Welcome to Le Calabash!
‘Petit Conservatoire de la Cuisine’ is located on the river Creuse in the heart
of the Indre et Loire region, set in a small French hamlet on the edge of the
local forest. The region is home to the finest goat’s cheese producers and
winemaking has been deeply rooted here for centuries. This area is simply known
as France’s ‘Bread Basket’ At Le Calabash you will embark on a culinary
adventure that will open new doors to flavours, techniques and skills that will
enable you to follow your own flair and imagination. Initial concerns about the
level of cooking skills required are immediately dispelled by the informality
of the environment, and the realisation that the only qualifications needed are
a love for food and the desire to learn about cooking.
The kitchen is a traditional French farmhouse kitchen that is fitted to allow you to feel at home and you will work with equipment that is normally used in the home kitchen.
The cookery courses provide a hands on opportunity to develop your culinary skills in a practical and supportive learning environment, as well as being on holiday in the most beautiful surroundings and the chance to make new friends.
The classes are limited to 8 which allow Alison and Sidney to give personal attention to all guests. Alison and Sidney are award winning chefs with many years of international experience. After meeting at The Royal Swazi Sun Resort and Spa in Swaziland, they married and have enjoyed a colourful culinary career. They have cooked for several heads of state which have included Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William, Richard Attenbourgh, Mick Jagger, Madonna, Cher, Sylvester Stallone, U2, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Alison and Sidney have won recognition by major food guides and have won medals at international level. Sidney was Captain of The British Craft Guild Team for 2000/2001 when they achieved a record medal total. The philosophy of this husband and wife team is ‘Balade Gormande sans Frontière’, Cooking without boundaries, or as Sidney would like to say, lets take a walk on the wild side, and he would, as he was born and raised on the plains of Zululand. They take traditional French cooking and introduce exotic flavours and traditions from around the world to create an exciting ‘culinary adventure’
You will leave ‘le
Calabash' with a new-found confidence and enthusiasm, impatient to return to
your own kitchen to experiment with your skills.
"Sidney and Alison are the most gracious, best instructional hosts we have ever known after cooking classes and vacations in four countries. What a wonderful experience."
Maryann and David
Asheville NC USA
"It has been an absolute delight to come to ‘le Calabash’ cooking school. You have shared your ‘Culinary Passion’ and opened a whole new life ahead of cooking skills thanks to your experience, enthusiasm and knowledge."
"Thank you for reminding me how much I enjoy cooking and giving me the confidence to get back into the kitchen. Le Calabash is simply an amazing Culinary Experience and I am so pleased I came."
"Simply the best Culinary Vacation I have been on, second to none, I speak from experience.
The Loire Valley and le Calabash is a marriage made in heaven for any food enthusiast."
"What an amazing life experience. The passion, experience and love for good food is infectious and inspiring, not to mention you both make it so simple when teaching and the hands on tuition is superb."