A Christmas Season in France with Le Calabash
7 Nights – 6 Day Course
Learn to create seasonal desserts from Le Calabash’s repertoire with Alison and Sidney. Alison and Sidney have won awards for Pastry on an international level including gold Medals at Igeho Salon Culinaire Mondial â Bâle Suisse, Le Salon Culinaire Internationale de Londres and being members of the British and South African Culinary Teams, Sidney was also pastry chef for the Gold Medal winning team of The Scottish Craft Guild Culinary Team.
In the relaxed and informative environment of our Cookery School you will master the skills and techniques required to create the most impressive dishes from a sumptuous Fraisier, to Petits Fours such as Macaroons and Le Calabash’s famous Malva Pudding with Van Der Hum Ice Cream. Take with you the secrets behind a wonderful Mexican Chocolate Mousse, Homemade Ice Creams and Sorbets and a mouth watering. Grand Marnier Soufflé, Caramélise Apple Napoléon and Œufs à la Neige.
If you have a sweet tooth or simply love desserts, then this course is certainly for you.
Residential 7 Day/ 6 Night €1975
Residential 8 Day / 7 Night Paris Pastry Option €2450.00
Single Supplement €375.00
Le Calabash Pastry Adventure includes.
- Accommodation for six nights or seven if Paris option is taken.
- Meals: daily breakfast, and meals as per itinerary, including three glasses of selected wine with meals.
- Transport for all activities in the itinerary.
- Personalised apron and recipe folder.
- Fee Wi-Fi
The price does not include:
- Transport from and to airport or station / this can be arranged
- Optional excursions or meals not listed in itinerary or any additional expenses ordered personally.
- Drinks that are personally ordered or excess wine consumed at meals
- Phone Calls
- Additional nights’ accommodation 175.00€ including breakfast, subject to room availability
Sunday: Day 1
Arrive after lunch and check into and settle into your accommodation
19.00 A welcome champagne cocktail, followed by Dinner with Alison and Sidney in the ‘Old Stable’ at le Calabash
Monday: Day 2
- Traditional French Breakfast
- This morning we will start our Pastry Adventure and master Choux Pastry, Puff Pastry and Pâté à Sable Breton, which will play an important role in many pastries and dessert.
Lunch. We enjoy Alison and Sidney’s favourite French artisanal cheeses, Charcuterie and our freshly baked bread
- This afternoon we use our pastry we prepared this morning to create some classic, but impressive desserts with a contemporary twist! Crème Brulee Tart, Croquembouche, Vanilla Napoleon and Paris-Brest.
17.00 Leisure time till dinner.
19.30 Tonight we enjoy Sidney’s Paella around the fire. Weather permitting or in ‘The Old Barn’
Tuesday: Day 3
08.30 Traditional French Breakfast
09.00 This morning we will learn the art of Sorbet, Ice Cream and Frozen desserts including Nougat Parfait all which will enable you to present Restaurant Style desserts with ease.
You will also prepare Alison’s ‘Iced Passion Josephine’ a Passion Fruit and Mango dessert created for Napoleon Bonaparte’s love for Josephine.
12.45 Lunch in a traditional bistro. Today we enjoy a traditional French Style workers lunch.
14.15 This Afternoon we will make Tomato Bread, Bacon Fougasse and Coarse Salt Bread
17.00 Leisure time till dinner
19.00 We return to Le Calabash for a Wine and Chocolate Pairing.
Chocolate is the confectionery match to wine. Perhaps this is because the process of making chocolate is very similar to wine. Both cocoa beans and wine are fermented with the very same type of yeast. No wonder there are so many wine and chocolate lovers!
19.30 Dinner tonight is a demonstration of Sidney’s Confit of Duck set on a Truffle Risotto and Pan Seared Foie Gras and a desert we prepared this morning.
Wednesday: Day 4
Early Morning Coffee in the Garden before we depart for Tours
We visit Tours best bakery to choose our breakfast pastries which we will enjoy
in a little market coffee shop.
This morning we explore both the indoor ‘Les Halles Food Market’ and the twice weekly outdoor market.
We visit the old town which clusters around Place Plumereau; its old houses restored to their former glory. Today this is the place for pavement cafes and people watching in the summer but stroll the smaller, narrow streets like rue Briconnet and you step back into the historic medieval city. To the south you’ll find a Romanesque basilica, the Cloitre de St-Martin and the new Basilique de St-Martin. You’re in the place which was once on the great pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. St-Martin was a soldier who became bishop of Tours in the 4th century and helped spread Christianity through France. His remains, rediscovered in 1860, are now in the crypt of the new Basilique.
The other old part, the cathedral quarter, on the other side of the main Rue Nationale, is dominated by the Cathédrale St-Gatien, a flamboyant Gothic building with 12th-century decorated stonework covering the outside. Inside the highlights are the 16th-century tomb of Charles VIII and Anne de Bretagne’s two children, and the stained glass.
Lunch, Today we enjoy a traditional French lunch at le Calabash, prepared by Alison.
14.15 This afternoon we will explore the chocolates and couvertures of the world as well as learn the art of chocolate work, which will include Tempering, Ganache and Moulding and two of Alison’s chocolate creations that are designed to impress.
17.30 Leisure time till dinner
20.00 Tonight you dine with the Bond’s friend, Michelin Starred, Jacky Dallay at the renowned Promenade Restaurant in le Petit Pressigny.
Thursday: Day 5
08.00 Traditional French Breakfast
- This morning you will prepare and explore the world of, Croissants
- Italian, Swiss and French Meringue
1pm Traditional French Lunch
- Alison will share with you her passion for creating and preparing one of the worlds’s most sought after classics, the Macaron.
Both Classic and Contemporary.
Friday: Day 6
08.30 Traditional French Breakfast
09.00 Today we will be learning and making garnishes that will enhance and ensure that your desserts are a feast for the eye. This will include Tuille work and sugar craft.
12.30 For lunch Sidney prepares you one of his latest creations.
14.30 This afternoon we prepare
- Alison’s Soufflé of the Moment
- Lemon Souffle
- The Art of Dessert Presentation
- We finish off in the late afternoon to allow you to rest or take a last walk down to the river and prepare for our last evening together.
- 19.30 Certificate presentation, champagne at ‘le Calabash’ and Sidney’s Zulu BBQ
Saturday: Day 7
Traditional French Breakfast
Departure by 11am should you not be on the ‘Paris Pastry Option’
07.30 We depart for Paris
10.30 Arrive in Paris and check into our Hotel
- We visit Rue Montmartre, home to Paris’s Kitchen and Chef Shops where you can purchase some of the small pastry equipment you may want to explore your pastry adventure back home.
- We lunch at Lunch at ‘Little Breizh’ in Saint Germain
Home to a proper Buckwheat Galette, made with organic ingredients and a cup of cider
- After lunch we visit Pierre Hermé, Ladurée, La Pâtisserie des Rêves and our own favorite, Poilàne. One of the great bakeries of Paris, and not a baguette to be found. The individual rustic apple tarts baked in a wood burning oven are to die for.
- You will have a few hours to shop at your own leisure.
21.00 Farewell Dinner at Alain Ducasse’s Bistro Lyonnais, Alison and Sidney’s favourite restaurant in Paris.
Sunday: Day 8
Traditional French Breakfast
- Departure by 10.30 am