A woman wearing an apron among the wild flowers at Moulin Bregeon

Cuisine Course in France at Le Moulin Bregeon

Intensive Course

Join ICE Chef-Instructor Kathryn Gordon, co-author of Les Petits Macarons: Colorful French Confections to Make at Home and Les Petits Sweets: Two-Bite Desserts from the French Patisserie, for a delicious educational opportunity to work hands-on with a variety of professional chefs, pastry chefs and bakers located throughout the beautiful Loire Valley (between Angers and Saumur).

The region is a world heritage site along the Loire, France’s longest river, and known as the “Garden of France.” Long the hunting ground of French nobility, it is notable for its chateaux, historic towns, architecture, diverse food production and wines and sparkling wines.

For a program flyer, detailed itinerary, application, travel information or questions, please email Chef Kathryn Gordon at kgordon@ice.edu or call (917) 841-0796.

Quick Facts

Date: June 20-June 29, 2018
2018 Tuition Fee (8 days/9 nights): $3,650; price excludes airfare, round-trip travel Paris-Saumur and tips for staff 
Participants: Course is limited to 5-10 participants interested in cooking, baking and wines. Food enthusiasts, family and friends are welcome! ICE graduates must have completed externship.
Accommodations: Shared double-room with an ensuite bathroom in an award winning country lux hotel

Viennoisserie at Moulin Bregeon

Foods you will taste & techniques you will learn:

  • Artisan Breads & Viennoisserie: dough theory and shaping
  • Fine Dining: work in a state of art restaurant kitchen with Chef to prepare 3 courses
  • Charcuterie and Meat Fabrication: regional charcuterie specialties; rabbit fabrication
  • Brittany Specialties: crepes, confisserie, apple far and bouillabaisse
  • Country Specialties: cook regional dishes with organic produce from farm markets; pick vegetables in the Mill’s garden and “team cook” dinner
  • Petits Fours and French Macarons
  • Wines: private tour and tasting with vintner; tour sparkling wine caves
Stay at Le Moulin Bregeon.

Accommodations

You'll stay in a beautiful, luxury country inn, Le Moulin Bregeon, converted by fine artist Jonathan Robinson from a former wheat mill to an award-winning hotel filled with antiques and hand-ironed French linens. Situated in the village of Linieres-Bouton, in the countryside north of Saumur, Le Moulin Bregeon—"the Mill"—will be our home base for classes and culinary sightseeing. All cooking and baking classes are hands-on and translated or taught in English.

A table at Le Moulin Bregeon.

Hosts

Your hosts for the week will be Jonathan's French business partners and the Mill's resident chefs, Bernard Levenez and Pascal Merillou. Chef Pascal hails from Bergerac along the Dordogne River (which flows into Bordeaux). Pascal has worked in various restaurants in Paris and is responsible for the organic gardens at Le Moulin Bregeon. Chef Bernard grew up in coastal Brittany, where his mother owned a bustling crêpe restaurant catering to locals and travelling tourists. Bernard acts as the Culinary Director for Le Moulin Bregeon, and will accompany us on our culinary-related tours in the regions of Anjou and Brittany. For photos of Le Moulin Bregeon and chef bios see our program website.

Chef Kathryn is an expert guide through France.

Travel with an Expert

Chef Kathryn has led groups to stay at Le Moulin Bregeon since 2002 and has built a network of farmers and chefs throughout the region to share their expertise with guests—from regional, country-style chefs and artisan bread bakers to fine dining chefs and charcuterie-makers. She has designed your hands-on classes to include a balance of classic regional and modern French cuisine; techniques include meat fabrication, ingredient identification, baking theory and preparation of first courses, proteins, vegetable dishes and desserts with multiple chefs. Enjoy delicious farm-to-table meals that you help prepare with organic produce, locally raised meats and regional wines. 

French cheeses in a market in France, by Darrren Coleshill via Unsplash

Sight-Seeing Excursions

In between hands-on cooking classes, participants will embark on culinary-related sightseeing excursions, carefully designed to teach you about artisan food production at its source. These educational visits will help you learn about traditional food production methods and include personalized visits to: an artisan nut oil press, an escargot farm, a chevre farm, a foie gras auberge, a stone ground wheat mill, honey producer, mushroom production caves, local farm markets, sparkling wine fermentation caves, fleur de sel marshes and chateaux renown for their historic kitchens.

Itinerary

Order of daily activities subject to change until our arrival, depending on chef schedules. You will be given an updated schedule prior to travel, based on possible (minor) chef schedule changes. Closer to the date of departure, a meeting will be held at ICE to review travel details, packing and questions. Click curriculum below to view the full itinerary.

For a program flyer, detailed itinerary, application, travel information or questions, please email Chef Kathryn Gordon at kgordon@ice.edu or call (917) 841-0796.

Courses

Wednesday, June 20

Travel Day

Depart NY area airports for Charles de Gaulle airport, Paris.

Thursday, June 21

Night 1

• 4:30pm: Travel to Saumur station in Loire Valley for a rendezvous with Mill owners (via SCNF TGV train, from CDG airport or via Paris Gare du Montparnasse), who will drive you and your luggage to our host hotel Le Moulin Bregeon in Linieres-Bouton in the western Loire Valley (on the north side of the Loire river, between Angers and Tours). Time to explore rooms and gardens, meet staff, take a shower, etc.
• 7:00pm: Orientation and welcome dinner of chicken vin jaune and light red wine.

Le Moulin Bregeon is an 18th century water mill converted to a country lux hotel by an American artist, Jonathan Robinson. Jonathan works with two French partners, Bernard Levenez and Pascal Merillou, to host guests, small and large groups, and weddings at the hotel. Chef Kathryn met them in 1999 and has led annual cooking groups at the Mill since 2001.  

Friday, June 22: Chateau

Night 2

• 8:00am: Breakfast at the Mill.
• 9:00am: Visit to talk to Arnaud Le Nud at L’Esargot de Mouliherne snail farm.  
• 10:00 am: Prepare various tart and bread doughs with Chef Kathryn Gordon, and work together to prepare picnic-style nicoise sandwich lunch.
• 2:15pm: Visit to Chateau Serrant near Angers.
• 5:00pm: Class at La Maison du Pain. with Master Boulanger Phillipe Soulard.
• 7:00pm: Return to Mill for braised rabbit dinner with seasonal vegetables, hassleback potatoes and Langlois-Chateau Sancerre.

Saturday, June 23: Market Day

Night 3

• 8:00am: Breakfast at the Mill.
• 9:00am: Departure for artisan soap store. Visit market day in pedestrian friendly Saumur. You’ll have free time to shop, gaze and eat lunch on your own.
• 1:00 pm: Visit to pommes tapees and mushroom production caves near Saumur. Begin blueberry confisserie with Chef Bernard Levenez, who makes all of the jam for the Mill. Regional cuisine class with Chef Jessie Riley to prepare lamb market basket for dinner. 
• 7:00pm: Dinner featuring produce from the market and wine from Chinon.

Sunday, June 24: Local Specialties

Night 4

• 8:30am: Breakfast at the Mill.
• 9:30am: Departure for visit to Langlois Chateau winery for tour and still/sparkling wine tasting.
• 12:00 pm: Return to Mill to help prepare mushroom velouté and escargot-stuffed mushroom lunch with Chef Bernard (with shitake beer). Then afternoon petits four class with Chef Kathryn Gordon on hazelnut financiers and cherry-lavender savarins.
• 4:00pm: Visit to local chevre farm in Noyant.
• 8:00pm: Duck-themed dinner with Cremant de Loire at nearby foie gras farm in Linieres-Bouton.

Monday, June 25: Sweet and Savory Baking

Night 5

• 8:30am: Breakfast at the Mill.
• 9:30am: Baking class at the Mill with Chef Kathryn to prepare French walnut-apricot macarons, and leek-mushroom quiche and lemon meringue tarts for lunch.
• 2:30 pm: Visit to working wheat, water-driven mill Moulin Sarre. Visit to local supermarche.
• 6:00pm: Return to le Moulin Bregeon for savory and sweet Brittany-style buckwheat and dessert crepe dinner class with Chef Bernard, with Celtic music and cider.

Tuesday, June 26: Fleur de Sel

Night 6

• 7:30am: Breakfast at the Mill.
• 9:30am: Visit to Brittany fleur de sel marshes of Noirmoutier with paludier Sebastian Mounet, and oyster and beer lunch at La Perle after the salt lesson.
• 2:30 pm: Return to Mill for assorted French salad class (and Nicholas Bourgueil wine) with Chef Jessie, and preparation of pain de mie

Wednesday, June 27: Fine Dining

Night 7

• 8:00am: Breakfast at the Mill.
• 9:30am: Class with Chef Eric Bichon at his restaurant L'Oree des Bois. Q&A with the Chef.
• 4:00pm: Visit to local honey farm to learn about bee keeping.
• 5:00pm: Visit to artisan nut oil press in Vernantes.
• 7:00pm: Croque madame and monsieur class with Chef Jessie at the Mill, with Saumur Champigny.

Thursday, June 28: Butchery

Night 8

• 8:00am: Breakfast at the Mill.
• 9:00am: Class at the Mill with guest butcher Claude Le Barzic, and help cook lamb BBQ lunch.
• 12:00pm: Visit to escargot farm in Mouliherne.
• 2:30pm: Visit to 19th century working distiller Combier for Triple Sec tasting in Saumur.
• 5:00pm: Class with Chef Bernard to make his specialties: Caramelized Apple Tart and Chicken Bouillabaise for our farewell dinner at the Mill, with dry rose wine.

Friday, June 29

Travel Day

Early breakfast at the Mill. Early train departures for Charles de Gaulle airports mid-afternoon flights or to spend optional weekend in Paris.

Program Summary

  • $3,650 tuition fee, plus: air fare and round trip train travel Paris-Saumur
  • 7 days/8 nights in country-lux accommodations; all meals with local wines at dinner; stay at award-winning country hotel Le Moulin Bregeon
  • Accommodations are shared double-room with an ensuite bathroom in an award winning country lux hotel
  • Program cost includes full tuition and course food/wines for hands-class sessions with multiple chefs, including onsite at a fine dining restaurant.
  • Local travel, fees to chateaux/vineyards/museums included
  • Tips for hotel staff are not included.