In Avignon, Aix, Marseille, the Luberon, or the Verdon, discover the secrets of Provence flavours in a workshop or a cooking class. Provençal specialities both sweet and savoury, gluten-free dishes or wild plants. Welcome to a world infused with the tastes and scents of the south.
In Maubec, near Cavillon, chef Jean-Marc Villard opens the doors of his own kitchen, which has been specially designed for budding cooks. Over one or two days, this former teacher at the Institut Paul Bocuse shares his know-how in French or English. In Aix-en-Provence, chef Gilles Conchy welcomes you to his country house after a trip to the market. To taste the pleasure of preparing lovely little dishes in an historical kitchen in an 18th-century estate, head to the Château de Berne in Lorgues, near Draguignan. Want to cook in a location laden with history, that is a short walk from the Palais des Papes in Avignon? Then head to La Mirande. Its school, Le Marmiton, teaches the secrets of Provençal cuisine to adults and children in a friendly atmosphere.
Provence on a Plate
In a Chic Setting
At the heart of the Luberon, in Joucas, chef Xavier Mathieu welcomes you to the authentic setting of the 5-star hotel Phébus & Spa. By his side, treat yourself to a half-day introduction to the secrets of Provençal cuisine, before tasting a gourmet meal served with aperitif and wine. For a culinary immersion in Provence, where the scents of thyme, rosemary and mountain herbs combine, head to the Bastide des Saveurs de l’Hôtel Bérard at La Cadière d’Azur. On Saturdays from April to June, you will discover the subtleties of seasonal cooking using natural produce, in a green and floral setting. If you are in the Camargue, visit Roger Merlin in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. He will teach you original or classic recipes from the region at the bucolic Mas des Colverts.
Keep it Natural
Discovering Provençal Plants
Devotees of gluten or lactose free cuisine will find what they are looking for at l’Auberge La Fenière in Cadenet in the Luberon. Chef Reine Sammut and her daughter Nadia advocate “free cooking” with a simple but unbending philosophy: “If we take control of what’s on our plate, we will change the world.” In Brantes, Odile and Jacqueline combine a profound knowledge of nature and plants with their culinary know-how. These Aventurières du Goût (Adventurers in Taste) will lead you on a stroll collecting flowers and wild plants followed by a cooking workshop using organic produce. Head over to Barreme as well, where ethnobotanist François Couplan offers weekend workshops and week-long courses to find out about edible wild plants.
Want Something Sweet?
It’s Snack Time
Head to Forcalquier, centre of Provençal gastronomy, for a cookie and biscuit workshop. The first Saturday of every month (except February, March, July, and August) learn to make navettes, macaroons, croquants, or sablés with your family or friends at La Biscuiterie de Forcalquier. You’ll leave with your creations, recipes, and full of memories! Located on the outskirts of Aix-en-Provence, the famous Chocolaterie de Puyricard also offers workshops to make your own chocolate and produce creations under the guidance of their master chocolate makers. What a treat!
Truffles and Bouillabaisse
Iconic Flavours of Provence
In Aups, on the Route des Gorges du Verdon, La Maison de la Truffe is a true temple dedicated to Provence’s “black diamond.” Based in the former Hospice Saint-Jacques, at the heart of the village, the Maison offers culinary workshops, tastings and even an escape game! Truffles and their variations will no longer be a mystery to you. For an immersion in Phocean gastronomy, visit the Miramar, in Marseille, to learn how to cook authentic bouillabaisse and enjoy it with good wine.