"Walnut Grove was such a fantastic experience both in learning and relaxation. Maynard made being in the kitchen comfortable and a joy. Freya made us feel a bit spoilt at times, she is so in tune with everyone's needs and kept the day moving smoothly alongside Maynard. What a wonderful course run by such warm, caring people.
Hope to see you again in the not too distant future."
Amelia Poole

"Dear Walnut Grove
Thank you very much for the best vacation of my life. You were friendly, teaching, patient, thoughtful and inspiring. I will be talking about you to everyone that I know. And I will be so much looking forward to come here again. Thank you. Tesekkür ederim."
Umurcan Gago

"To Maynard, Benedict and Freya
This has been the most amazing 5 days. It has gone well beyond my expectations. You are truly a talented team. It has been lovely getting to know you all and standing alongside you in the kitchen as you taught us our new skills. I promise to go home and practice everything you've taught me. A big thank you to Freya for working away in the background. I've already started planning my next trip to Walnut Grove for the advanced course next year. Many, many thanks."
Jan Henderson
New Zealand

Walnut Grove Cookery Course

Gourmet Cuisine and Cooking Classes in the Loire Valley

Enjoying cooking is all about confidence, being relaxed and understanding your ingredients. Skilfully combining flavours, textures and presentation is within all of us. Our aim at the Walnut Grove is to bring these qualities out, so that you have the ability to follow your own flair and imagination.

Gourmet cooking courses

Activity holidaysEach day, you'll experiment with new flavours and new techniques using the freshest ingredients with expert guidance. Our courses are run with a professional yet relaxed holiday atmosphere, we believe that this is the ideal way of combining a holiday with culinary development.

You'll arrive on Saturday, mid afternoon. After some time settling in to your room, the course begins with an introductory talk to discuss the structure and goals of the program.

Cooking holidays in FranceLater in the evening, after complimentary champagne, you'll enjoy a 6-course gourmet dinner that illustrates the cooking style you'll be studying during your cookery course, with explanations by your chef hosts. It's also a wonderful opportunity to relax and get to know your fellow guests.

Each day after breakfast, there will be both demonstrations and hands-on classes, ranging from basic knife skills to homemade Italian bread's and even caramelised sugar baskets.

French cooking schoolThis is followed by preparation of the evening meal, with gourmet dishes such as apple & goat cheese croustade with a roquette & walnut salad or Collops of monkfish glazed with a herb, mustard & brioche crust, served with saffron tagliatelli and a white wine, mussel and dill sauce.

On Monday after a light lunch, you'll get to enjoy some of the local culture on a customized excursion. For example: visit to a 19th century windmill producing buckwheat flour in the traditional method. On Tuesday afternoon we will have specialized training from a local expert. One example is master French pâtissier, Anthony Vancilli who will come to the Walnut Grove and teach you the secrets of making tradtitional all butter croissants and a French favorite - macaroons! 

Cooking course vacation

Early evenings are all about more hands-on fun in the kitchen, as you put the finishing touches on dinner, learning last minute cooking techniques and high quality restaurant presentation skills. It's then time to sit down and revel in the stunning food you've learned to prepare.

On the last day, you'll be challenged to use all the skills and knowledge acquired during the week as you work in teams to prepare and present the last meal with only a little guidance from the chef. To relieve the pressure, a gourmet barbecue is served in the afternoon, followed by a game of croquet or boules in the garden (weather permitting). Then it's back to the kitchen for final preparations before sitting down to your own created gastronomic feast.

For full details of our 5-day cookery course please click here

These cookery courses can be individually tailored for groups of up to 6 guests. We also offer customized cooking classes for corporate businesses; for example, "Team Building in the Kitchen".

If you have any questions send us an email

Piping ganache into the macaroons after making croissants