Sharing Food, Wine, Recipes and Tales from French Chateau Country

Culinary Holidays

It is with great delight that we announce our dates for Spring, Summer & Autumn 2022.

Due to on-going COVID-19 concerns we will take all necessary precautions. Cooking holidays this year are being held in the warm spring, summer and autumn months, when the windows of the house can all be open and the house fully ventilated (the windows have insect screens). We have both an industrial extractor in the kitchen and a household ventilation system which extracts and changes the air several times per hour. We will spend time outdoors, preparing food and cooking in the garden, we will also serve meals and snacks in the warmth and safety of the outside dining area.
On the east side of the manor house, we have two bedrooms rooms on each floor, and on the west side of the house, we have one bedroom with a lobby which can be used in the unlikely need for isolation.

Groups of four or more people can of course request exclusivity.

Escape from it all and soak up the fun and charm of French chateau country through the amazing fresh food and wine of the Loire Valley. We will spend time in the kitchen cooking and preparing, but, if you stay a few days or more, we’ll get out and about, exploring markets, vineyards (including several organic ones) visiting oil presses, cheesemakers, famous chateaus and other culinary and cultural attractions. For longer stays, we can also do a day of cycling along the vineyards of the Loire river.  We’re in love with our part of France and want to share it with you. Watch the video above for a true sense of what it’s like to cook and spend time with us.

Cook and Relax

Sip a glass of local chenin blanc or cabernet franc and gaze out the kitchen window towards the river. Practice your cooking skills, or simply enjoy being in beautiful French country kitchen in a fun, friendly, and warm environment. This is your holiday. Whether you come to cook and explore with us for a day, a week, or more you will learn lots, but most importantly you will relax, laugh and have a blast here in your 19th century maison-maitre home-away-from-home. Whatever your experience in the kitchen, we’ll help you get the most out of it.

We’ve put together several different options:

The Ideal Place to Immerse in the Flavours of France

Set in the small village of Misse, among working farms with rustic slate roof barns, crumbling stone walls, rusting tin-roofed stables and fields teaming with wheat, sunflowers, asparagus, quinoa, flax-seed and countless other crops, Loire Kitchen offers you the perfect place to relax and connect with the flavours, joys and romance of French cuisine and culture. Don an apron, pick a basket of rosemary, sage and thyme from our herb garden and vegetables from our potager then sidle up to the kitchen counter to prepare the meals of your dreams under the gentle and fun guidance of chef Aaron Tighe and cook/food writer Wayne Milstead.

We ask you what foods and ingredients interest you, what techniques or dishes pique your curiosity. Then we look at what’s in season, what are the stand-outs at our local markets and we design our menu from there. We focus on the best fresh flavours our region has to offer and what will be the most memorable and helpful cooking experience for you. While we have a true cook’s kitchen filled with all sorts of gizmos, and we’ll play with those, we tailor all our recipes for the home kitchen. We want you to return to your kitchen and reproduce the dishes you learn here. And better yet, we also want you to explore further, trying new dishes at home, building on your holiday experience at Loire Kitchen and bringing the best of France to your own home.

Recipes

The recipes on our blog give you a sense of what we like to cook. Over the years, dishes guests have prepared on our cooking courses include: Porc aux Pruneaux, Porchetta, Cassoulet, Bouillabaisse, Sandre (or Cod) in a Beurre Blanc Sauce, Confit of Duck, Cod with Lentils, Chicken Bouillabaisse, Stuffed and Grilled Calamari, Oysters Rockefeller, Braised White Asparagus, White Asparagus Risotto, Beetroot Risotto, Lemon Risotto, Wild Nettle Risotto, Ratatouille, Grilled Ratatouille, Boeuf Bourguignon, Daube de Boeuf, Cote de boeuf, Navarin of Lamb, Poulet (chicken) de Bresse a la creme, Pollo (chicken) alla Diavolo, terrines, pates, tarte tatin, clafoutis, pear and chocolate tart, tarte au citron and countless other desserts. This list doesn’t even scratch the surface, but it gives you an idea. You’re going to cook and eat very well here.

With over ten years experience hosting, cooking, writing and teaching from our beautiful farmhouse on the southern edge of the Loire Valley, we have lots of insights, stories and local knowledge to ignite your senses, engage your curiosity and open up the magic of the Loire Valley for you.

The house has been in the family for over 30 years and we’ve been cooking professionally here, hosting cooks and other guests for over ten years at Circle of Misse. Besides a teaching kitchen, Loire Kitchen is also a working kitchen, providing hundreds of amazing meals a year to Circle of Misse writing, painting and photography course participants. We’ve been here a long time and we know and love the food and culture of our region. We want to share this passion with you and help you unlock the secrets of the Loire that will make your time with us the highlight of your French experience.

Everyone Welcome

We teach in English, but do speak French as well as Italian. So even if English is not your first language, that’s not a problem. We have guests from all over the world and we love it that way. We also cater to all appetites: vegetarians, pescatarian, Carnivore, etc. Our repertoire includes an extraordinary number of vegetarian dishes, and our markets feature some of the best fish and seafood available. While we can’t promise that there won’t be meat dishes prepared on your course by others, we always include vegetarian dishes as well and can ensure that you don’t have to work with meat if you do not wish to.

Bespoke Courses/Events

If you want to bring a group (minimum 4) and have us organise something specifically for you, perhaps a wine-tasting and buying trip, a particular theme of course, or a celebration (birthday, anniversary, etc.) please get in touch and we’ll try to accommodate your request. We also host small corporate groups for team building exercises and escapes. Please inquire if interested.

 

 


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