Fish and crustacean cookery course

South West, Gascony, France

per person

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Holiday Itinerary

The charming region of Gascony in southwest France will be the setting of this 5 night / 6 day fish and crustacean holiday, tucked away in the small village of Gramont you will find the tastefully restored farmhouse and home of this truly unique cookery holiday.

Covering a wide variety of fish filleting from basic knife skills to de-boning, you will also be preparing your own variety of shellfish. This course is a true culinary extravaganza guaranteed to fuel your passion for well-prepared seafood dishes, free flowing wine and great company.

Chef Bernard, and Chef David will all be on hand to organise every element of your holiday to ensure you return feeling relaxed and refreshed and with some truly unique fish and crustacean skills to impress friends and family on your return.

Accommodation is set in a tastefully restored French farmhouse still retraining its rustic charm. Each room has its own private ensuite bathroom, air-conditioning, heating, twin or double bed and access to the south facing terrace. There is also an additional glorious terrace with dining area, hot tub and sun loungers with stunning views over the unspoilt Gascon countryside.

Discover the art of preparing seafood and master knife techniques on this practical, hands-on fish and crustacean cookery holiday, essential for any seafood lover.

Who is it suitable for?
- Fish and crustacean courses are suitable for all levels from complete beginners to intermediate cooks but more experienced cooks are also welcome
- Minimum age 18 with no upper age limit
- Your hosts are British and French - all cooking classes are taught in English
- Due to the nature of the course, an alternative vegetarian itinerary is not possible so this is not suitable for vegetarians or those who do not eat fish or shellfish products

I'm travelling solo - can I join?
- Many solo guests travel on this cookery holiday and the groups are fun and sociable
- Each guest is allocated a private ensuite room and there is NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT

What if I am traveling with someone?
- A discount can be applied for couples or friends cooking and sharing a room
- Please see the 'Costings and extras' tab for more details on pricing
- Discount can be applied on the first page of the booking page

When can I start?
- Each arrival is on Sunday afternoon
- Fish and crustacean holidays are for 5 nights / 6 days so you check in on Sunday afternoon and leave Friday morning
- If dates appear ‘on request’, please email us and we’ll check availability for your preferred day of arrival as quickly as possible

Can I bring a non-cooking partner?
- Non cooking guests are welcome to share a room with a cooking guest and prices for the non-cooking guest will be discounted accordingly, please email or contact us via live chat (click on the ‘start chat’ link at the bottom of this page) or call us for details

Typical itinerary
The itinerary is for guidance only and is subject to change depending on the group’s needs and wishes but is typically as follows:

Day 1 - Sunday - Arrival and welcome dinner
- Check into your room anytime after 2pm and enjoy a welcome aperitifs and hors d'oeuvres and meet your fellow guests
- Sit down with fellow guests and your hosts and enjoy a delicious 3 course gourmet evening meal prepared by your talented host made from fresh local ingredients and accompanied by wine

Day 2 - Monday - Knife skills, Kitchen tour, Mussel soup, Stuffed squid
- Enjoy a leisurely French breakfast before heading to either the Auberge kitchen a short walk away or the teaching kitchen in the farmhouse for your first lesson
- This morning you’ll learn the all-important knife skills needed to cut and prepare fish
- You’ll also learn to prepare a mussel soup infused with saffron as well as stuffed squid with pea and tomato risotto in this morning’s lesson before sitting down to a well-deserved lunch and chance to sample your own work
- After lunch you’ll begin your first lesson using trout and lobster
- In the evening, you’ll sit down to another fantastic dinner accompanied by local wines with your fellow guest and hosts

Day 3 - Tuesday - Market morning
- Tuesday morning there will be an excursion to a wonderful local market in Valance de Agen, followed by lunch in a local restaurant
- After lunch, you will be working with David and making your very own Scallop quenelles in consomme, Fillet of Sea Bass with parsnip puree, and Walnut and Gramont honey tart
- Take some time out to relax and enjoy the countryside in the late afternoon before dinner
- Enjoy another delicious dinner with wine and chat with fellow guests after dinner at the farmhouse

Day 4 - Wednesday - Prepare three-course evening meal
- After a leisurely breakfast, guests will be heading back to the kitchen with David to prepare a three course meal for the evening dinner, consisting of Crab tartlets, Fillet of Red mullet with gratin of Asparagus, and Millefeuille aux pommes
- After you have had yourself a very deserved leisurely lunch, you will be back in the kitchen with Chef Bernard to learn some sauces and prepare Salmon seche, Trout with three sauces, i.e Amande, Hollandaise and Beurre Marie, and Piece montee
- Dinner will be served at the Auberge

Day 5 - Thursday - Bouillabaise and wine tasting
- Following following breakfast, you will be cooking in the Auberge with Bernard, preparing a very authentic Bouillabaise followed by glace praline
- From there, wine tasting at the Domaine de Thermes and with your chosen wines, and a picnic in the vines
- After lunch, you will be treated to a tour of the region
- Dinner will be held at the Auberge

Day 6 - Friday - Departure day
- Sadly, your cookery course has come to an end, you’ll be treated to breakfast, and kindly asked to vacate your room by 11am

About your chefs and hosts
- Your British hosts are Chef David and Vikki who are also aided by French Chef Bernard
- David and Bernard are your Chefs and both have many years’ experience teaching cookery skills
- Chef David will lead you in preparing the cooked dishes, whilst Chef Bernard will teach the bouillabaisse, Rilettes of trout, Lobster a l'americaine, and Clafoutis.
- Both David and Bernard want you to enjoy the experience so teaching is relaxed and fun but they hope to give you some useful skills that you can utilise back home
- Meanwhile Vikki is on hand back at the farmhouse taking care of anything you’d need to make your stay as comfortable as possible
- David and Vikki live in part of the farmhouse so are always around should you need anything
- They aim to provide a fun, sociable atmosphere and join groups at meal times creating an atmosphere reminiscent of a friend’s dinner party

What will I learn?
- This course is perfect for those looking to focus on knife, fish, crustacean and sauce skills
- You will primarily focus on fish, but you will also cover crustaceans such as mussels, crab, clams, and lobster during the 5 days of lessons
- Your fish and crustacean course is all about the hands-on skills you’ll need to prepare a variety of seafood taking your dish from market to plate
- You’ll start with essential knife skills needed to fillet the fish before moving onto a variety of ways to prepare it
- You’ll cover pastry work learning to cook savoury fish pastry dishes which include crab tartlets
- You’ll also make 4 different types of sauces, learning about the importance of ingredients

Sample menus
- Mussel soup infused with saffron
- Stuffed squid with pea and tomato risotto.
- Bouillabaise
- Fillet of Red mullet with gratin of Asparagus
 -Scallop quenelles in consomme
- Fillet of Sea Bass with parsnip puree
- 5 different types of sauces; a l'americaine, i.e Amande, Hollandaise and Beurre Marie
- All accompanied by delicious wines from the Gascony region and around

Where will I be staying?
- Your accommodation is set in the peaceful rural village of Gramont in the region of Gascony
- Accommodation is included for 5 nights / 6 days
- Check in anytime after 2pm on day 1 and check out by 11am on day 6
- You'll stay in a beautiful Farmhouse which has well-appointed guest rooms
- The house has its own private garden and large terrace to enjoy the views of the surrounding countryside
- There is also a small Gite next to the farmhouse and please note that if the Gite is busy, there's a charming B&B very close by although if you are placed here, you will be informed at the time of booking
- Tastefully restored to retain the rustic charm; your spacious room will have a twin or a double bed, private bathroom, access to the south facing terrace and a delightful view
- Prices are based on 1 person in their own private room with ensuite bathroom (no single supplement for a private room)
- If two people travel together and share a room, a discount is offered (see the 'Costing and extras' tab for details)
- Please note that you'll cook in the kitchen of the main house where your Chef David lives or in the nearby Auberge which is a 2 minute walk away from the farmhouse
- There is a lovely hot-tub and spacious terrace with sun loungers in which to relax and gaze out over the unspoilt countryside
- When the weather permits, there is a lovely outdoor dining area which is backed by a wonderful old ruin where silent black and white films are screened in the evenings for a dining experience with a difference
- WiFi available in the house but not in the guest bedrooms
- Please note: this accommodation does not have disabled access

Restricted mobility access
Please find below some information regarding the accommodation and location of the holiday which may be useful when deciding if this is the right holiday for you; should you have an further questions, please contact us and we will be happy to help
- We generally do not recommend this location for those with restricted mobility, and there is no wheelchair accessibility
- The accommodation has one room (twin/double) available on the ground floor with 1 step to the room, and 1 low step to the shower; please feel free to ask if it is available

Are meals included?
- All breakfasts are included
- All lunches are provided at the farmhouse or Auberge
- You will enjoy a 4 course dinner Sunday through Thursday with free flowing wine and water
- The menu will be made up of the dishes you have learnt to cook, as well as other seasonal French dishes
- Unfortunately, special dietary requests cannot be catered for on this course

What can I do in my free time?
- This fish and crustacean cookery holiday is packed with great tuition, food and company but should you want to explore the local area, the farmhouse provides an excellent base to explore the heart of Gascony
- The village of Gramont is very small and provides lovely country walks
- There is a honey museum in town as well
- The towns of Lectoure, Condom, Agen, and Toulouse are all driving distance away
-The historical town of Lectoure has one of the most outstanding examples of a Roman spa in France; visit here a relaxing body massage or revitalising facial
- There are also a variety of French food markets within driving distance as well as the town of Condom as well as the home of Armagnac