There's truly nothing on earth like it...
Imagine spending five nights in paradise, waking up each morning to fresh pastries from the boulangerie, and a huge piping pot of pressed coffee. Only to saunter into the kitchen to cook up a storm mere moments later......
The Courageous Cooking™ School and Retreat is a recipe free (mostly), immersive culinary experience. 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, sit down lunches and dinners each day (some at the house, some out and about), excursions throughout the local area to food hot spots, daily (optional) movement classes built to undo the ravages of travel and long hours of cooking, 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 and little messes! Including omelettes on the ceiling (this has yet to happen), 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. Also? Rural French living means a tolerance for ambiguity, because holidays and the like change plans. :) But we promise it will be an amazing experience. Cross our hearts.
Reserve your place at The Courageous Cooking™ École de Cuisine for 2019 and 2020
Click the dates below to check availability. To book your place(s), we require a non-refundable $950 deposit per courageous cook.
Price per person is $3950 for the all-inclusive experience.
It includes everything starting from your arrival at La Pitchoune until your departure including unlimited local rosé, red, and white; paired wines with meals; daily excursions off site (no car needed! We whisk you from place to place); any meals off-site that we organize; and other surprises.
If you're traveling solo and would like to reserve a single room please make two deposits, which will count as your single supplement. The total deposit of $1900 is non-refundable.
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 must be at least 10 people (which requires an additional house rental fee for the larger property). 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 and teenagers attend their own classes, and are able to join us at a reduced rate)
What people are saying about the Courageous Cooking School?
Natalie Arianne Baack,
Intuitive Insights Consulting & Founder of Permission to Be.
"What can we say about cooking school at La Peetch? Magnifique! It turned out to be even better than we expected/hoped. Makenna and the rest of the staff were just fantastic; it was pretty much perfect from Sunday through Friday. We learned a lot (we’ve been making a lot more Julia-style omelets of late) and we ate a lot. Most of all, we drank a lot of wine! It was all perfect.
The accommodations were great. Nope. Not a 4-star hotel. But comfy enough! Anyone reading this needs coaxing to make a reservation at La Peetch for the coming years, do not hesitate. For us, at least, it was an unadulterated success. Thanks Makenna!"
Patricia and Tom Starner
"I think of my experience at La Pitchoune all the time, so many wonderful memories! I loved my time at La Pitchoune, the opportunity to cook in that kitchen and peruse some of their memorabilia that has been collected over the years was marvelous. I enjoyed the total cooking experience even without recipes! Dominie, our chef, was a treasure. We all enjoyed the delicious food we prepared and the French wines with every meal. It was a photographers dream being able to take pictures of the presentation of ingredients in the kitchen every morning before class, the cooking techniques and of the final presentation of the meals we created. A good time was had by all! Bonus? I received input in my cookbook“Ooh la la! French Inspirations for Entertaining & Travel” and it should be on the market by December 1st, 2018!
Makenna does a wonderful job making all who attend your Courageous Cooking School a holiday to remember!"
Karen Allen, Photographer and Writer
"My favorite part about the Courageous Cooking School? Interacting with the hosts, the instructor, and the other students in such a beautiful location. Then there was the day trip to the market in Antibes! Getting to shop and cook everything we bought the same day was an amazing experience. I was delighted and surprised by just how delicious the food was (and the never-ending pink water! Aka Rosé!) If you're someone who loves food and wine and wants a taste of Provençal life? You should come. Also? You've never eaten good melons unless you've tried the melons in Provence."
Karlo Atienza, Find his culinary exploits on Instagram
"The Courageous Cooking school was a fantastic experience, start to finish. Makenna and her team were such fun and provided a very intentional and well-thought out program. The instruction was both fun and informative, neither too serious nor not serious enough, so to speak. I feel like I left with more confidence as a cook, not just more recipes to add to my repertoire. We were very well fed with excellent wines and delicious meals, 3 meals a day! The accommodations were simple, as I had expected in Julia's decades old house in the countryside, and very clean and comfortable. The magic of staying there was so special….you did not feel like a tourist but got a taste of being a local, and I loved that. You can stay in a hotel anywhere. The charm of staying in Julia’s home just enhanced an already wonderful experience. My husband is not even a cook, and he participated in every minute and left with a much increased appreciation of the whole process. If you love to cook and enjoy France, this is a no-brainer. Highly recommend!"