June Bridals latest cocktail collections online

Online, it looked like the most serious cooking class in the region. But a French cooking class by an English chef in Dordogne, in what is considered as one of the bellies of France, was rather doubtful. It turned out to be one of my best lessons with an Englishman in love with France. Meet Ian, my teacher for a one day Perigord Regional Cookery Course at La Chevrefeuille in St. Cyprien. He is funny entertaining, cheerful but most of all, he is passionate, knowledgeable and generous. After a stint in Brazil, he and his wife Sarah decided to settle down in Dordogne. It took 45 house visits before finding a run down bed and breakfast and turning it into a homey yet chic holiday address. They are actually living what most people dream of but candidly admit that it was no easy task. When they opened 13 years ago, they didn't even speak a word of French. Ian, who had always worked with food, has come to the conclusion that what he really enjoys the most is teaching. He wears a big smile and twinkle in his eyes, a strange cocktail of Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver. His secret, shared by most chefs, is to have good ingredients. And that's where the lessons started, at the Tuesday market of Le Bugue where Ian explained the mysteries of mushrooms, the maturities of goat cheese, the varieties of strawberries, the struggles of small producers, and the 101 uses of every part and scrap of a duck. With us were two lady Americans, new retirees, and one American man who wanted to reconvert himself from being a banker to a bed and breakfast host - all of them having a European holiday to get some reprieve from a president they were unanimously ashamed of. There was non-stop "oh wow" and "Oh my goodness" from the US contingent as each new ingredient came up such as Perigord walnut oil and Madagascar vanilla beans. But Lynn was my favourite. She is 75 and came from Tasmania. We could have learned a lot from her, too. Robust and pretty, she ran a berry farm, produced preserves, set up several food markets, and encouraged local Tassy producers to talk about what they do. She was so excited about the course, volunteered with glee for each chore but wondered how my work station was spic and span while hers was in a constant mess with chocolate drippings everywhere but we laughed and ate with gusto what we put together: goat cheese in puff pastry with a honey mustard dressing and the crispy skin duck confit with a chestnut and mushroom sauce. There was no place for dessert but we couldn't refuse the perfectly shaped lava cake with a strawberry coulis and a super easy to make banana ice cream that unfortunately, I couldn't take home that very hot day. June Bridals latest cocktail collections online

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