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PRICE - $3200 per participant (mon eve - sat morning); $1000 per non-participant
2023 DATES - E-mail for availability and short classes. See Holiday Class for December dates.
This is our traditional class, which includes visits to two local wine makers, two local Armagnac makers, and of course, shopping at our local markets. However, our primary focus is on cooking foods from the Gascony region, and on applying our approach to make all things we cook more delicious. In addition to a full day of cooking, you'll have 3 hours everyday to explore, rest, or simply hangout.
Monday evening 6PM - WELCOME DINNER
Tuesday 9:30 ALL THINGS DUCK and GASCOGNE
First thing in the morning, we'll begin making Duck Confit and Rillette and then we're off to visit to two local wineries where you'll meet the proud owners and sample their products. Upon return, we'll taste test some olives and then continue learning how to process duck - preparing among other things, duck breasts for prosciutto. It's a lot to get through and we still need to master our Apple Cake recipe for the evening and maybe even learn to make creme fraiche and butter. At lunch we'll assemble a classic Gersoise Salad with french bread, and wine, dawdling for an hour or more before break. You'll return at 6pm when you'll practice grilling duck without splattering. Dinner will begin at 7pm with the requisite l'Apero, followed by an entree (starter) of Smoked Duck Breast with shaved butter and sea salt, a plat (entree) of Maigret (duck breast cooked pink) and Gascony Potato Cake, then Salad and a Cheese Plate. We'll drink Madiran wine and finish with Apple Cake and Creme Fraiche.
Wednesday 9:30 ARMAGNAC and BIRDS
Morning will include a trip to two local Armagnac makers followed by an early lunch at a lovely restaurant in Castera Verduzan. In the afternoon, we'll have an hour to work on pastry making and complete our Dessert Tart with Prunes and Armagnac and then learn a few tricks to making and stuffing sausage. When you return after break, we'll have a quick lesson on butterflying our quail and boning our pintade; while they're cooking we'll make some polenta and finish with a quick Armagnac sauce... it won't take long and soon, we'll again be enjoying another l'Apero, and a delicious dinner with paired local red wines.
Thursday 9:30 Pâte à Choux and GIFT MAKING
Today we will work on making Pâte à Choux and all the things that can be made with it - Parisian gnocchi, gougeres, cream puffs and eclairs, and we'll make treats to take home - Pâtes de Fruits, Confitures, Pickled Prunes, and more. For lunch we'll start with a simple vegetable entree, followed by a plat of our Gnocchi with Fresh Herbs and Brown Butter, salad, bread and wine and we can always sample an Eclair for dessert. Today you'll have a long break to fit in some brocante shopping and then we'll walk to an excellent nearby restaurant for a special dinner.
Friday 9:30 MARKET DAY and VEGETABLES
Morning class will include a trip to our local market where you will have the opportunity to choose your produce for the day. We'll spend the rest of the day making a Gascony style Ratatouille, French Style Potato Salad, Pistou, Pickles, Fruit Coulis, Flavored Vinegars, and Compound Butters. We'll have an easy picnic lunch of ready-made things purchased from the market and, weather permitting, we'll eat dinner in our garden. We'll have the Sausages we made earlier in the week, Roasted Duck Carcass (know as Les Deux Demoiselle, Roasted Chicken, Ratatouille, Couscous salad, and whatever else we have made during the day. Dinner will conclude with my favorite, Panna Cotta and Fruit Coulis.
Saturday 9:30 GOOD BYES
I will personally cook you a large brunch, present gifts and recipes, and we'll say our goodbyes.
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