9 of The Best Cooking Vacations in France To Explore The Local Cuisine

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Taking cooking vacations in France is a delicious way to explore the country, its culture, and people through the cuisine.

From high-end international cuisine in the city to traditional French cooking in the countryside, these cooking vacations have something for everybody.

Being French, we can say that what sets French cooking apart is its regional diversity. There is not one French cooking, rather many regional French cooking styles and recipes.

For this reason, we put together this list featuring several French regional cuisines through some of the best cooking vacations. 

If you are interested in more than sightseeing and delving into the local food culture, these French cooking vacations immerse you into the cuisine.

In 2010, UNESCO designated French gastronomy as a cultural treasure. And, these French cooking vacations take you to terroir, ingredients and recipes.

For the best cooking vacations in France, this is your definitive guide.

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Best French Cooking Vacations Comparison Table

Vacation Location Price
$
# Days # Cooking Experiences Best For
Foundation Cooking HolidaysGascony$1,85964Overall
Advanced Culinary VacationsGascony$90864Experienced cook
Cooking Holiday in Southwest FranceLot-et-Garonne$1,98164Immersive
Culinary Vacation in ProvenceProvence$5,19071Women-Only
French Cooking Course in BrittanyBrittany$2,96779In-Depth
Taste of Normandy Cookery HolidayNormandy$76042Exclusive
French Patisserie & Bread Cooking VacationLot-et-Garonne$1,98164Patisserie Lovers
Bread Baking Course VacationLot-et-Garonne$1,98144Bread Lovers
French Gourmet Cookery CourseLoire Valley$2,09865Hands-on
Duck and Foie Gras Cooking HolidayAriege$1,16443Small Group
Wine Tasting and Cooking VacationsGascony, Lot-et-Garonne$221487Wine Lovers

1. Foundation Cooking Holidays in Occitanie – Best French Cooking Vacation

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Gascony takes you into the heart of French traditional cuisine with lots of warmth and aroma

Discover the basics of French cuisine on this cooking vacation in beautiful Gascony in Southwest France.

Known for its culinary prestige, a cooking vacation in Gascony takes you into the heart of French traditional cuisine with lots of warmth and aroma.

The region is home to duck foie gras, cassoulet and Armagnac and the perfect destination for foodies.

On this 6 day foundation cooking vacation in Occitanie, you’ll learn to create amazing French food, hone your knife skills and dive into pastry making.

Home cooks of all levels will comfortably master traditional Gascon dishes. On the savory end, you’ll make cassoulet, fish in velouté sauce, and venture into the art of preparing foie gras.

Desserts and pastries feature prominently on this culinary vacation. With hands-on instructions, you’ll learn to make crème pâtissière, crème brûlée, tarte aux pommes or apple pie and much more.

Besides cooking, you’ll explore regional and artisanal produce at the local markets.

You’ll have tastings at a wine museum and you’ll also visit one of the most acclaimed Armagnac distilleries.

Cultural excursions take you to beautifully preserved, medieval villages like Larressingle and La Romieu.

Your accommodations will be at a Chambres dHotes or guest house in Gramont, Gascony. The rooms are refurbished and include all the modern conveniences like air conditioning, Wi-Fi and more.

This French cooking vacation is a great experience overall offering serenity, culture encounters and culinary experiences.

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: Duck is one of the prized foods from Gascony and in particular, the Moulard duck. This duck is the backbone of Gascon gastronomic traditions and  known for its rich red meat, plump breast and hefty legs. You can try Moulard duck from D’Artagnan, a company known for providing the best natural and humanely raised French delicacies to American restaurants and kitchens.

Advanced Culinary Vacations

This advanced culinary course in Gascony is offered by the same cooking instructors as the foundational course.

For those already familiar with the “foundation course” or home cooks seeking to dive into the specific techniques of Gascony regional cooking, this course is for you.

With the exception of the first and last day, you will learn French cooking techniques in 4 intensive cooking classes.

You will learn how to work with game meats as you prepare quail with calvados sauce. Your haute cuisine cooking skills will deepen as you make duck a l’orange and pork leg stuffed with local prunes.

And, your pastry skills will be elevated as you make exquisite pastries like Pièce Montée, a traditional French wedding cake.

This cooking vacation also includes visits to Fleurance, Lectoure and Auberge village. 

Culinary tours of Château de Gramont, the Wine Museum, Gramont Honey Museum and several wine cellars are also included.

Set in the Gascony countryside, this cooking vacation offers you an opportunity to advance your cooking skills and learn to make speciality dishes from South west France.

RELATED: 18 of the Best Culinary Destinations In The World for Scrumptious Adventures

2. Cooking Holiday in Southwest France – Best Immersive French Cooking Vacation

Marmande Tomatoes on the Market in France by Authentic Food Quest
Discover the marmande tomatoes at the regional markets

Would you like to cook with fresh produce you’ve picked from the garden or seasonal items from local markets?

This 6 day seasonal cooking holiday is the perfect balance of farm-to table meals, relaxation and exploration of rural life.

Not only cooking, this culinary holiday offers a peek into rural France, French culture and the history of the Lot-et-Garonne region.

Four days of hands-on cooking gives you the knowledge and techniques for cooking tasty seasonal dishes from this southern France region. 

What makes this holiday different from the others? There are a couple of standout reasons.

You will be using local produce picked fresh from the market every day, from Agen prunes and marmande tomatoes to guinguette strawberries to Baza beef.

These daily market visits include detours to nearby villages and towns to give you a feel for daily life in the region.

Unlike other French cooking vacations, this one focuses on seasonal foods. The dishes you make on a summer trip will be different from what someone cooks during the winter. 

The accommodations are in a renovated 1850 stone farmhouse, equipped with all the modern conveniences.

With this cooking vacation in France, you’ll enjoy a fascinating mix of hand-on cooking and local culture.

3. Culinary Vacation in Provence – Best For Women-Only Cooking Vacation in France

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A culinary vacation in gorgeous Provence

Designed specifically for women who love traveling, this 7-Day in the Footsteps of Van Gogh, Culinary Vacation in France, takes you to some of the most gorgeous locations in Provence. 

Imagine touring Provençale hilltop villages, enjoying days amongst olive trees and Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyards as you experience French wine tasting like never before.

This cooking vacation in France offers all this and more. Easily accessible to and from the French Riviera, St. Remy de Provence, is an ideal location for this culinary vacation.

Highlights from this French cooking vacation include visits to charming villages in Provence like Menerbes, Lourmarin, Uzès and many others.

You’ll enjoy tours of the local farmers markets. And, go on a special truffle hunting day with experts and their dogs and learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about truffles.

Art lovers will enjoy exploring St. Remy where you’ll visit where Vincent Van Gogh lived and painted.

Day five of this cooking vacation in Provence takes you into the kitchen. With a highly experienced French chef, you’ll enjoy an entertaining class as you make local seasonal dishes. 

Whether you are cooking or eating at restaurants, French wines from Provence will accompany your meals.

If you’re looking for a getaway with girlfriends, family or colleagues, taking a culinary journey through Provence is an experience of a lifetime.

Bond, connect and recharge over multiple courses of exquisite Provençal food and wine.

RELATED: Top 7 French Snacks Box To Taste France From Home

4. French Cooking Course in Brittany – Best For In-Depth French Cooking Vacation

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Savor fresh oysters from Cancale

Just three hours from Paris, in the easily accessible Brittany region, is the location of this cooking vacation in France.

This culinary vacation offers hands-on cooking classes in an intimate environment.

Michelin trained, Chef Poul shares all his cooking secrets with you during this 7 day French cooking course in Brittany.

There are 9 cooking classes covering a range of wonderful French dishes. You’ll learn to make lobsters, mousselines, garnishes, sauces, pastries, ice cream and much more.

Importantly, you’ll develop key cuisine skills that only come from working alongside a talented and trained French chef. 

When you’re finished cooking delicious meals for lunch and dinner, you’ll savor regional cider and wine on excursions.

Guided tours of the wonderful open air markets in Rennes, and medieval towns around the cooking school are also included.

While in the region, you can taste oysters and fresh seafood in Cancale or spend time exploring Dinan or St Malo.

You have a choice of accommodations nearby to the cooking school. Private villas and B&B’s are plentiful, all within walking distance to the cooking school.

The region is idyllic, making it the perfect location for a stress-free, fun and magical culinary journey.

5. Taste of Normandy Cookery Holiday – Best Exclusive Cooking Vacation in France

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Normandy’s beautiful seacoasts to explore

This French cooking school vacation will delight history buffs who love everything French, including food.

This short 4-day Taste of Normandy will teach you how to master classic regional dishes.

What we love about this cooking class is that the maximum number of participants is only two. This makes it perfect for couples or solo travelers with personalized and exclusive attention.

During your stay, you’ll enjoy 2 hands-on cooking classes, where you’ll make three-course meals. 

Learn to prepare Normandy oysters or French classics like coq au vin, Normandy tart or apple crumble with calvados and much more.

While the menu changes seasonally, you’ll accompany all your meals with local cider or regional wines.

Your stay will be in an old and charming Normandy farmhouse, tastefully renovated by the chef and his wife. 

When you’re done cooking, you are free to explore the nearby museums, the historic  D-Day sites and everything in between.

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: From Bayeux, visit the Utah and Omaha landing beaches on a small group guided tour. Learn about the WWII landings as you tour the historic sites where soldiers risked their lives. Learning about the Normandy beaches is one of the best things to do in the region. Find out more here.

6. French Patisserie & Bread Cooking Vacation – Best For Patisserie Lovers

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This is one of the best cooking vacations in France for bakers

Enjoy baking breads and pastries? Now you can learn the ins and outs of French baking styles and create delicious pastries and artisan breads.

Locals of Lot-et-Garonne enjoy a diverse cuisine thanks to regional and cultural influences and this is equally reflected in their baked goods. 

Marlen conducts these baking classes at her rustic farmhouse surrounded by sunflowers. She doesn’t believe in typical demo-style classes, but prefers personalized instructions.

Marlen makes you bake along and create everything from choux pastry and croissants to macarons and brioche.

When you’re not eating your own creations, you can enjoy tastings at a patisserie in Casteljaloux. 

Enjoy a private guided visit to nearby town, Vianne. In the town of Nerac, you’ll  visit “La Cigale”, the chocolaterie featured in the movie Chocolat  with Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp

The trip is not all pastries and bread. This is a fabulous opportunity to learn about the region’s historical heritage and natural beauty with visits to castles, churches and nature parks.

This is one of the best cooking vacations in France for solo travelers or bakers who want to master the basics of French baking.

French Bread Making Course

French Making Bread Cooking Vacation by Authentic Food Quest
Learn to make rustic French bread and more

Want to enjoy a slice of freshly baked bread with some red wine amidst the idyllic countryside? 

The French Bread Baking Course Vacation allows you to combine scenic views, simple but delicious foods, and cultural and historic lessons in one culinary trip.

This class is taught by Marlene who also offers the pastry class above. The difference is this class focuses exclusively on French bread baking.

You’ll learn to make French classics like baguettes, brioche, sourdough bread and regional specialty breads.

Apart from learning varied baking techniques and whipping up scrumptious breads and fillings, you get familiar with cheeses, local wines, aperitifs and dips.  

On this French cooking vacation, you’ll experience rural life in the nearby medieval fortified villages. 

Enjoy the markets in Vianne or the beach on the Atlantic coast.  And, for the wine lover,  Bordeaux and Saint-Emilion are close by.

7. Gourmet Cookery Course in Loire Valley – Best Hands-On French Cooking Vacation

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Relax in the Pays de La Loire scenery with its river and castles

Prepare to be inspired and blown away by the cooking classes at The Walnut Grove cooking school. 

As one of the top French cooking schools in the Pays de La Loire, you’ll enjoy learning from expert chef, Eric Duvin.

Enjoy 4 days of intensive cooking classes with a very approachable chef in the beautiful French countryside.

You’ll learn everything from basic knife skills, how to make bread, prep salmon, working with sugar and the art form of plating French food.

The new ideas, cooking techniques along with fun and laughter will take you on new culinary adventures throughout the Loire Valley.

The luxurious rooms are located right on the same property as the cooking school with stunning views of the countryside.

There are many things that make this cooking vacation in France so special.  Not only do you have the guidance of a world-renowned chef, you’ll also be cooking in a state of the art kitchen.

The wonderful escape in the French countryside only adds to this French trip of a lifetime.

8. Southwest French Gastronomy Cooking Vacation – Best For Small Groups

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Learn the art of preparing duck

For travelers seeking culinary vacations in lesser-known regions in France, Ariège is the place to stay, learn and explore.

This experience is focused on duck, the star ingredient of the Southwest region of France. 

Over the course of this 4-Day Duck and Foie Gras Cooking Holiday, Chef Bruno shows you classic and modern ways to transform this gastronomic product into a variety of exquisite dishes. 

You’ll hone your French cooking skills as you learn the art of foie gras as well as magret and confit de canard. 

French desserts are part of the experience, including a surprising foie gras crème brûlée.

Culinary tours take you to a local duck producer, organic bakery and a local market in Pamiers to shop for the day’s ingredients.

Positioned next to the Pyrenees, you’ll enjoy the peaceful and panoramic setting of the beautifully restored 15th-century farmhouse.

As it requires at least 3 participants, this is a French cooking vacation you enjoy with friends or family.

9. Wine Tasting and Cooking Vacation in Southwest France – Best For Wine Lovers

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Explore French wine in one of the most sought out French wine regions

Why not combine a little bit of history, culture, and fine wine tasting at a 180-year-old farmhouse in southwest France?

This 8-day wine and cooking vacation in Lot-et-Garonne, is a luxurious and tailor made cooking adventure for French lovers.

Everything about this cooking vacation is customized to give you the best possible experience and everything Gascony has to offer.

Each day is a new culinary experience. From a wine class focused on local boutique wines, to making salads, quiche, terrine de foie gras, you’ll be equipped with new skills.

Apart from cooking, you’ll visit an Armagnac distillery with the bonus of creating your own blend. 

At a local gourmet restaurant, you’ll enjoy a course about champagne, sampling white, pink, dry and sweet ones.

With visits to medieval castles, you’ll experience “la vie du château” in either Bordeaux, Saint-Emilion, Toulouse, or Lectoure.

You are housed in a gorgeous 180-year-old farmhouse spread out over 50 acres of history and beauty. 

This cooking class and vacation in the southwest of France has been described as “perfect from the beginning to end” and earns rave reviews consistently.

RELATED: Best Wine Suitcases For Easy and Safe Travels

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These cooking vacations in France give you a glimpse into world famous dishes and their humble origins. 

In addition to honing your skills in various cooking and baking techniques, you get a dose of French culture and history along the way.

Which one of these France cooking vacations would you like to take? Please let us know in the comments below.

Savor the Adventure!

How to Best Choose Your Cooking Vacations in France

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Delicious French wines and cheese await

The French Cooking Experience

These cooking vacations in France have one thing in common. They feature local and authentic recipes from different regions of the country. 

The cooking experiences are designed to be hands-on cooking classes, so everyone can get involved.

In addition to learning the secrets of French cooking both rustic and gourmet, you get acquainted with some of the finest wines and brandy France has to offer.

You’ll learn how to pair French delicacies with local wines. You get a recipe booklet covering the cooking sessions and dishes prepared by you. Some cooking classes also offer a certificate of completion. 

The best part is that you get to taste local delicacies and learn to make French dishes with English speaking instructors.

How Much Time Do You Have

The French culinary vacations range anywhere from four to eight days. The cooking techniques and skills offer different styles of French regional cooking. 

 Apart from cooking or baking sessions, you visit the nearby villages and wineries and experience the local food and culture. 

Select the cooking vacation in French depending on what you want to learn and the time you can set aside for the course.

Number of Participants

The beauty of these French cooking schools? They are all small groups and hand-on sessions. You’ll get more out of your cooking classes and get to know the French countryside more intimately.

Most of these cooking holidays in France are available for solo travelers while others require a minimum of two or three participants. 

You can choose private or shared rooms depending on the cooking vacation you select.

Safety Measures

Due to the lingering impact of COVID-19, flexible booking conditions are available on all these cooking vacations in France.

If you are not able to travel as planned, you’ll be able to reschedule your trip, book a different trip or receive credit and book later. 

All the accommodations featured follow and prescribe to COVID-19 hygiene protocols.

When it comes to the ever-changing travel requirements, please stay up to date with the latest   COVID-19 restrictions from official government sources.

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