A Culinary Adventure in France

Experience a culinary journey like no other with Le Calabash ‘A Culinary Adventure in France’. Within the tranquil Loire Valley countryside, our school beckons you to discover the depth of French cooking amidst the rich tapestry of an area steeped in cultural and culinary history. Led by our award-winning chefs, your journey promises personalized attention and a hands on learning experience second to none. Join us for 6 nights of cooking classes, cultural excursions, and gourmet dining experiences that will leave you with memories to savour for a lifetime.

Price per person sharing:


Price includes:

  • Accommodation for six nights in our inviting setting
  • Transfers from Châtellerault, with collection available after 2pm on the day of arrival and drop off by 11am on the day of departure
  • Entrance into Château Chenonceau and all scheduled excursions
  • Daily breakfast and meals as outlined in the itinerary, complemented by two glasses of selected wine during each meal
  • Transport for all activities included in the itinerary, ensuring seamless travel throughout your experience
  • A comprehensive recipe folder to accompany your culinary journey, allowing you to recreate the delicious dishes at home
  • A notebook and pen for capturing culinary insights and memories
  • Complimentary access to Wi-Fi throughout your stay
  • As part of your experience, enjoy a beautifully crafted Le Calabash apron made by talented women in Africa

Price excludes:

  • Transport to and from the airport or station; however, arrangements can be made upon request. We can arrange transfers from Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris, Saint Pierre des Corps/Tours, and Poitiers
  • Optional excursions or meals not explicitly listed in the itinerary
  • Any additional expenses incurred personally during your stay
  • Personal orders of drinks or excess wine beyond the provided allocation during meals
  • Laundry services
  • Phone calls
  • Spa treatments
  • Travel Insurance which is highly recommended
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08:30 - Start your day with a traditional French breakfast.

9:00 - Explore the art of French cuisine as we delve into iconic dishes like Chicken Fricassee and Crepe Suzette, infusing them with contemporary and classical twists. We are committed to using seasonal, local, and fresh ingredients—a philosophy we passionately believe in and love to share with our Culinary Family.

13:00 - Indulge in the delicious creations from our morning cooking session for lunch.

14:00 - Start the journey into the Mediterranean this afternoon as we explore flavours from French and the Mediterranean basin. Chef Sidney will share some of his favourite memories and culinary inspirations from his mentors and early career. The Mediterranean diet is renowned as one of the healthiest in the world, with its emphasis on fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and olive oil—a tradition deeply rooted in the Mediterranean basin for centuries.

A taste of what's to come:

  • Tabouleh Salad
  • Red Pepper Hummus
  • Baba Ghanoush
  • Persian spiced kebabs
  • Flatbreads
    A Le Calabash twist on the classic Tarte Tatin

During today’s culinary journey, we'll begin the preparation of our Brioche dough.

17:30 - Enjoy some leisure time until dinner.
19:00 – Tonight, we’ll enjoy the flavourful dishes we've prepared together in a one-of-a-kind Mediterranean buffet experience.

08:30 - Start your day with a traditional French breakfast.

9:00 - Explore the art of Choux Pastry and Crème Brûlée with Alison. Uncover the history of the Paris-Brest, a pastry inspired by the iconic cycling race from Paris to Brest in 1891, which shaped its distinctive round form. Master the classic Éclair and embark on an innovative journey by putting a twist on the beloved Crème Brûlée, infusing it with exotic flavours and ingredients.

13:00 - Savour a delicious lunch featuring the classic Croque Madame followed by a contemporary take on Pain Perdu, both showcasing the Brioche we've crafted together.

14:00 - Immerse yourself in the delightful world of ice cream and fine tarts. Explore an array of flavours, including:

  • Salted Caramel Ice Cream
  • Spicy Chocolate Ice Cream Lollies
  • Coconut Lemongrass Ice Cream
  • Sweet pastry
  • Sea Salted Caramel Jivara ® Chocolate Tart
  • Tart of the moment

19:00 - End your day with a chocolate and wine pairing before we enjoy dinner at Le Calabash.

Chocolate is the perfect confectionery counterpart to wine, possibly due to the striking similarity in their production processes. Cocoa beans and wine both undergo fermentation with the exact same type of yeast. It's no surprise that there's such a large contingent of enthusiasts who appreciate both wine and chocolate.

08:00 - Start your day with a traditional French breakfast

08:30 - Depart for Tours

Today, immerse yourself in the essence of Culinary France and the Cultural Loire Valley as we embark on a journey outside the kitchen.
Tours, a city steeped in rich history and vibrant culture, awaits us. Its soaring cathedral of Saint-Gatien, narrow cobbled streets, and half-timbered houses exude a captivating medieval charm. Wander through the bustling streets lined with charming boutiques, once dubbed the "little Paris" for its retailing dynamism.

Our morning unfolds with a visit to both the indoor 'Les Halles Food Market' and the lively outdoor market, where we witness the beauty of France's fresh, local and seasonal ingredients deeply rooted in its culinary heritage.

12:00 -Delight in a leisurely lunch where we Indulge in the famed French Galette, savouring the flavours of our morning exploration.

After lunch, we continue our journey to the magnificent Chateau Chenonceau, with a stop at Terre Exotique along the way. Here, we delve into the enchanting world of spices, exploring the finest pepper corns from around the globe.

Property of the Crown and once a royal residence, Chenonceau Castle stands as a testament to history and architectural brilliance. Discover its original design, exquisite collections, and the remarkable stories of the extraordinary women who left their mark on its legacy.

19:00 - Return to Le Calabash for a relaxed evening indulging in the finest French Cheeses and local Charcuterie, savouring the flavours of the region in the comfort of our culinary haven with a few of Chef Sidney’s favourite wines from his personal wine cellar.

08:30 - Start your day with a traditional French breakfast.

9:00 – Today we receive our fresh fish delivery from the Atlantic port of La Rochelle, just a two-hour drive from Le Calabash. Learn the art of selecting the finest catch for each season, how to identify fresh fish, and essential techniques for preparing and cooking seafood dishes. Delve into hands-on tuition as we work with Mussels fresh from our Atlantic coast and prepare a seasonal fish course using our Fresh Ocean catch of The Day.

13:00 - Indulge in a lunch featuring all of the dishes we prepared this morning, showcasing the flavours of our freshly caught fish.

14:00 - Discover the boundless versatility of Brioche dough through our short demonstration featuring a duet of contemporary sweet and savoury creations.

Conclude your afternoon relaxing on your terrace, a stroll through picturesque countryside, or exploration of quaint La Roche Posay. For a touch of adventure, pedal through the enchanting French countryside on bicycles provided by Les Sorels.

19:00 - Return to Le Calabash for a memorable dinner experience.

08:30 - Start your day with a traditional French breakfast.

9:00 - This morning, it's all about Soufflés. Join us for a hands-on adventure as we master both savoury and sweet varieties. While Soufflés may seem daunting, they are simple to master with careful preparation. Discover the art of crafting the perfect Soufflé with our expert guidance, exploring both savoury and sweet variations.

13:00 - Enjoy your soufflés for lunch.

14:00 - We begin the 'Fire and Spice' experience,' reflecting Alison and Sidney's adventurous approach to cooking. Drawing inspiration from their experiences in Africa, they bring a passion for outdoor cooking over BBQs and fire pits of Africa, the middle east and America. Join them for a hands-on cooking class that promises to ignite your senses and expand your culinary horizons, as you explore new flavours, techniques, and depths of flavour.

17:00 - Enjoy leisure time until dinner, allowing you to relax and reflect on the memorable experiences of the day.

19:00 -  Conclude your culinary journey with a certificate presentation ceremony, enhanced by gin and tonic sundowners. Then, relish a flavourful dinner experience with a 'Fire and Spice’ dinner featuring some of the creations made during the afternoon.

08:30 - Start your day with a traditional French breakfast.

11:00 - Departure is by 11:00, allowing you to bid farewell to the tranquil surroundings of Le Calabash with cherished memories and newfound culinary skills.