Little Dishes of Provence

Little Dishes of Provence

Little Dishes of Provence

 

Here in the South people love to ENTERTAIN INFORMALLY which means invariably an APÉRITIF DINATOIRE – a drinks party with a large choice of small dishes – enough to replace dinner.  It’s fun, sociable and easy on the host(ess). And with today’s intolerances and allergies, it’s much easier to cater for all tastes.

On this course we will do between 8-10 authentic and super 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 olives and anchovies? Or MOULES PESQUIÈRES – just-opened mussels with a deliciously summery ‘fisherman’s’ dressing?
Depending on the season we can include Provençal COURGETTES FLOWERS filled with a light goatscheese or a mildly fishy brandade. Or how about flambéing GAMBAS or SEICHES (cuttlefish) that have been marinated in PASTIS.  Or maybe you’d like to learn to DRY-CURE a DUCKBREAST (a sort of Pancetta of duck)?

We’ll be MAKING OUR OWN CHEESE and learn how to create pretty jars of the traditional Provençal PITCHOU, the delicious goatscheese marinated in olive oil and herbs – both a wonderful way to brighten up your cheeseboard at home. And of course we’ll teach you what the Provençals do with their abundant summer vegetables (think TOMATES CONFITES, chargrilled and stuffed AUBERGINES or those colourful TIANS).

Other dishes that can feature on our courses are the local FOUGASSE with fillings ranging from olives or leeks to Roquefort cheese and walnuts.  Perhaps a pretty TARTE FINE de TOMATES, 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 a summery TARTE.. Or maybe a PETITE CREME RENVERSÉE with orangeflower- or Muscat infused SUMMER FRUIT?

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  130€  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€.

Cheese and Wine Pairing

Cheese and Wine Pairing

Cheese and Wine Pairing

Let us help you make your cheese board the STAR of the meal.. Or perhaps the entire meal!

Joe and Petra combine their skills to give you a stimulating afternoon with two of France’s most loved products: WINE and CHEESE.

MORNING COURSE:  We start at 10am with a class on how to plan the perfect cheeseboard, what cheeses to choose and how to add some stunning creations, including your own homemade cheese.   At 11.30am Joe gives a tutored wine tasting of local wines..   And at 1pm we sit down to a wine-cheese pairing lunch

AFTERNOON COURSE:  We start at 3pm with a class on how to plan the perfect cheeseboard, what cheeses to choose and how to add some magnificent creations (including your own homemade cheese).. At 4.30pm Joe gives an in-depth tutored wine tasting of local wines.. And we finish finish with a cheese and wine-pairing apéritif.

This course costs  120€  per person.
We need a minimum of 4 people, and cater for a maximum of 8.

What is included:

  • how to plan a cheeseboard
  • how and why to choose particular cheeses
  • portion size
  • cheese étiquette
  • bread or biscuits?
  • how to turn a conventional cheeseboard into a creative original with creations like herbal jellies or fruity jams, membrillo pastes, honey, mustards, fruits and nuts
  • serving suggestions
  • crimes against cheese – do’s and don’ts
  • an expertly tutored wine tasting
  • how to pair a cheese with wine
Retro French

Retro French

Retro French

Simply french - menus du jour

Remember (or want to learn about) the life-changing experience of discovering French Cuisine in the 70’s?  When most of us were introduced to classic French dishes and garlic?  We are talking indiscriminately and un-apologetically RETRO.  We’re talking of daily-changing MENUS DU JOUR that were served up by countless BISTROS and roadside restaurants all over France – until relatively recently.

Think OEUFS MIMOSA or SALADE TIÈDE de FOIE de VOLAILLE (salad with a dressing of warm, raspberry-finished chicken livers) or JAMBON PERSILLÉ served with crispy baguette… and nostalgia and self-indulgence spring to mind. Remember those rich VOLS AU VENT oozing fragrant MUSHROOM or SHELLFISH RAGOÛT all over your plate? Our first daring ventures into garlicky ESCARGOTS?  The classic FRENCH ONION SOUP that’s still our favourite?

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  130€  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