We had the pleasure of having Judith Vrooman, who was traveling solo, with us in Uzès during one of our week-long culinary experiences. Here she shares her experience (and photos), with us with her personal flare.
Last fall, I decided to live the life I so often dream about. I do drool over the pages and pages of magazines inviting you to travel to the South of France ( don’t you?). And so ….. I paid for a week of cooking at a school in Uzes, France.- Cook’n With Class. And I went alone!
WAIT , WHAAAT??? Yes, I did and I’ll never regret it!!!
I usually travel alone. No fear girl. Just go! but to France?
I hadn’t been in 30 yrs.- Bien Sûre! So off I go and I find a French taxi driver to take me to Uzès from Avignon. Where the “H” is Uzès? Who cares I’m there in my dreams. And oh my, it’s a 16th century stone village. Perfect!
I get to the beautiful villa, Les Olivettes. Wow! Greeted by Yetunde, it’s like we’ve known each other for years. Meet N Greet Cocktail party? you bet! ahhh French Rose wine too. Perfect! Then Chef Eric plans out the week. More drooling.
I can’t believe all the menus in store. It would take me 4 days to make one days menu, but we six students did it in 3.5 hrs! We cooked all my favorites from Coq Au Vin to Bouillabaisse to Grand Marnier soufflés. And we got to eat them! OMG.
We had a trip to the Pont Du Gard (built in the year 50 bc) yes really! and I hugged an olive tree planted in the year 903. We were taken out to restaurants that deserved 3 stars, taken to the famous Uzès outdoor market, and went on a great winery tour and tasted wine. My favorite beverage! We had a fabulous wine and cheese class that would cost mucho bucks in Napa. But it’s included. All the while the group is getting acquainted. We are from all over. Australia, Denver, South Carolina, New York, Truckee, Calif.(me)
Believe me, you are in fabulous hands at this school. Every question answered about cooking. We were all at different levels of home cooks. Some just beginning. What a great way to treat yourself, like me, after a lifetime of mandatory cooking for someone else….now I got to cook for me and learn from a real chef! My knife skills have improved and I’ve learned the secret of making baguettes. No I’m not telling! But that alone and the making of croissants was worth the price of admission.
Our residence is priceless. Rooms are in the French country decor and nothing is missing. All your wants and needs are met. Morning croissants!!! Oh Please!!! You cannot have enough people! The outside patio became my picnic spot as I opened some local wine and took photos intended for future paintings. Meandering around, I found some horses, and gardens that promised irises- if only I would return next spring……..sigh.
Too soon, it is the end of a great week. I’m so full of ideas and what to cook next, I can’t stand up. We finally cook up a storm for our final cocktail party and what a party!! The gypsy band rocks us all to dance. OMG what fun! What a great group of new friends I have made! I love you guys!
By now I have decided to retire here forever (ha!). And I go around asking if there is a help wanted sign or an apartment for rent. I love Uzès!! You can walk everywhere as a woman alone. Go shopping, whatever!
I miss it already.
Please, Make me French. – so I can stay.
Learn more about our culinary vacation in the South of France, here.
About our blogger
Judith is a self-confessed food and wine nut in California, throw in some rock n roll, a sci fi movie and anything having to do with France, French men, or French food and wine.
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