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BIENVENUE!

Hello, and welcome. Are you looking for cooking classes, in English, in one of the most beautiful medieval villages in southwest France? Look no further, this is the place.

Where, exactly is Fourcès, you may be wondering. France is a land of many regional sub-divisions, some historical and some political. You will find the Atelier (atelier means workshop, in French) in the department of Le Gers. Fourcès is the name of the village; it is in Armagnac country, midway between Bordeaux and Toulouse, in the Occitanie region. This area is a part of Gascony, and it is sometimes called Little Tuscany. No surprise because the gently rolling landscape is dotted with picturesque villages, vineyards and sunflower fields as it slopes gently down towards the Atlantic ocean to the west and rises to the Pyrenees mountains and Basque Country to the south. Le Gers is off the beaten track, in the most splendid way; to live and cook in this part of the world, you become immediately connected to the place and the seasons. This is what I would like to share with you through my workshops.

Come join me in cooking a French culinary feast using the best ingredients the Gers has to offer. Then, unwind and embrace the laid-back pace with a leisurely lunch around a big communal table in the garden by the château, under the shade of the ancient lime trees.

The best way to experience food and cooking in France is join a Market Tour and you can choose from the options below. These start early, at your preferred market where we shop for local and seasonal delicacies before returning to Fourcès to cook and feast. A straightforward cooking class will begin in Fourcès with ingredients sourced in advance so we can prepare a traditional three-course meal.

Whatever you choose, the focus of all these sessions is French home cooking, both regional and tradtional. I have culinary school training and many cookbooks under my belt but I am essentially a home cook and this is how I teach. All of the cooking classes take place in my home kitchen⏤a vast space with thick walls of local stone and exposed wooden beams on the ceiling. The building was converted from the former stables of a 16th century château; the château which is just across the road, in fact.

The kitchen is always my favourite room, in any house. It is the place where food is prepared, of course. It is also where people congregate, where conversations are had⏤where life happens. The kitchen of this house is where the project began; it inspired me from the minute I laid eyes on it and it is simply the perfect space for gathering and cooking together. 

Slow down, live like a local and join me for a day, or an afternoon, of culinary inspiration and an authentic taste of food in southern France.

More information below about the workshops and be sure to look at the FAQs for all the details. This includes a list of places to stay, like the gorgeous château B&B just opposite my house. Bespoke workshops over one or several days are always an option too; feel free to use the button below to ask a question, I love getting emails.

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"I had a cooking class with Laura and it was a fabulous session. She covered a number of French recipes I was eager to learn including how to cook duck to perfection. We made the most amazing pear tart too. After all the cooking, we had a lovely lunch. It's a cooking experience I heartily recommend"

WORKSHOP SCHEDULE

Choose from one of 4 formulas:

Cooking & Déjeuner

French Market Tours
 ✧
Cheese Tastings

Brocante Sundays

Cooking & Déjeuner

Come and cook in my French kitchen! These cooking classes are devised around several themes and you will be able to indicate your interests on the Enquiry Form. 

Times are 10:00 a.m. – 4 p.m.

What you get:
Hands-on cooking – Aperitif – A three-course lunch in the garden – Thoughtfully sourced cheese course – Local wines

These sessions can be booked most days of the week* and I suggest a Le Poisson is best on Thursdays & Fridays but this is not an absolute requirement.

Cost is €180 per person. 

Companion places for non-cooking friends are €50 and you add this at the time of booking. For more information see the FAQs page or enquire at time of booking.

To reserve your place, first fill in the Enquiry Form (button below). 

Other options are always available on request. Please email if you would like to discuss.

*except the 2nd Sunday of every month which is reserved for Brocante Sunday Workshops (more info below)

Cook Le Gers

Duck, prunes, Armagnac & everything Gascon. Regional French food from the past, brought firmly up to date.

French Home Cooking

Cook French Bistro classics like maman. Or papa. French traditional food like braises, gratins, tarts sweet & savoury.

New Seasonal French

New things from old standards at their seasonal peak. Lots of market-fresh vegetables. Think Ottolenghi in France.

Le Poisson

Meunière, marinières, whole roast and fillets. Get to grips with French recipes for seafood. Striped t-shirts optional.

French Market Tours

Cooking starts with shopping and what better way to learn about French food than by shopping at a French market? 

This tour & cooking class starts early at a nearby market where we shop together, chat with producers and select the freshest local ingredients before returning to Fourcès for cooking & eating.

Meet at the market at 8:30

Lavardac is Wednesday
Eauze is Thursday
Nérac is Saturday
There are smaller local markets at Montréal on Friday and Mézin or Condom Sunday

Interested? Let me know by filling in the Enquiry Form (button below).

Cost for a one-day workshop (min 2 people):

Wednesday, Thursday, or Saturday: €210 per person. 
Friday or Sunday: €180 per person. 

Companion places for non-cooking friends are €50 and you add this at the time of booking. For more information see the FAQs page or enquire at time of booking. Recipes sent after the class.

Please note you will need your own transport for Market sessions.

Private Market Tours are available; please enquire for prices.

Two-day and Three-day market workshops are also available. These involve shopping and prepping (and nibbling) on Day One and lots more cooking followed by feasting on Day Two & Three. If you are in the area for an extended stay, this is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the local gastronomic culture. Please enquire for availability and prices.

French Market - Nérac

One of the nicest, liveliest markets, in the old town centre near the river Baïse every Saturday morning.

French Market - Eauze

The capital of Bas Armagnac in the heart of the Gers region, a vibrant and bustling Thursday morning market.

French Market - Lavardac

A traditional market in a stunning village setting, held on Wednesdays.

Cheese Tasting

If you want to simply dip your toes in French culinary waters, what better place to start than cheese?

Southwest France has an outstanding variety of cheeses: mountain cheeses from the Pyrénées made from sheeps milk or cows milk, or both. There is also a range of goats’ cheeses and different types of blue cheeses plus many other seasonal specialities from all over France. So many to try, why not let me do the gathering and you can sit back, relax and do the tasting?

 

Times: Mornings from 12:00 – 3 p.m. or Afternoons from 4:00 –  7 p.m.

Cost €150 per person (minimum 3 people).

Private tasting sessions are available; please enquire for prices.

What you get:
A tutored tasting session featuring an assortment of French cheeses. 

Morning sessions are followed by a light lunch around the big table in the garden, including dessert and wines.

Afternoon sessions are followed by an apéro dînatoire (grazing plates) around the big table in the garden, including dessert and wines. 

Interested? Let me know by filling in the Enquiry Form (button below). 

Other options are always available on request. Please email if you would like to discuss.

Brocante Sunday

A pop-up lunch with cooking class held exclusively the second Sunday of each month from May-November, to coincide with the monthly Fourcès Brocante market. The brocante is a wonderful, lively flea market held in the main village place which is about 10 seconds from the Atelier. If you love shopping for vintage French tableware and other items, this is a must!

A three-course set menu is offered, including aperitif, plus the opportunity to participate with a cooking workshop.

11:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Cost €100 per person, a minimum of 6 guests are required so please enquire to add your name to the list.

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