Good Friends, Good Food,

    & Courageous Cooking

    Nestled in La Pitchoune :: The cottage that catalyzed a food movement in 1970s Provence

  • La Peetch is a space for magic...

    La Pitchoune or La Peetch was the summer home of Paul and Julia Child for nearly 3 decades. Built on the homestead of Simone Beck, known as Bramafam, La Pitchoune was the house 'Built on Friendship'. Kathie Alex purchased La Pitchoune in the 1990s, and turned into a cooking school. La Peetch returned to her roots as a center for culture, food, and community in 2016. Pitchounians, as they have been called for decades, return year after year. They are drawn by the magic of the countryside, the good company, and of course...the wine.

    La Pitchoune is a country home in rural-ish Provence. It is charming and quaint and comes with all the loveliness that is rural France. The ambiance of La Pitchoune, as Provence 1970 author Luke Barr said, is a bit "freewheeling and a little tipsy". La Peetch is by no means 'fancy' it an unfussy space for Courageous Cooking™, deep conversations about food/culture/art, and a place to make or deepen relationships. It's rural, it's petite (La Pitchoune literally means 'the little one'), and it is a museum that lauds times long past.

    We turn timid home cooks into courageous chefs, melt tension into magic through food & wine, and create new friendships through impeccable service. When you're at La Pitchoune, you're family.


    La Pitchoune is a multi-use space, and can be visited in the following capacities....

    Courageous Cooking™, La Peetch École de Cuisine

    The Courageous Cooking™ School and Retreat is a recipe free (mostly), immersive culinary experience. There is nothing else like it. Our Chefs, and our Culinary Director have tested and crafted what we believe to be the most beautiful way to teach cooks of all stripes how to create, explore, and play with food. The goal of the Courageous Cooking™ School? To teach ANYONE, and yes we mean ANYONE to cook from the hip, meaning from intuition and joy (rather than following a recipe). It is country French cooking in a country setting, and all sessions take place in the famous kitchen. And OF COURSE our menu is classic French, and inspired by the food of the times when this house was occupied by culinary greats.

    Sessions are limited to 6 guests, and are all-inclusive vacations. Every session of the cooking school includes daily courageous cooking™ lessons (2-4 hours a day!), daily continental breakfasts and lunches (and all dinners included with the opportunity to go out on Wednesday or Thursday on your own. But most guests simply eat at the house all meals because the food is so darn good), excursions throughout the local area to food hot spots, daily (optional) HeartFirst Method Movement classes, beaucoup wine from the region, and all you can manage dips in the pristine, mosaic pool. From the moment you arrive, you'll have a glass of wine in hand and food in your belly.

    All sessions begin on Sunday and end on Friday.

    Enjoy the grounds and energy of the cozy home and kitchen. Get messy without fear (we clean up the big messes! Including omelettes on the ceiling, powdered sugar gone awry, and the like). And relax into the space of creating food, making new friends, and gallivanting around the countryside of Provence.


    We get a lot of emails asking for more details....And frankly? We're seasonal! And focus on the newest and most in-season experiences, so answering what your week will look like is nigh impossible. But we promise it will be an amazing experience. Cross our hearts.

    Vacation Rentals

    Bring your family for a vacation like no other. Cook freely in the kitchen, and relax the day away next to the pool. We rent directly through AirBnB so your worries (and ours) will be none! Insurance is included, and a security deposit is required. Weekly rentals (six nights, seven days) include a stocked larder for a continental breakfast. PAY IN FULL is the only option, and the cancelation policy is quite strict.


    Starting in June 2020, we will offer one bespoke wedding experience a year. The last week of June. It includes rental of all the available properties on Bramafam, all food for a reception, flowers, makeup for the bride and bridal party, tables/chairs, dance floor, music, etc. You just show up with your people, your photographer, and your guests. Everything else? 100% sorted. Max 60 guests. Lodging included sleeps between 20 and 30 depending on set up.

    Other retreats?

    At this point in time we no longer host other peoples' retreats. AirBnB is strictly for personal use. Any other commercial use must be cleared with the staff at La Pitchoune.

  • Reserve your place at La Peetch École de Cuisine :: Courageous Cooking™ for 2018 or 2019

    2018 Availability

    May 6th :: 1 spot

    October 7th :: 1 spot


    2019 Availability

    February 24th :: 6 spots

    March 3, 10, 17, 24, 30 :: 6 spots each week

    April 7, 14, 21, 28 :: 6 spots each week

    May 5, 12, 19 :: 6 spots each week

    September 29 :: 5 spots

    October 13, 20, 27 :: 6 spots

    November 3 :: 6 spots


    Please note: We can also accommodate larger groups if you're all joining together! We rent adjacent properties (that are stunning and once owned by Simone Beck, Mrs. Child's collaborator on Mastering the Art of French Cooking). Larger groups much be at least 10 people. And we can host up to 16 folks at once in the two properties. Just email us if this is of interest, and we'll plan your dream group trip!

    We're also happy to make any week 'family friendly' during Spring Break Season! All we need is one family to sign-up, and we'll delineate it as such. (Children attend their own classes, and are at a reduced rate)


    NOTE: If we cannot find a suitable date within 72 hours of booking, your deposit will be fully refundable. After that time, no monies are refundable. We highly suggest you book travel insurance if you're concerned about needing to cancel once booked.

  • Want to Rent La Pitchoune and treat it as your own for 6 nights or more?

    We have VERY few weeks available for 2018. We are accepting reservations as far out as 2019. All availability is up to date. To view availability click "inquire and reserve" below.

    Are you NEW to Airbnb? Click here to get a travel credit of $35 to apply to our listing or any other listing on their site.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Everything you've ever wanted to know about La Peetch.  ;)

    Can I come visit La Pitchoune if I am not attending the cooking school or staying in the house via Airbnb?

    Not at this time. If you ever rent the house or join us for a week of Courageous Cooking Classes we promise to offer you the same courtesy.

    Starting in 2018 or 2019, we are considering hosting chef dinners on Friday evenings. Join our list to be in the know about such events.

    Can I rent La Pitchoune for my event?

    The short answer?  Yes. 

    The long answer? That depends on your use of the property. We limit the amount of other peoples' events that we host. And ask that the primary used of La Pitchoune be noncommercial. If you would like to rent La Pitchoune for your own event, we ask that you contact us. Please note: We do not promote others' events.

    Can I come cook in the Kitchen?

    Yes! And an enthusiastic one at that. La Pitchoune hosts a minimum of 16 cooking school sessions a year. And if you rent it, cook up a storm!

    If you're interested in joining one of our sessions, simply make a deposit and we'll be in touch with dates. First come, first serve. And these WILL sell out.

    We run sessions weekly from April to June, and September to November. All sessions start on Sunday evenings and end on Friday mornings. A maximum of 6 people can stay in the house. These sessions are kept small on purpose.

    Is it safe to visit La Peetch?

    Yes, and....​

    Nowhere is guaranteed to be safe in this day and age. But our location is isolated in all the best of ways. So yes, it is safe. But there is an inherent risk in doing anything...Even driving to the grocery store from your home.

    So yes, La Peetch and the area is safe as you would be at home. And we endeavor to keep it that way.

    Can you host more than 6 at a time for the cooking school or Airbnb rental?

    Yes. And no. :)

    There are other homes nearby that you can rent on Bramafam. Including our neighbors GORGEOUS remodel of Simone Beck's home, and two other smaller properties. Which means...If the dates align, then yes! We sure can! And are HAPPY to organize it for you. We've hosted cooking experiences as large as 16!

    But in the house itself? No. MAYBE 6 adults and a couple kiddos, but it will be a tiiiight squeeze.

    Is La Peetch or the Courageous Cooking School affiliated with the Julia Child Foundation?

    No. We have no affiliation or connection with The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, which is based in Santa Barbara, California and controls the use of Julia's name, image and/or likeness.


  • The Current Steward of La Pitchoune

    Makenna Held

    CEO & Chief Visionary

    Makenna grew up imitating Julia's lilting voice, and imagining deboning ducks by way of her troll dolls. A graduate of Smith College, she saw La Pitchoune on the market and knew it was meant for her.

    A self-taught chef, graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, and amateur wine lover–she's cooked at high-end retreats, and in her own kitchen for well over a decade. And she can't wait to share her courage with you. (It's infectious) Come and enjoy her love of cooking and hospitality. She continues her studies at the Cordon Bleu in Paris every November, and at other cooking schools across the globe.

    Chris Nylund

    Cat Herder, Tender of the Dirt, and Small Talk Expert

    Chris is an accidental foodie. Meaning, he simply has always loved the growing , making, and enjoying of food. When he isn't running about to get you fresh pastries at the Courageous Cooking School, he's a writer of words (education, history, music, and food are his favorite topics) and player/songwriter of music.


    Prior to his globe trotting life with his fiancée (the one to his left on this page), he was a rock and roll librarian and curriculum development expert. (He still does both as a consultant on occasion).

  • Have questions Airbnb or our site doesn't answer?

    Fear not and reach out here.  We'll get back to you within 72 hours.

  • La Pitchoune Missives:: Blog, Recipes, and Tales from a Food Capital of the World

    Thoughts, musings, and ruminations on modern French cuisine, with a hat tip to our muse. Our blog, launching in 2018.

    There are no published blog posts yet.

    We'll be in touch once a month or so with missives from La Pitchoune. Be first in the know about offerings and availability of the space.

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