"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
June 2014

Walnut Grove Recipes

Home Spiced Pickled Shallots

for a 1 litre jar

  • 10 banana shallots
  • 400ml cider vinegar
  • 5 dried chilies
  • 1 dspn coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 6 cloves peeled garlic
  • 2 tsp's mustard seed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 50g white sugar
  • 1 litre jar
  • Pebble that will fit in the top of the jar to weigh shallots down


1. Clean the jar in hot soapy water, rinse well and leave to drain. Heat sterilise the jar by putting it on a tray with a couple of paper towels between the jar & the tray so the glass is not touching metal, then putting in a hot oven (around 160°C) for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

2. Place jar lid & pebble in a pan of water, boil for 5 minutes and set aside.

3. Peel the shallots and place in sterilised jar. Put all the other ingredients into a medium sized saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute then remove from heat.

4.Place the jar with the shallots in it back in the oven to reheat for a couple of minutes. Remove from oven, let cool for 1 minute then pour the hot spiced vinegar in so that all the shallots are covered. Place the sterilised pebble on top of the shallots to ensure they stay submerged and put the lid on tightly. Leave for 2 months before eating.

Serving Suggestions

Our favorite use for these pickled shallots are with a Ploughman's lunch, but they are great as part of a picnic, or sliced into rings and used in salads or with a selection of cheese..

Advanced Preparation

Need to be made 2 months in advance! But after that can be kept for at least a year.

Cooking courses and gourmet vacations available at 


Walnut Grove cookery courses - a dream vacation - in wonderful surroundings


Experience the reality of gourmet cooking yourself. There is only one way to learn and that is to do it! Top chefs, luxury accommodation, set in France - the home of gourmet cuisine; what more could you ask for?

Your hosts and tutors are acclaimed chefs Maynard Harvey and Emerson Farrar, two modern chefs who use the freshest ingredients with an emphasis on distinct flavours and clean, meticulous presentation. Their passion and enthusiasm for cooking will stimulate your own love of food, and their expertise will help you gain confidence and perfect your technique in the kitchen.

To find out more about our holidays, courses, accommodation and location deep in the heart of the 'real' French countryside, please look around our site. For further information, contact us.