A culinary adventure to …
Haute Savoie, France
July 6th – July 14th 2018
9 days, 8 nights.
Join us on an exciting food adventure in the beautiful mountainous region of Haute Savoie. With picturesque Lake Geneva (Lake Léman) and dramatic Alps rising from green pastures, this is the source of France’s fresh mountain waters including world famous Evian. Click here for full itinerary.
Haute Savoie is also one of France’s best regions for cheese. We will visit “La Tour” Fromagerie (cheesemakers) to watch and learn how they make Reblochon, Abondance, or La Tomme de Savoie, as well as meet their specialized herd of cows and taste cheese of course (including a fabulous cheese fondue made from their own cheeses)!
A stop at the boucherie/charcuterie will show us the traditional craft of making delicious sauccison sec (cured and dried sausages), jambon cru (similar to prosciutto), as well as a plethora of pâtés, terrines, and other meat delicacies.
Wine is an important part of everyday life and we will travel up the lake to the beautiful terraced vineyards of the Lavaux region in Switzerland. In this Unesco World Heritage Site the beautiful vineyards produce small batches of delicious wines of exceptional quality that you have probably never heard of because they are almost all consumed within Switzerland. The Chasselas grape produces a crisp, dry, easy drinking mineraly white wine. We will walk along the hiking paths through the terraces overlooking Lake Geneva as we sample these hard to find wines.
French bakers have been refining their craft over the centuries and we will watch as they explain their special flour mixes, long fermentation, and age-old techniques of mixing, shaping, and baking and how they bake bread in a modern world. We will join chocolatier Jerome Chaumontet of the celebrated Chaumotet & Co for a special cooking class with a focus on single origin chocolate and pastry.
The Alps are fantastic place to hike, with beautiful views, the ringing of cow bells as they graze the lush pastures, and perhaps even a chance to see a chamois or Ibex. We will have several hikes that are somewhat strenuous but relatively short and allow us amazing views of Lake Léman (Lake Geneva) and even Mont Blanc. We will also hike into the summer pastures, high in the Alps where herders traditionally brought their herds and flocks up to graze on the rich; succulent grasses and wildflowers and make cheese.
We will also tour a French market with a Chef and then participate in a cooking class to create and enjoy a 4 course lunch. There is also a visit to a duck Foie Gras producer (optional), and we will experience French culture by sipping a strong coffee in a café while talking and people watching.
All tours will be followed by tastings. Accommodations include local hotels, and “Chambres d’hôtes” (Similar to bed and breakfasts). Meals will be eaten in hosted French homes, at the Chambres d’hôtes, as well as several restaurant outings, and mountain picnics.
Hike through green mountain pastures while coy French Abondance cows look on. Eat a rustic lunch in a traditional restaurant d’ouvrier, a humble working persons restaurant serving a fantastic 4 course meal. Dine at a gourmet restaurant and enjoy sophisticated French cuisine. Visit a beautiful medieval village situated on the shores of Lake Léman. Sip cold spring waters from the famous Evian fountains. Be invited into a French farmhouse for a home-cooked meal and charming and exciting company. Join French farmers over a glass of wine and taste the fruits and vegetables of their labor.
This tour is a “Culinary Adventure” and retains some of the attributes of an “adventure.” There is some flexibility in the schedule to allow for spontaneous events, such as being invited for dinner at someone’s high mountain chalet, taking a boat ride on Lake Léman, an early morning baking session, or a starlit hike. The schedule is generally rigorous with several early (7am wakeup) mornings and late nights (meals until midnight) and usually some sort of physical activity. However, there is time to rest and relax and the tour can be tailored to the groups needs and desires. Each tour is unique.
For more information and to reserve a spot please email firstname.lastname@example.org