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On vacation, learn to cook locally

Epicureans know that gastronomy contributes to the success of a trip. But beyond the tasting at the table, why not put your hand to the wheel? In Bali, Saint-Tropez and Puglia, three hotels offer high quality cooking classes.

In Bali, at the Amankila

You have to get up at dawn to take part in the cooking classes at the Amankila… Start at the nearby market. Coming early in the morning, you can enjoy a guided tour in the best conditions and choose the freshest vegetables, the most beautiful spices. Back at the hotel, head to the kitchen to prepare a full meal, a collection of traditional recipes that the Balinese pass down from generation to generation.
The hotel: in the east of Bali, the most authentic part of the Indonesian island, Amankila has 33 suites on stilts, a restaurant and a bar with a sea view, a Beach Club on the beach and a spa. Designed by architect Ed Tuttle, it is known for its iconic jade-colored pool on three levels, modeled after rice terraces.

In Saint-Tropez, at the Château de la Messardière

Made famous by Brigitte Bardot and the film And God Created Woman, the tarte tropézienne remains the iconic pastry of the Var village since its creation in 1955. A round brioche cut in half, filled with pastry cream and butter cream, a few grains of sugar on top: apparently simple, the recipe is actually quite subtle. During its small group classes, the Château de la Messardière reveals the secrets of a successful tart.
The hotel: now part of Stéphane Courbit’s Airelles collection, a member of Leading Hotels of The World, this 103-room palace surrounded by a green park has been redecorated by Christophe Tollemer. It has just inaugurated new suites and a restaurant. A place of timeless charm, with a breathtaking view of the gulf.

In Puglia, the Masseria Torre Maizza

Orecchiete, whose shape evokes small ears (hence the name in Italian), are the typical pasta of the Puglia region, in the heel of the boot. Making them by hand and combining them with the wonderful local products, especially broccoli-raspberry (cime di rapa), is an art that can be learned in classes led by the chef at Masseria Torre Maizza.
The hotel: owned by the Rocco Forte Hotels group and located between Bari and Brindisi, this 16th century farmhouse recently converted into a luxury hotel with 28 rooms and 12 suites showcases the cultural riches of Puglia with ceramics workshops, concerts by local musicians… and cooking classes.

Céline Baussay