This is the time of year when nature wakes up, flowers start blooming, new vegetables appear, everything gets colourful again, including our plates. Our Spring cooking course celebrates just that! Among many other ingredients, we cook with the organic asparagus grown by our neighbour, prepare succulent desserts with the local "gariguette" strawberries (from April), and make the best of the beautiful farm-bred poultry that spent the winter eating and getting nice and plump... Classic Spring dishes include Navarin of lamb, Blanquette de veau, veloute of asparagus, strawberry tart, poule au pot...
Summers in Lot-et-Garonne are quite hot, be prepared! We will make the best of the abundant fruit and vegetables that we will pick from one of the local markets or our own garden. During your cooking classes you could prepare the basque fish soup (the "cousin" of the bouillabaisse), make terrines, fresh pasta, soufflés with local goat cheese, tarts with the garden peaches, cherry clafoutis, ... We could also smoke salmon or trout. As we will rather grill meat and fish in summer than stew them(!!), it is the perfect occasion to practice all classic French sauces like mayonnaise, aïoli, béarnaise, beurre blanc, etc.... The weather is also perfect to prepare beautiful sweet iced parfaits, chilled mousses, bavarois...
The scenery is changing, yellows, oranges and browns appear all around, nature is getting ready for winter. This is the return of the pot-roasts, the season of game and fat duck. The whole region catches the "blue disease" (this is how they call the hunt for wood pigeons). When possible, we will enjoy our evenings outside, gathered around the outdoor chimney. The cookery courses include pâtés, rillettes, coq au vin, rabbit in prunes, quails, tarte Tatin, ... we also make the best of the local apples, hazelnuts, grapes and figs.
At this time of year, we need to come back to a cosy home, enjoy the warmth of the comfort food, and give in to our appetite for rich soups, stews and other belly-warmers! It is also time to make good use of the local kiwis, pumpkins and squashes, apples, and root vegetables. Our winter cooking course will teach you to make the local garlic soup (tourin), the unmissable Cassoulet, the hearty Garbure, boeuf bourguignon, croustade (apples, prunes and armagnac in pastry)...
*Exchange rate based on Google currency converter 04/12/2023
FOR 5 NIGHTS
The above prices are full board on our regular cooking courses.
If you have any questions about one of our courses, or would like to get in touch with us,please do so via the contact form.
Fun in the kitchen - May 2023
"..This cooking holiday course includes 4 days of cooking, and is designed to introduce you to a wide selection of techniques covering deboning poultry, filleting fish, bread making, braising, classic sauces & food presentation on a wide number of dishes..."
The dishes you make depend wholly on the seasonal produce available
Chicken Balotine - Hands on with food presentation in the kitchen
Our daily outings will give you a "good feel" for our region.
Arrival from 4:00pm. You settle into your room and make yourself at home. We meet before dinner to discuss our programme together, around a welcome drink with canapés. You then enjoy a three-course dinner.
After breakfast, Monday morning will be spent making and baking our very own rustic baguettes. I'll explain the ingredients, their role and the importance of the various flours and how gluten and startch work together. You'll be able to enjoy your very own baguettes with a selection of French cheeses for lunch.
Monday afternoon will be spent preparing the three course dinner for that evening.
We leave after breakfast to go to a market or visit a producer, to get our ingredients. We will also make a few detours on the way to see the pretty villages of the area. We come back for lunch. At 1.00 pm, we meet in the kitchen, where everyone gets involved in a real team effort to prepare dinner. We will cook for about 3 hours, so you then get some time to relax or to drive to town. We meet for aperitif at 7:00 pm, and head back to the kitchen for the last minute prep if necessary. You are invited to pop into the kitchen to plate up each course, but you can do as little or as much as you like: your holiday, so your time, your rhythm!
On Wednesday, we'll stop for a coffee at the beautiful bastide (fortified) village of Vianne.
Thursday morning we meet at 9:00am in the kitchen to prepare lunch.
After lunch we shall leave for Nérac to visit the chocolaterie; the very place that inspired Joanne Harris's novel 'Chocolate' (please note: the shop remains closed in July, but we'll still be able to enjoy all of the below). We'll pick a selection of chocolate, both pure origins and confectionary specialties. Moving on to the historic part of town we'll take a leisurely stroll along the riverside, crossing the ancient bridges, leading us through the winding cobbled roads and paths, which will take us to the main 15th century chateau, across from where we'll enjoy a glass of champagne, or two, and of course, the chocolate. In good time, we shall return home to relax and put our feet up.
That evening, we leave around 7:30pm to go out to dinner to the finest local michelin recommended restaurant (don't panic, casual attire will more than suffice) for a special evening meal.
Departure is on Friday morning. The room is yours until 11.00am if you have your own vehicle, but drop off to Tonneins station is for the 8.00am train.
Depending on the season and on their availability, we will visit some producers among the following: honey producer, duck farm, chocolatier, prune farm, wine maker, fish farm ... as well as producers markets.
This shorter cookery holiday course includes 2 days of cooking, and is designed to give you a hands-on approach in learning the fundamentals of French cooking. Learn a few French dishes, enjoy the company of your fellow cooks, and catch a glimpse of south west France.Minimum of two Sharing. Check-in on Sunday or Tuesday.
Arrival from 4:00pm. You just settle in and make yourself at home. We meet before dinner for a welcome drink with canapés, followed by a three-course dinner.
We leave after breakfast to go to a market or visit a producer, to get our ingredients. We will also make a few detours on the way to show the pretty villages of the area. We come back for lunch. At 1.00 pm, we meet in the kitchen, where everyone gets involved in a real team effort to prepare dinner.
We will cook for about 3 hours, so you then get some time to relax or to drive to town. We meet at 7.00pm for aperitif, and head back to the kitchen for the last minute prep. You are invited to pop into the kitchen to plate up each course, but you can do as little or as much as you like: your holiday, so ... your time, your rhythm, your pace!
If your check-in day is the Tuesday, you'll prepare and cook lunch the Thursday morning, visit the chocolaterie in the afternoon and enjoy an evening out at the finest local restaurant.
Departure is in the morning on Day 4. The room is yours until 11.00am if you have your own vehicle, but drop off to Tonneins station is for the 8.00am train..
If you are in the area, you can join us a one day cooking course. The booking of a day does not include any accommodation nor transport apart from the planned and agreed excursion.
Arrival around 9:00am to join in either the scheduled cooking session or planned excursion to a market or producer. You will enjoy a lunch accompanied by some local wine.
We meet in the kitchen at 1:00pm for a 3h cooking session after which you get some time off to go for a walk or a drive, or to just relax in the lounge or garden. We will then meet at 7:00pm for an aperitifs and nibbles. Shortly after you'll head back to the kitchen for the last touches to our meal, which will be served at 7:30pm. You can then enjoy the fruit of your labour with some local wine.
This day course includes the morning cooking session or morning excursion with entry fees where applicable, lunch with wine, 3 hours of cooking, all ingredients, aperitif, 3 course dinner with wine, and coffee, tea and cold drinks throughout the day.
Contact us with your dates
"...I honestly did not know what to expect from my French cooking holiday courses at Le Gargantua cooking school so was wowed, not only that I produced the level of cuisine that I achieved, but the effortless style of Marlene's instruction. The kitchen setup is just wonderful, big, bright and inviting, great equipment to our fingertips with all the gadgets to make one envious, however, also quintessentially what you'd envision - typical French farmhouse kitchen being a heart of the home - hats off guys- well done you rock..."
Why not check out the other testimonials from our cooking course guests.
Children are more than welcome (they only have to be tall enough to reach the workbench) under their parent's supervision.
The courses take place from February to November.
We provide complimentary transportation to and from our local train station for all residential courses, ensuring a hassle-free arrival and departure.
Enjoy a worry-free experience with no hidden costs. Our all-inclusive package covers your accommodation, every meal (including drinks), and all taxes
We don't charge any supplements for solo travelers.
Large kitchen with over 30m2 of kitchen space.
Personalized Attention: To ensure a high-quality learning environment, we limit our classes to a maximum of six participants.
This way, everyone receives individual attention and has enough workspace to unleash their culinary creativity.
Indulge in a delectable array of meals throughout your stay. Start your day with a continental-style breakfast featuring fresh breads, croissants, organic juices and yogurts, soft boiled eggs, coffee, tea, cereals, fresh milk (not UHT!) and more.
Enjoy a satisfying lunch each day, and savor a three-course dinner every night as well as a night dinning out in style at one of our renowned local restaurants.
Whatever your preferred drink, we have you covered. You'll be welcomed with drinks and canapes upon arrival.
Before dinner, enjoy different aperitifs and cocktails each day. During meals, complement your dishes with local wines.
Throughout the day, quench your thirst with water, tea, coffee, cold drinks, and beers. Additionally, your room is equipped with coffee and tea making facilities.
Immerse yourself in the local culture and culinary scene with our included excursions and restaurant visit.
Discover the region's highlights, participate in tastings, and explore fascinating attractions - all entrance and restaurant fees covered.
Benefit from our years of experience and expertise. Unlike passive demonstrations, all our classes are hands-on, allowing you to actively engage in the cooking process.
We provide all the necessary ingredients, equipment, aprons and your own recipe folder to take home.
Accommodation (details on our accommodation page), on all residential courses.
Linen, towels, organic shampoo & shower gel, for the duration of your stay.
Welcome pamper pack and departing goody bag included!
Stay connected with complimentary super-fast WiFi available throughout the premises, ensuring you can share your cooking & baking holiday adventure with friends and family.
Gain access to every recipe covered during your cooking vacation through our exclusive online portal.
As of 2024, you'll not only take your recipes home with you, but also be able to access them online exclusively. In addition, as so many of our guests have requested, we'll include some of the delicious recipes we use here at the cooking school to cater for you, such as the lunches, the aperitifs, the amuse-bouche and the evening meals, so you can recreate those at home too. There will also be a recipe Q&A - where you'll have a direct line to us should you have any questions or even if you just need a little guidance, we're be there to help.