Come cook with Robin
in southwest France!
Healthy, delicious and simple recipes
to inspire your home cooking.
No cooking experience necessary
Booking now for 2016: May 26th-30th or Sept. 29th-Oct. 3rd
All four of Robin’s cooking workshops this year
May 28th-June 1st, June 11th-15th
September 24-28th, Oct 1st to 5th
Interested in a 2016 workshop or being on a waiting list for a 2015 workshop?
Email Meredith at meredithwheeler1(at)gmail.com
La Terrasse de Lautrec is an elegant and charming small hotel in the center of the scenic French village in the beautiful department of the Tarn:
Video tour of La Terrasse and the village of Lautrec: http://www.laterrassedelautrec.com/video/
From its magnificent and historic terrace garden there are lovely views over the countryside.
Wifi throughout; swimming pool; en suite bathrooms; free street parking.
The whole thing felt like the most amazing multi-day dinner party at which no one ever was tired or bored!
–Christopher Lupone (May workshop 2013)
The Cooking Classes
Robin leads all the cooking classes (in English).
Group Size: About 8 participants
The accent is on healthy, delicious food based on Mediterranean cuisine.
It’s home-style cooking—not complicated or professional chef style.
I liked the small, hands-on nature of it. Robin made the whole thing feel very informal and yet everything was very well organized. –Christopher Lupone
We liked Robin’s teaching method–his ability to present his recipes and ingredients to a group of total strangers in a way that put everyone at ease.
That naturalness of manner helped everyone work very well together. It was fun!
–Jane and Daniel Berical
The group prepare lunch and dinner together under Robin’s guidance.
(Kitchen clean-up help is provided!)
I was one of the original Bravehearts – I would greatly encourage anyone who can to take this workshop. It’s a once in a lifetime experience. The village of Lautrec is like nothing you have ever seen and the venue itself — La Terrasse– is a work of art.
Meredith and Robin are wonderful hosts and the workshop was so much fun! I thought it would be a fun time but greatly underestimated the experience. It turned out to be an incredible adventure.
Go if you can!! –Mary Pirog
I truly had the time of my life. When Mary returned from your first workshop, she was beaming and her eyes lit up every time she spoke about your workshop and her brief stay in France. I was hoping for a similar experience, but I was a little nervous since I don’t do much cooking these days. However, I found myself very much at ease with you and my fellow bravehearts. You have a wonderful gift for making everyone feel at ease and making every minute of the workshop enjoyable. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and a wonderful cooking/eating life style. I couldn’t have asked for a better time or teacher as well as a great group of people that I had the pleasure of attending with. –Neil
Morning outings to local open-air markets including the Friday market in Lautrec and the Saturday market in Castres.
The price of the workshop is based on each participant having her/his own private bedroom with ensuite bathroom. However all the rooms can accommodate two people (some double beds, some twin).
You may bring a spouse, partner, friend, traveling companion who doesn’t wish to cook for a meal supplement (20 euros for lunches, 25 euros for dinners, all beverages included).
There is a reduction in cooking course fee to a partner sharing a bedroom of about $400/300 euros/£260 pounds sterling.
Arriving Early, Staying On
If arranged in advance, it is possible to arrive at La Terrasse earlier (indeed most people arrive the day before the course starts) and stay on after the workshop finishes. Contact the owner/manager, Dominique Ducoudray, to make arrangements (she speaks fluent English): firstname.lastname@example.org/.
Lautrec is a medieval bastide–a fortified hilltop village with a population of about 1700 people.
Additional photos of La Terrasse and Lautrec: http://tinyurl.com/LautrecWorkshop
It enjoys the official recognition as Un des plus beaux villages de France [one of the most beautiful villages in France].
The village is a step back in time with wonderful architecture, pleasant walks with lovely vistas. The church dates back to the 14th century. A lovingly restored working windmill sits on the hillside with a spectacular view from the summit towards the Black Mountains and the Pyrenees.
Lautrec has a charming café-bookstore, Café Plum, a small grocery store, a bakery, a butcher’s shop, an antique store, a pharmacy, post office, several hairdressers, and a few gift shops featuring local culinary delicacies including l’ail rose, pink garlic (the local specialty) and gift items using pastel bleu (the dye that once made the region wealthy).
Dates & Scheduling
The workshop starts about 4pm with “Welcome” refreshments in the beautiful garden at la Terrasse and group introductions.
Then it’s off to the kitchen with Robin to prepare supper. Dinner together at around the table at La Terrasse.
We buy our lunch ingredients at the Friday open air market in Lautrec and return to the kitchen to prepare our meal.
Late afternoon, cooking with Robin.
Dinner out together at a very special table d’hôte in the countryside near Lautrec.
Morning excursion to the lively Castres Saturday open air market to buy provisions for lunch and dinner.
Kitchen class at with Robin followed by lunch–al fresco in the garden, weather-permitting.
Afternoon cooking class with Robin to prepare a special dinner in the main dining room of La Terrasse.
Excellent kitchen workspace worked very well for this size group. Well-lit, squeaky clean, not too industrial, new appliances…Much like a well-appointed home kitchen which enhanced the feeling of camaraderie among the participants. –Jane and Daniel Berical
Cooking with Robin, preparing Sunday lunch, the final celebratory meal!
I appreciated Robin’s happy approach to cooking – not fussy or dogmatic -and his relaxed approach to the class. –Betsy Weber
After attending your workshop I started cooking with olive oil on a regular basis. I eat it almost every day now. I had my annual physical last week [8 months after the workshop] and I was very curious to hear my cholesterol levels as I was so afraid ingesting the olive oil would drive up my numbers. This was going to be the moment of truth…… My cholesterol was 166 down three points from last year’s 169! Not bad at all. I have even dropped a few pounds.
Departures after breakfast unless you have booked to stay on an extra day or so.
(Note: This schedule is subject to alteration.)
Everyone takes home their special apron:
All participants also receive a copy of Robin’s cookbook–signed personally, of course!
Getting to Lautrec (in the Tarn) southwestern France
The nearest airports are Toulouse Blagnac and Carcassone (about 1 hour 20 minutes drive).
Toulouse is served by British Air, Air France, KLM, Alitalia and Easy Jet amongst others.
Toulouse Blagnac is an excellent airport as the city is home to France’s aerospace industry. http://www.toulouse.aeroport.fr/en
If you are traveling from north America, you will need to change planes in London, Paris, Barcelona or similar European hub city.
Carcassonne Airport (served by RyanAir [no frills] http://www.ryanair.com/en) is about 1h20 drive to Lautrec. Ryanair runs no frills flights (usually the least expensive alternative) to Carcassonne from: Brussels Charlerois, Cork, Dublin, East Midlands, Eindhoven, Glasgow, Prestwick, Liverpool, London Stansted and Porto.
Castres-Mazamet Airport also has a small airport with a limited service from Paris and other French cities. Airlinair is the main regional airline.
All the airports have rental car agencies on site–but if you require an automatic, it’s best to book well in advance.
The nearest train station is Vielmur-sur-Agout. From the station it is about 10 minutes to Lautrec. We will pick you up.
Private Ground transportation from the airport or train station to Lautrec can be arranged for an extra fee of about 60 euros (far less expensive than normal taxi service).
Handicapped access: Unfortunately the hotel venue is not suitable for anyone with mobility problems. There is a flight of stairs to the bedrooms and no elevators or lifts. There are also stairs to the demonstration kitchen.
I just want to say that Teri and I had a fantastic time there, and keep in touch with almost everyone in the class…. We really enjoyed touring the Tarn after the workshop, and loved the villages and countryside. We recently went to see “The Hundred Foot Journey”, and recognised St. Antonin-Noble-Val, where we spent a great afternoon and bought some local pottery.
I think the workshop is excellent value for money, and I believe I learned a lot from Robin. I cook almost every day, and I think we have changed our eating habits quite a bit.
1300 euros (2015 fee–2016 will be going up slightly to reflect price rises at the venue)
Currency exchange rates are constantly changing–but we use whatever is the rate on the day of payment.
What’s included: accommodation for 4 nights, continental breakfast, all lunches & dinners, wine, teas & coffees during the workshop (which finishes after lunch on Sunday)
All cooking tuition with Robin and excursions.
What is not included: Your travel costs to Lautrec.
A deposit of 25% secures your place on the workshop plus a completed registration form.
The balance is due two months before the workshop.
Should you need to cancel before full payment is due, the deposit will be returned if your place on the workshop is filled.
(In that case, a handling fee on 75 euros will be charged.)
The deposit is not refundable for cancellation less than two month from the workshop start dates
–but can be applied to future workshops (if any!).
Coming as a couple? Or coming with a friend and sharing a bedroom?
If the accompanying adult is NOT doing the cooking course, the only extra cost is for meals taken with the group (20 euros for lunches, 25 euros for dinners, wine and other beverages included).
If the partner/friend/spouse (sharing the room) is also doing the cooking classes and sharing a room, there is a reduction
on the overall cost for two.
To book a place, ask for a registration form.
Your place(s) are held on receipt of the form and
a deposit of 25% of the fee).