With great pleasure I am announcing changes and new offerings in our cooking school, At Home with Patricia Wells. Since we began classes in Provence in 1995, the steady evolution in the program has been a joy and the positive reaction of students is a constant encouragement to do more things and to do them better. This summer (the first in years when I haven’t faced a book deadline*) we have spent a good deal time thinking about the classes, both in Provence and Paris, and we’ve come up with some changes that I think you’ll like.
- To thank former students for their fidelity, anyone who has previously attended a week-long class in either Paris or Provence, or our classes in Venice, Florence, Verona, or Vietnam, will qualify for a 25% discount when enrolling in the next regularly scheduled class.
- To reward students who come with a companion who is paying the full rate -- whether a spouse, a partner, a parent, a relative, a good friend -- a 25% discount will apply for the companion. (See the FAQs for full details on the discount program.)
- By popular request we are instituting a “dining companion” program for the Provence weeks. Classes will now be limited to 8 students, and we are offering 2 “dining companion” spots, to be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. For a $500 fee, 2 students (and only 2) may bring a companion to dine with us at the Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday night dinners, the Wednesday morning wine-tasting and restaurant lunch, and the farewell lunch on Friday. (As always, a companion may join us for the Wednesday wine-tasting and the following lunch for a fee of $125, and be our guests at the final Friday lunch.)
- Gather a group of 7 friends for a class in either Paris or Provence, and the organizer will be “comped” for the week. (If space is not available in an existing class, we can work to find a date that suits us all.)
So, beginning in 2013, those new offers will apply to everyone, those already enrolled, as well as newcomers. (For those already enrolled for 2013 classes, discounts will be handled when the balance due is paid.)
We are thinking about other ideas also -- a new modified Fitness Week in Provence (a 5-mile morning hike before cooking classes); new dinners with star winemakers in Provence; and increased wine education in both Paris and Provence.
In Provence, the extension of the Julia Child Kitchen is almost completed, with brand new spaces for prep and cooking, with the latest in induction cook tops, a plancha, an electric grill. Julia’s faithful La Cornue from her kitchen in Grasse is still right there in its place of honor, and cooking on it remains one of the highlights of the time that students spend with us at Chanteduc.
We’d love to hear your reactions to the changes and the new ideas. And of course we’d love to see new as well as repeat students back with us in Provence and Paris. Prices remain unchanged: $5,500 for Truffle Week, $5,000 for the classic weeks in Provence, and $5,500 for Paris.
The 2013 season will begin, as ever, with our spectacular Truffle Extravaganza in January. This summer I have focused on gathering exceptional bottles of Châteauneuf-du-Pape – both whites and reds – to pair with our stunning truffle meals. In February and March, our popular week-long Cooking in Paris courses will include plenty of seasonal hand’s-on cooking, a market visit, comparative tastings of cheese, wine and olive oil, as well as a memorable three-star restaurant meal organized personally with the chef. From June to September, we continue our week-long classes of Cooking in Provence, gathering herbs, fruits and vegetables from the Chanteduc garden; sampling wines of the Rhone Valley, including our own; visiting the famous weekly market in Vaison-la-Romaine; meeting with winemakers and cheese merchants; making great meals ourselves and once during the week enjoying the cuisine of our local chefs.
Beyond the classes listed below we are always happy to accommodate private groups of 7 for Paris classes and 8 in Provence. Please contact us to arrange dates. Requests for 1-day classes for groups of 4 or more can be considered.
Because of some last-minute swaps there are openings for the following dates:
September 2 to 7, 2012 Cooking in Provence
September 16 to 21, 2012 Cooking in Provence
September 30 to October 5, 2012 Cooking in Provence
2013 CLASS DATES:
PROVENCE COOKING CLASS: FRESH BLACK TRUFFLES
January 21 to 25, 2013 Cooking in Provence
PARIS COOKING CLASSES:
February 25 to March 1, 2013 Cooking in Paris
March 11 to 15, 2013 Cooking in Paris
March 25 to 29, 2013 Cooking in Paris
PROVENCE COOKING CLASSES:
June 9 to 14, 2013 Cooking in Provence
June 23 to 28, 2013 Cooking in Provence
September 8 to 13, 2013 Cooking in Provence
September 22 to 27, 2013 Cooking in Provence
*The working title of the next book, my 14th, is Cooking with Patricia: Life Lessons From My Two French Kitchens etc. Publication by HarperCollins, as usual, in 2013. In addition, the classic paper version of my latest Food Lover’s Guide to Paris will be out in 2014, published by Workman Publishing.
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