Little Dishes of Provence

Little Dishes of Provence

Little Dishes of Provence

Here in the South people love to ENTERTAIN INFORMALLY and this means invariably an APÉRITIF DINATOIRE – a sort of relaxed drinks party accompanied by copious little and larger dishes. It’s fun, sociable and easy on the host(ess). And with today’s intolerances and allergies, much easier to cater for all tastes.

This course covers some 8-10 authentic and ultra versatile dishes that can either be served together or offered individually as larger courses.

Who doesn’t adore the famous Provençal pizza-like PISSALADIÈRE with its sweet onions and salty anchovies? Or MOULES PESQUIÈRES – those fishermen’s mussels with its delicious dressing that can only remind us of summer?
Depending on the seasons we may cover those beautiful stuffed Provençal COURGETTES FLOWERS.  Or marinate GAMBAS or SEICHES (cuttlefish) to be flambéed in PASTIS.  Or how about learning to make your own DRIED SALTED DUCK (like Pancetta but made with duck)?

You may also learn to MAKE YOUR OWN CHEESE on this course, and how to create pretty jars of the traditional Provençal PITCHOU, the deliciously pungent cheese marinated in olive oil and herbs, as well as a few other ideas to brighten your cheeseboard. We’ll teach you what the Provençals do with their abundant summer vegetables (think CONFIT TOMATOES, chargrilled AUBERGINES, stuffed COURGETTES FLOWERS, or those colourful TIANS).

Other dishes that frequently feature on this course are the local FOUGASSE with fillings ranging from olives or leeks to Roquefort cheese and walnuts.  Perhaps a pretty TARTE FINE of TOMATOES, or a super-delicious ARTICHOKE, OLIVE and ALMOND TAPENADE?  FIGS  with fasionable salty-sweet fillings?  Or how about BRANDADE de NIMES – a deliciously unctuous, mildly-fishy, dip that is spread on toasted bread with an apéritif?

And I haven’t even started on the desserts – CLAFOUTIS perhaps, or TARTS with orangeflower- or Muscat infused SUMMER FRUIT.. Are you hungry yet?

If you have any special requests for dishes just let us know.  We shall give you plenty of ideas on how to vary the ingredients and themes, as well as suggestions on how to serve..

This course costs  120€  per person.
We need a minimum of 4 people to run a course – maximum 8 participants.
Non-cooking partners may join us for lunch afterwards for 40€.

Fish

Fish

Cooking with Fish

WAYS WITH FISH

 

If you are in any way afraid of cooking with fish, then this course is for you.   It will remove your fear forever by teaching you new skills and techniques, but it will also give you a great repertoire of delicious and contemporary recipes that will become totally part of your life.   You’ll wonder how you ever lived without them!

Dishes may include a spectacular Mediterranean FISHERMAN’s STEW or COD with CHORIZO with Chorizo served on a bed of luscious haricots cocos..  Or the colourful MOULES PESQUIERES (with a spectacular dressing that tastes of summer all year around).  Or how about some very pretty CHARGRILLED ‘Accordian’ SQUID with olive oil, garlic, lemon and parsley?

Other recipes may include ESCABECHE of Mackerel or Sardines, TUNA a la CATALANE or BOURRIDE…  or our very famous GRAND AÏOLI from Marseille…

moulesPlease mention any special requests you may have – needless to say that as long as they are in season, we can include your wishes.

This course costs  150€  per person.
We need a minimum of 4 people, and maximum 8.
Non-cooking partners are invited to join us for lunch afterwards for 45€.

Retro French

Retro French

Retro French dishes

Simply french - menus du jour

This course is for those who remember (or want to learn about) the life-changing experiences in the 70’s, when most of us were introduced to French cuisine (and garlic!).  We are talking indiscriminately and un-apologetically RETRO – the kind of daily-changing MENUS DU JOUR dishes that were served up by countless BISTROS all over France – until relatively recently.

Think ‘classic’ French cooking, words like nostalgia and self-indulgence come to mind. Think rich OEUFS MIMOSA, or SALADE TIÈDE de FOIE de VOLAILLE (salad with a dressing of warm, raspberry-finished chicken livers) or JAMBON PERSILLÉ devoured with crispy baguette.  Remember those crispy VOLS AU VENT oozing their fragrant MUSHROOM or SHELLFISH RAGOÛT all over your plate? Those first ventures into garlicky ESCARGOTS?  That eye-opening classic FRENCH ONION SOUP?  And all of it ‘washed down’ with countless carafs of ‘house rouge’..

That was just for starters. For mains perhaps COQ AU VIN or a comforting BOEUF BOURGUIGNON, a fragrant POT AU FEU or traditional ROAST CHICKEN perfumed with garlic. Then again AILE DE RAY (ray-wing) with its traditional BEURRE NOISETTE or a Caper Sauce.. Or MOULES À LA CRÈME perhaps?

To finally, to finish maybe a fail-proof Mousse au Chocolat, a Creme Brulée or a reliable Tarte du Jour?

We seriously encourage nostalgia and so if you have great memories, please ask us.

This course costs  120€  per person.
We need a minimum of 4 people to run a course – maximum 8 participants.
Non-cooking partners may join us for lunch afterwards for 40€.

Vegetarian

Vegetarian

Vegetarian or Occasional Vegetarian

occasional vegetarian

With its abundant, almost year around fruit and vegetables it’s not difficult to see why Provence has so many unique vegetarian dishes.

On this course we’ll turn the freshest seasonal produce into some more, some lesser known Provençal dishes that burst with bold flavours and colours – flexible ‘anytime dishes’ that can be  served for lunch or dinner.

In terms of ingredients think BROADBEANS, BABY ARTICHOKES and ASPARAGUS in spring, to be followed by a hundred other vegetables to be turned into spectacular summer salads.. Think the small stuffed PETITS FARCIS NIÇOIS, think pretty dishes of TOMATOES or AUBERGINES CONFITS, or those pretty TIANS..

We will include some versatile and very useful CHEESE dishes and will even teach you how to make your own – it’s turned out one of our most popular dishes.. And also include a FOUGASSE or other local bread..

Desserts usually involve FRUIT in Provence – there are no cows here so we don’t have cream, and local cheeses are made from either goat or sheep milk.. FLOWERS too are used, either light and fluffy deepfried Acacia or Elderflower blossoms, and tarts are often finished with fruit and HAZELNUTS and PINEKERNELS.

This course costs  120€  per person.
We need a minimum of 4 people to run a course – maximum 8 participants.
Non-cooking partners may join us for lunch afterwards for 40€.

Cook like a Local course

Preserving

Preserving

Forever Summer... how to cheer up your winter months with summer preserves

HOME PRESERVING is a true extension of SEASONAL COOKING.  Most cultures have developed ways of making abundant, perishable summer produce last through the leaner winter months, but in France most of these preserves have become cherished and PRIZED DELICACIES !

Don’t get stuck on jams and chutneys – we will be PICKLING, SALTING, INFUSING IN ALCOHOL, CONFIT-ING with duck fat or sugar, DRYING and FERMENTING on this course!

Think lucious RILLETTES of RABBIT (made with olive oil and lemon) or CONFIT DE CANARD (salted and preserved in cholesterol-free duckfat).  Or other types of CHARCUTERIE such as the divine SALT-DRIED DUCKBREAST and the ubiquitous PETIT-SALÉ (dry-cured pancetta-like belly of pork) that no cook can live without..

Think also of ‘meaty’ dried CEP mushrooms, or GOATSCHEESE preserved in spicy, herb-scented, golden olive oil.  How about delicious  ‘MEMBRILLO’ the quince paste that all Mediterraneans like serving as part of their cheeseboard?  Think also the fresh salty-sweet GRAVLAX that tastes so much better than smoked salmon and is a fantastic and versatile standby in the fridge for unexpected visitors..

Of course depending on seasonal ingredients, we may also include a few traditional preserves such as FRAGRANT PEACH CHUTNEY with hazelnuts, or POMEGRANATE JELLY, crunchy PICKLED VEGETABLES or the hugely useful and delicious RASPBERRY VINEGAR for lighting up your winter (try de-glazing the pan after frying a steak!)  Or how about some festive FRUIT LIQUEURS  (like MORELLO CHERRY or the local Thyme or Chestnut liqueurs or LIMONCELLO). Then, later in the year we’ll make some rose-flavoured sweets and CHOCOLATE-`COATED ORANGES for Christmas..

This course is about how to to make these versatile  ‘basics’ from scratch – and how use them afterwards.. And of course YOU’LL TAKE HOME THE PRODUCE!

This course costs 150€ per person.
We need a minimum of 4 people, and maximum 8.