L’Art de Bien Manger – The Baron’s  Pantry 

„Monsieur le Baron voudrait savoir ce qu’il y en a au cellier – Monsieur le Baron would like to know what’s left in the pantry“


Thursday, 14 September to Sunday 17 September 2023

Brief outline: 

September is the month of harvest, nature’s bounty and celebration. It is traditionally the month of making preserves, shifting the focus on the colder months to come. In a time when refrigerators and freezers were not yet invented, a healthy and well stocked pantry was the pride of the house, and so we’ll strive to excel in the art of preserving food, following the steps of the imaginary baron who once lived, laughed and feasted in this peculiar chateau. First and foremost, we dive into his favourite preserve: how to make French pâté from scratch.  

Day1: Food history – historic dishes

Arrival of attendees in the afternoon, outlining the programme, as well as settling in. Discussion of the recipes we will cook together with a strong focus on historic recipes and cuisine. Session I on making pâté. Apero with a bite at the chateau, followed by a light dinner which will be provided. 

Day2: Le Dîner Francais

Café/thé/croissants at the chateau, followed by a morning session on making jam facon Poissonchat. We’ll then cook a light, seasonal lunch together. Afternoon break. We resume with session II on making pâté, followed by a wine tasting at the premises and then move into dinner preparations, cooking an elegant five courses festive Diner Francais together, based on local and seasonal ingredients and wine pairing for each course. 

Day3: French Countryside Feast

Café/thé/croissants with homemade jam at the chateau, followed by a session on curing fish. We then deck the table for the pâté lunch at the chateau. After an afternoon break, we head out to visit the vineyards and taste locally grown wine from Haute Saône. Apero and celebratory dinner. 

Day4: Farewell

Café/thé/croissants with homemade jam and cured fish at the chateau, departure of the guests. 


Our foods are mostly local and seasonal, as well as farm grown/raised/killed. The methods by which we prepare it being old fashioned sometimes, or what in our modern times is called „slow food“. We nevertheless appreciate the invention of the electric mixer. We love rusticity with a certain „je ne sais quoi“, simplicity with a sparkle, and candlelight. We also love oysters and champagne, dazzling dresses and laughing too loud. Life, after all, is too short to be pretentious. 


960 EUR per person. Participation fee includes three nights accommodation, all excursions including fares and entry fees on excursion days, three dinners, two lunches, three French breakfasts, plenty of wine and all that goes along with. Attendees residing outside the chateau premises will be chauffeured to the venue on Friday and Saturday morning and be taken back in the evenings. Participation fee does not include any fares to/from the venue on arrival/departure day. 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. 


The workshop will be held at our private house in 70360 Chemilly in the Haute Saône departement, a medieval fortress turned chic farmhouse with a rich and spicy history at the banks of the river Saône. The chateau is a huge restoration project which makes it a unique setting for discovering and living history. The chateau comes with a tower over a thousand years old, this is where we cook up our famous French dinners and rustic lunches. 


There’s two chateau rooms with private bathrooms which will be available. It is possible to add an additional bed in each chateau room (3 persons max capacity). For those who prefer more modern comforts, we offer accommodation in a holiday home outside the village. We provide chauffeur service from/to the chateau to the external accommodation. The rooms go on a first-book-first-served basis. Please indicate if you prefer a chateau room or external accommodation upon booking. Please also indicate if you’re willing to share a room.


Registration is open at hello@lespoissonchats.com.

© Cassandra Jackson-Baker