The fertile soil baked in sunshine, sprinkled with the right amount of rain along the lengthy coast, Provence’s climate has all the right ingredients for glorious harvests of wine grapes, olives, tomatoes, eggplants, zucchinis, peppers, garlic, fresh herbs , truffles , melons, lemons and much more. And locals know what to do with their goods. Century old traditions have influenced every Provencal kitchen, where age- old specialties and contemporary creations are based on some of the world’s finest olive oils and produce picked that very morning. You are never too far away from the Mediterranean sea, a region where fresh seafood takes pride of place on most tables. To top it all off , the local wines – Cotes du Rhones, including Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and crisp Cote de Provence roses – fuels lively with Chatter and makes dining here an incredible & memorable experience.
During the tour , we will visit Marseille, fresh fruits of the sea define Marseillaise cuisine – most notably Bouillabaisse, a fish stew as old as the city itself ( from 600 a.c). Fisherman have been concocting it for centuries to make use of the least desirable portion of their catch. From the words bouillir ( to boil) and baisse ( to turn down the heat), genuine Bouillabaisse is traditionally two dishes, a saffron tinted broth , with orange zest and fennel seeds, followed by a variety of fish poached in the base. Servers present the fish first, to demonstrate its impeccable freshness, and then ladle more soup over it, served with une rouille ( a sauce of red chilies, garlic, olive oil, egg yolk and cayenne). After visiting the old port of Marseille we will have Bouillabaisse for lunch in one of the cafes in the old part of town.
A visit to a truffle farm plantation in Cadenet , Luberon about 30 kms from Aix en Provence operated by a Franco – American couple . It is an 11 hectare – organic farm to trade the American world of finance and PR to go green in the Luberon. You will discover how truffles are cultivated and how truffle dogs are trained. If you want to finally learned about truffles and tell your friends about it when you get back to the States, this is the place for you. You will get to sip on champagne and taste fresh truffles on toast. Lunch will follow and a truffle burger will be served, modeled after Daniel Boulud’s recipe. A burger stuffed with Foie Gras , bacon and truffles.
We will get to taste wines & truffle olive oils, you can also buy organic olive oil as well as truffle olive oil, the owners ship anywhere in the US.
Another visit to an organic vineyard, located in the foothills of The Luberon , in the south-east of the region stands 350 m above sea level in an exceptional lush green setting surrounded by holm oaks and scrublands and has over 70 ha of uninterrupted land.
Once you step into this chateau, you will find yourself immersed in the world of wine. we will learn about the vineyards and growing methods. A light lunch & wine tasting will follow.
Let’s have a cooking class.
The chef will gladly share his passion and expertise with you, and will give you a custom – designed lesson at the property. The cooking lesson includes:
9 a.m: we will meet the chef at the market coffee shop.
9 :30 a.m : Visit of the market & selection of products.
10 : 30 a.m : back at the villa and let’s start cooking in the kitchen.
12:00 p.m : Let’s sit down and enjoy our meal.
We won’t leave Provence without paying a visit to La Camargue where pink flamingoes, black bulls and white horses live free. La Camargue is a 800 square km ( 300 miles) zone of lagoons, salt-flats and marshes; remote and rich in birdlife. Large stretches are protected and inaccessible, but open to all travelers are the long evenings of gypsy music and wine as the sun sets in the horizon. A visit to l’Abbaye de Montmajour, in AD 948 a community of hermits was founded in the middle of the marshes. The extent of the ruins give us some idea of its enormous size and we will learn more about this very stark architecture.
A stop at La Fontaine de Vaucluse.
From deep in a circular hollow, springs one of the most powerful water sources in the world. One myth claims that a nymph removed seven diamonds from the rocks, one by one to release it. The torrent suddenly emerged in the 7th-century, watering the fig trees above the chasm and feeding the river Sorgue. Truly spectacular after heavy rain. We can also make a stop at L’isle sur la Sorgue, if you like antiques and enjoy the slow pace of looking at knick-knacks, pieces of furniture and other treasures, this is the perfect place .We always have backups if our clientele is not interested.
The village des Bories has always interested our clients. So we will visit this hamlet consisting entirely of restored bories ( dry-stone igloos), where inhabitants of the Vaucluse and the Luberon lived from Ligurian times ( 6th-century BC).
The tour dates are:
November 22, 2014 – November 29, 2014.
8 days/ 7 nights
Villa Accommodations ( double occupancy) $250.00 single room supplement.
Drivers ( transfers, touring the region).
TGV train ride round trip included.
Visits to a truffle farm, an organic vineyard and more…
Local chef ( breakfast, lunch & dinner included).
Thanksgiving meal included on Thursday November 27.
3 bottles of wine included with dinners.
* Air fare not included