Saturday, May 19, 2012

Culinary Retreat

Welcome to our Culinary Retreat

We just finished our 2nd culinary retreat here in France. We had 6 lovely women from Los Angeles come  to cook with Chef/Instructor Carol Cotner-Thompson, who is also from Los Angeles.  Carol works at The New School of Cooking in Culver City, CA. 



Shopping at the Vide Grenier in Caussaude


Hanging at l'halle during the Sunday market
The day was split between sight-seeing and cooking classes.  Bruce and I were the tour guides, taking them "medieval village" hopping (St. Antonin Noble Val, Cordes sur Ciel, St. Cirq Lapopie, etc...), visiting cheese farms, open markets, vide greniers, museums, etc.  Then we'd come back to the house, have a couple hours to chill and then cooking lessons would start at 5:00 pm,  around 8:00 pm we had our amazing dinner.

Cooking class with Carol

Busy in the kitchen



Beautiful strawberry tart

Our first nights dinner 

Lovely dinners on the terrace

Carol and the ladies in Bruniquel


The day was split between sight-seeing and cooking classes.  Bruce and I were the tour guides, taking them "medieval village" hopping (St. Antonin Noble Val, Cordes sur Ciel, St. Cirq Lapopie, etc...), visiting cheese farms, open markets, vide greniers, museums, etc.  Then we'd come back to the house, have a couple hours to chill and then cooking lessons would start at 5:00 pm and around 8:00 pm we had our amazing dinner.

We had the most incredible meals.  The ladies baked bread, make puff pastry, duck, lamb, flat bread, beautiful desserts, wonderful appetizers and super side dishes.


St. Cirq Lapopie

Lunch at Lou Bourdie in Bach

Visit to a local goat cheese farm

Albi


Peas for the pea soup



The ladies made flat bread on the grill and then a green olive tapinade, served with fresh goat cheese.

Almond cake


Just in time for cherries

Goat cheese from the market

Fresh walnut bread, served with fava bean purée

Stuffed artichokes

Visit to the abbey at Beaulieu-en-Rouergue

Our amazing chef/teacher

Here I am with Megan and Rachel in Cordes sur Ciel

Making puff pastry - then apple turnovers

Carol is a great teacher and the ladies that came loved to cook and loved food.  We all had a great time.  Lived together in a 200 year old farmhouse in the French countryside, like one big happy family.

We'll be having another culinary retreat in September with Pamela Salzman and we can't wait for that.  But, we are hoping to bring Carol back again next May.   You can check our website Raison d'Art for more information on our retreats.


5 comments:

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Looks and sounds that they all had a fabulous time. I love St. Cirq Lapopie.. got some brilliant photos, and I had my photo taken exactly where the ladies had theirs taken :-)

Notre Vie Juteuse said...

Anne - I think everyone gets their picture taken at that location....the money shot for sure!

A Cook Not Mad (Nat) said...

Looks like everyone had a great time. Such a good idea!

meredith said...

The food looks wonderful!

Loulou in France said...

I love that you're sharing France through its food and markets. I can't think of a better way!