A French Bouchon Adventure 2018
Your school is set in the heart of France and The Touraine is without question the home to European Renaissance which brought with it a rich and diverse Culinary History and Depth.
Your accommodation La Celle-Guenand's lordly chateau, ancient seat of Antoine de Guenand, is remarkable for its complex architecture inspired by the fortress of Vincennes built by Charles V in 1364.
The main building (1422) is shouldered by several towers. It is linked by a gallery (1476), held up by arches to the “Chatelet” with its graceful cantilevered turrets. Other elements were added in the 17th and 19th centuries. A decree of June 11, 1943 registered the chateau on the Additional Inventory of Historic Building.
Your Chefs are both Qualified and Award-winning chefs who have competed and won gold medals at International level as well as having cooked by demand for heads of State, Celebrities and finally on several occasions on demand for her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Single Supplement €395.00
Le Calabash Cookery Experience includes:
• Accommodation for six nights in the seven hundred year old Chateau La Celle-Guenand's
• Entrance into Fontevraud
• 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.
• Free Wi-Fi
• Train Station transfers from Chatellerault or St Pierre des Corps with in arrival and departure times.
The price does not include:
• 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 195.00€ including breakfast, subject to room availability
Arrival after lunch and check into and settle into your accommodation Chateau Celle- Guenand
19.00 A welcome champagne cocktail in ‘The Cave’ and the opportunity to meet and get to know your fellow Culinary Adventurers followed by Dinner.
08.00 Traditional French Breakfast in Chateau
09.00 Your Culinary Adventure begins at ‘le Calabash’
Today we start our culinary journey into some of the most famous French dishes. During your week at le Calabash we will use only the finest ingredients, Local, Seasonal and Fresh and you will have hands on tuition in preparing your French Classics.
During all your classes you will be exposed to accompaniment or side dish preparation as well.
• The art of butchering, cooking and working with Chicken.
• Fricassee of Chicken
• Coq au Vin
• Chicken Basquaise.
Lunch. We enjoy a dish we prepared this morning with Alison and Sidney’s favourite French artisanal cheese and our freshly baked bread.
After Lunch we prepare two dishes using pastry. These two dishes are suitable to present at a fine dining table and once you are shown the techniques and method you will have no problem preparing these dishes for your guests back home.
• The Art of Pithivier
Named after the French town of Pithiviers, where the dish is commonly assumed to have orginated from.
Today chefs are taking this simple technique and are creating mouth-watering versions using exotic fillings that please the most discerning palates. Sidney shares with you the simplicity of this classic.
• Guinea Fowl and Foie Gras ‘Pie’
You can use Chicken, Duck, Pork and Turkey to replace Guinea Fowl.
17.30 Leisure time until dinner
19.00 Wine Tasting with Chateau owner Steve Palluel in his 1000-year-old ‘Wine Cave’
20.00 Dinner at the Chateau
08.00 Traditional French Breakfast in Chateau
09.00 ‘le Calabash’
This morning Alison and Sidney share their take on two of France’s most classic dishes that are enjoyed around the globe.
• Quiche Loraine
named after the Lorraine region of France is a popular variant that was originally an open pie with eggs, cream and lardons. However, Alison will show you how to take this Classic which date back to the 15th Century giving it a Contemporary touch.
• Tarte Flambeé
Alsatian Bacon and Onion. Tarte We once again take a classic and give you several options and exciting versions to prepare this dish.
• Salad Lyonnaise
One of our favourite dishes we order when on our annual sabbatical to Lyon.
Salade Lyonnaise is one of the most popular salads in small French restaurants and bistros. In Lyon, from where the salad originates, it is typically found on the menus of tiny eateries called Bouchons
We depart for the historical city of Loches and its gourmet food market.
We visit the best bakery to choose our breakfast pastries which we will enjoy in a little market coffee shop. This morning we explore the twice weekly outdoor market. Loches is a very pleasant medieval riverside town southeast of Tours, resting on the banks of the Indre River. It is a town steeped in history, that still retains its authenticity, one of the best-preserved in France. Its narrow, traffic free streets in the old town could be the same ways travelled by the kings, queens and heroines of its medieval past. Yet it has also slipped into the future sympathetically to give us a town of character with all the modern amenities you need. Shoppers will find it a joy – especially on market days as this is the place for pavement cafes and people watching in the summer.
Loches is a citadel town and has a medieval complex within its walls which includes a castle keep, a royal residence where Joan of Arc came to find Charles, at that stage the dauphin, to persuade him to fight the English and to be crowned king at Reims. Another historical character you will come across in Loches is Agnes Sorel and her tomb are in the Collegiale Saint Ours. Agnes was the official mistress for King Charles, renowned for her beauty.
Lunch Today we enjoy a traditional French lunch at le Calabash.
This afternoon we once again continue with our Culinary Adventure and we prepare our dinner together.
• French Onion Soup
This humble vegetable is very much part of the French culinary anthology, it was probably also responsible for the second invasion of England by the French. I still remember when I first came to England, seeing Frenchman riding very drunkenly on bicycles, loaded with magnificent entwined onions. The quality of the onions is crucial in this recipe. We want both high acidity and high sugar levels to create a fully flavoured soup. The best onions are Pink Roscoff; Spanish Onions, although lacking in acidity, will also work.
• Tournedos Rossini
Tournedos Rossini is a French steak dish, perhaps created for the composer Gioachino Rossini by French master chef Marie-Antoine Carême or Adolphe Dugléré, or by Savoy Hotel chef Auguste Escoffier. The dish comprises a beef tournedos, pan-fried in butter, served on a crouton, and topped with a hot slice of fresh whole foie gras briefly pan-fried at the last minute. The dish is garnished with slices of black truffle and finished with a Madeira demi-glace sauce.
• Oeufs à la Neige or as some call it, Île Flottante
A floating island is a dessert of French origin, consisting of meringue floating on a vanilla custard. The meringues are prepared from whipped egg whites, sugar and vanilla extract then quickly poached. The crème anglaise is prepared with the egg yolks, vanilla, and warmed milk.
There is some confusion about the name. In French cuisine, the terms œufs à la neige “eggs in snow”and île flottante floating island.
17.30 We relax and enjoy tasting of Loire Valley wines and French chocolates
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 Together we prepare and enjoy our dishes prepared this afternoon.
08.30 Traditional French Breakfast
This morning at 4am, our fish delivery arrived off the boats that came in late last night at the Atlantic port of La Rochelle a two-hour drive from le Calabash.
You will be taught the best catch for each season and how to identify your fish and how to ensure it is fresh. The day will include techniques of preparing your fish.
Fish will include hands on tuition of:
Recipes for Bouillabaisse vary from family to family and from chef to chef in France. Chefs and families will likewise dispute which versions are most authentic. According to the Michelin Guide Vert, the four essential elements of a true Bouillabaisse are the presence of Rascasse, the freshness of fish, olive oil and excellent saffron. Here at le Calabash the flavour of Bouillabaisse comes from two things: The Provençale Soup base-garlic, onions, tomatoes, olive oil, fennel, saffron, thyme, bay and we add a little orange peel. Fresh non-oily fish and shell fish.
• Coquilles Saint Jacques.
One of our favourite dishes is Coquilles Saint Jacques.
Rumour has it that their history is tied to Spain, Saint Jacques or Saint James was one of the 12 Apostles and the scallop shell is the symbol of the crusaders of the Order of St. James which was founded to protect pilgrims headed to Santiago de Compostela. The story goes that St. James saved a drowning knight’s life and the knight came out of the water covered in scallop shells. It is also said that the body of St. James, himself, was lost in the ocean on the way to Spain for burial and later washed ashore covered in scallops. There are also other versions. In any case, the order and the French dish were named in his honour.
• We prepare a ‘Bouchon Fish Dish’ using a seasonal catch of the day which we receive from our fisherman friend taking his advice the day before when ordering.
We enjoy our mornings dishes for lunch
After lunch we take a drive to The Cave des Roches at Bourré
The only example in the world of the complete production of different varieties of mushroom at 50 metres underground. The farm covers 120 kilometres of galleries on seven levels.
The old-fashioned cultivation methods, in a natural atmosphere at 13°C, produce a mushroom unrivalled in terms of flavour, with a guaranteed vitamin content.
Total production amounts to over 100 tonnes of mushrooms a year, entirely hand-picked. Specialising in top quality mushrooms, the Cave des Roches offers a varied selection, including pied bleu, shitake, oyster, horse, old-fashioned button mushrooms.
For example, the Cave des Roches is responsible for 40% of world pied bleu mushroom production, principally destined either for the best restaurants in France or exported to New York, Tokyo, London, Geneva… and to new markets in Europe and Canada.
Tonight, we enjoy a typical ‘Bouchon Dinner’ in a 1000-year-old Troglodyte Cave.
This morning we share three desserts with you, but once again add an element of surprise to them.
• Tarte Tatin
The two sisters who created this first upside down apple pie the Tarte Tatin were Stéphanie Tatin (1838-1917) and Caroline Tatin (1847-1911). According to tradition Stéphanie Tatin, who did most of the cooking, was overworked one day. She started to make a traditional apple pie but left the apples cooking in butter and sugar for too long. Smelling the burning, she tried to rescue the dish by putting the pastry base on top of the pan of apples, quickly finishing the cooking by putting the whole pan in the oven. Stéphanie carried on and after turning out the upside-down tart, she served the pie as a new creation. The guests loved the new recipe and Stéphanie Tatin had found a place for herself and her sister, and the Tarte Tatin, in the history of French cuisine.
• Soufflé Grand Mariner
The soufflé earns its name from the French word soufflér — to puff. It was perfected in the mid-1800s by Marie-Antoine Carême who, in cooking for the newly rich in Paris, was aided by updated ovens that were heated by air drafts rather than coal. This change was key to the rise of the soufflé.
Here at le Calabash, we serve our soufflé with Crème Anglaise Ice Cream, only after Flambéing it with Grand Marnier!
• Crepe Suzette with Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
The origin of the dish and its name is disputed. One claim is that it was created from a mistake made by a fourteen-year-old assistant waiter Henri Charpentier in 1895 at the Maître at Monte Carlo’s Café de Paris. He was preparing a dessert for the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII of the United Kingdom, whose guests included a beautiful French girl named Suzette. This story was told by Charpentier himself in Life à la Henri, his autobiography, although later contradicted by the Larousse Gastronomique.
Lunch in the Orchard
Sidney’s Smoke, Fire and Spice
This afternoon we surprise you as to how you can go home and prepare French Inspired dishes using your BBQ, Fire Pit and Smoker at home.
19.30 Certificat presentation and champagne at Chateau Celle- Guenand.
For our farewell dinner, tonight you will be served a Bouchon Menu prepared using all you have experienced this week
Traditional French Breakfast
Departure by 11am
Residential, Non Residential / Non Particapating
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10th to 16th June 2018, 22nd to 28th July 2018, 15th to 21st September 2018