After arriving in Gramont, you will be shown to your room and have a chance to relax and experience the true Gascon lifestyle while enjoying a walk in the historic village at your own pace. In the evening you will serve local aperitifs and hors d'oeuvres on the cookery school's terraces and admire the region's natural beauty. End the day with a four-course dinner and discuss the following days' course schedule with your hosts.
After breakfast you will take a tour of the kitchen and go through a basic reminder course in knife handling. You will then go to the Auberge Le Petit Feuillant restaurant where you will be given a section of pork to butcher. Learn about the different cuts as you break down the pork into primary pieces and prepare some of the meat for grinding. After lunch you will head back to the kitchen with one of your cooking instructors, chef David, and learn to make four different types of foie gras and a local classic dish of Cassoulet.
Start the day in the kitchen by making the pastry needed for a raised game pie. Learn how to stuff a chicken leg and make duck terrine, then go to the Auberge Le Petit Feuillant restaurant for lunch. In the afternoon, return to the kitchen to make the world famous Toulouse sausage and saucisson, finish you game pie and prepare several types of pâtés and rillettes. In the evening, feast on your own creations and enjoy your last night with the group.
After breakfast, check out until 11:00 a.m. and continue your French adventure.
All rooms at the Gascony Cookery School have double or king beds and en-suite shower rooms. They are designed in an authentic French style and have beautiful views of the Valley D'Arratz, the Pyrenees or the school.
Gascon cuisine stands as a main pillar of French cuisine. During your cooking course, you will enjoy specific local meals, all of them prepared fresh. Depending on the time of year you decide to visit, meals might vary based on what is in season.
The school is located in the village of Gramont, deep in the heart of Gascony, South West France. Gascony is largely considered by many as one of the most 'French' parts of France. It remains untouched by mass tourism and retains a great deal of traditional charm and tranquility.
How to get there:
You can book your flights to arrive at Toulouse Airport (TLS) – the largest international airport in the region, situated to the south of Gramont. The closest train station is Agen.
Bernard is a French chef and has been living in the village of Gramont for 25 years serving traditional Gascon food. His parents owned a hotel in the south of France where he grew up. Bernard went straight into catering college, then worked in his parents' hotel until moving to Gascony to start his own restaurant. David grew up in a diner in central London. After catering college and some restaurant work, he became a private chef to functions around the south of England until 15 years ago when he arrived in Gramont.
Is the butchery and charcuterie cooking course available to all levels?
This experience is recommended for people who already have good basic cooking abilities.
How many people are to be expected on the butchery and charcuterie cooking course?
There is a maximum capacity of 6 guests per session. There is a minimum requirement of 2 persons for the course to take place.
When is the butchery and charcuterie cooking course available?
There are several sessions every year, starting with April. Please check our calendar for availability.
What language is used during the butchery and charcuterie cooking course?
The entire experience is available in English.
Is WiFi available?
Yes, WiFi is available and free of charge at the accommodation.
Do I need a visa?
Guests traveling from EU and/or Schengen member states may enter France for tourist purposes without a visa.
Where should I land?
Toulouse is the closest airport and Agen is the closest train station. If you plan on renting a car there are also multiple airports nearby, such as Bergerac, Bordeaux, and Carcassonne.
Are airport transfers available?
Transfers from Toulouse or Agen can be arranged upon request and paid separately on arrival at a rate of $81 USD / €70 EUR each way.
What are the check-in and check-out hours?
Check-in is after 03:00 p.m. on Sundays and check-out is at 11:00 a.m. on the day of departure.
What’s the weather like in Gramont?
The south of France has a milder and sunnier climate than the rest of the country, with temperatures ranging from 10°C / 50°F to 17°C / 63°F in April and 13°C / 55°F to 21°C / 70°F in October.
What should I bring?
Please make sure you bring insect repellent, sunscreen, and comfortable trainers.
Is any equipment provided?
Everything needed for the cooking sessions is included in the package.
How far in advance should I book?
Some of the dates do book up quickly. Please book as far in advance as possible to secure a spot on your selected dates.
I am vegetarian / vegan. Can I still book this cooking vacation?
Unfortunately this experience would not be suitable to vegetarians / vegans or people who require special diets.
Are there any age restrictions?
There are no age restrictions for this program but please bear in mind that minors need to be accompanied by adults.
"This was a spectacular find. A very well run cooking school for small groups of 5 or 6, including accommodation for non-cooks. Bernard and David treated us like royalty. The food was spectacular, the wine was plentiful, the accommodation was clean and very quaint, but highly functional, but most importantly the views from the terrace of the school were astounding. You could sit and taste while watching all of the agricultural activities of Gascony. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!"
"I was coming to Gascony with already high expectations, but this trip still blew my mind. The breathtaking views, the quality of the food, great chefs and companionable students, the arrangement of activities during the days... Everything was perfect. Thank you for a great week David, Bernard and your neighbors!"
"David, our chef, was a fantastic host and teacher, as was chef Bernard who ran the restaurant opposite, famous for cassoulet and foie gras. Classes were hands-on and full-on. Beautiful village on a hilltop. We had a small, happy group of five, learnt heaps and had a wonderful time. Great value for money. Can't wait to go back."
"This was the most wonderful experience, a highlight on a 2 week trip to France. Exceptionally well organised, in a most beautiful setting! Even though I consider myself a somewhat experienced cook, I took away plenty of new skills. David was an engaging and entertaining instructor. The setting is unbelievable, beauty abounds in the stunning surrounding landscape. The accommodation was very comfortable and the excursions to the surrounding villages and markets were terrific. I can highly recommend this experience, it was truly wonderful."