Experience something special
Fancy attending a cooking workshop in the kitchen of one of Charente’s best chefs and enjoying a special moment with friends in a luxurious location? Fancy discovering the chefs’ secrets and learning to use the best raw ingredients from Charente, such as cognac, truffles and oysters? Here are four very different chef’s workshops that we’re sure you’ll love!
Grégory Coutanceau culinary school
The food lover’s class
After an exceptional introduction to the industry, during which he was taught by Ducasse in Paris and Monaco, Darroze, Para, Anton and Lenôtre, Grégory Coutanceau was just 22 when he took the plunge and bought Les Flots, a popular restaurant in La Rochelle. The gifted chef received his first Michelin star at 25 and his second six years later – and he’s still the only Charentais chef with two of them! Full of passion and a desire to share, he’s designed La Classe des Gourmets (The Food Lover’s Class) for fans of real cooking, which takes place in a lovely, friendly space. It’s in this positive atmosphere that you’ll be introduced to (or perfect your skills in) cooking, patisserie or oenology. And because age is no boundary to a love of cuisine, there are workshops for children and teenagers that will thrill the chefs of tomorrow! The school is located in the centre of La Rochelle, yards away from the Old Port, on Rue Sénac de Meilhan.
At the Panthère Meukow in Cognac
After training in the best Michelin-starred kitchens in France, Julien Lachenaud discovered Russian cuisine when he was appointed chef at a restaurant in a St Petersburg luxury store. Today, he presides over the heart of the Meukow cognac maison.
After being introduced to the menu and donning your Meukow apron, it’s time for 2.5 hours of culinary classes which include vegetable chopping, grilling, de-boning a fish tartar, and not forgetting flambéing with cognac. Your visit isn’t complete until you’ve gone down to the cognac cellars and heard the story of the panther and the Meukow cognacs. Just a few sessions are planned, so book now!
Michelin-starred chef Thierry Verrat’s culinary school
La Ribaudière, Bourg-Charente
In April, they cook with asparagus and morel, in May and June with spring fruits and vegetables, in October and November with harvest products, and in January and February with truffles – at the Thierry Verrat culinary school, seasonal produce takes centre-stage. It’s far more than just a cooking class, as here you’ll engage in a discussion with the chef about cooking and eating well.
He’ll share with you his culinary tricks and advice. At lunchtime, you’ll enjoy the dishes that you’ve prepared. Each participant will receive an apron.
At the Jarnac Château restaurant
Ludovic Merle loves to share his expertise, which he acquired in particular from Georges Blanc. That’s why he organises culinary classes for all lovers of good food. The morning begins at 9.30am at the Jarnac market, which is filled with local producers. The students select the menu themselves (lobster, langoustine or veal).
In the kitchen, the participants follow the advice and tips of the chef, and after prepping, cooking and plating up, the half-day comes to a happy end when you sample your perfectly paired food, wine and cognacs!