French Pastry Making Week

French Pastry Class in California

Spend four days in Aix-en-Provence learning the secrets of the French Pastry chef. During this French pastry-makng “camp,” Chef Kathy, a professionally French-trained chef, will teach you the techniques, tips and the skills you need to create classic and famous French pastries, like the St. Honore, Charlotte, Fraisier, Macarons, L’Opera, Eclairs, and more. From a private flat in the historic center of Aix-en-Provence, you’ll learn all about the basic doughs and creams that the French pastry chef uses to create world-renowned pastries.

The week includes 4 full days of pastry classes, a guided tour of the Aix-en-Provence outdoor market along with two market-based lunches, guided visits to cheese and pastry shops in Aix-en-Provence, a group dinner at favorite restaurant in Aix-en-Provence, and a guided walk through Aix-en-Provence.

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DATES AND PRICING

2023 Private-Group Vacation Pricing:

In 2023, this vacation is currently open only to private-groups. You pick your desired date, based upon availability.  Private-group pricing for this French pastry course is listed below.

We also have private, all-inclusive French pastry courses that include accommodations in Aix-en-Provence. Please contact us for more details.

For  a group of 2 or 3 people:  $2,600 per person

For groups of 4 – 7 people:  $2,000 per person

For groups of 8 or more, please contact us

BOOKING AND PAYMENT:

  • To secure your spot on this trip, a non-refundable, transferable deposit of $750 per person is required.
  • The remaining balance is due 90 days prior to vacation start date.
  • You can make payments by credit card, bank transfer, or check.

MAKE THIS A PRIVATE GROUP VACATION:

You can easily make this a private group vacation for a friends’ getaway or family event for any dates throughout the year.  For more information, complete the vacation information request form with dates you’d like to book or questions about the course.

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THIS IS INCLUDED IN YOUR PASTRY-MAKING WEEK:

  • FOUR full-day French pastry-making classes ~ All are hands-on in a small group setting
  • Three meals – a group dinner and two picnic-style market-based lunches, wine is included in meals
  • Guided visit to the outdoor market in Aix-en-Provence
  • Pastry shop visit and tasting
  • Cheese shop visit and tasting
  • French Pastry recipe booklet and apron

**Airfare, accommodations, transportation to/from Aix-en-Provence, travel insurance, meals not mentioned above, and expenses of a personal nature (souvenirs and other personal items) are not included in the culinary vacation package price.

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THE PASTRY-MAKING CLASSES
This is a hands-on cooking vacation limited to just 6 people. Each guest will receive plenty of one-on-one learning time. The first two days are broken into morning and afternoon workshops focusing on the fundamental building blocks of French pastry to create the classic pastries you see in French pastry shop windows:  tarts, eclairs and other choux pastries. On the second day, the group will make a Saint Honore Cake.

The third day you’ll take a morning tour of the big outdoor market day in Aix-en-Provence and have an apero lunch together with ingredients purchased at the market. In the afternoon, you’ll make macarons.

The final day of class, you’ll move on to more advanced classic French pastries, the Fraisier and Opera cakes.

These classes are designed for amateurs and pastry enthusiasts of all cooking and pastry making levels. You do not need to have any prior knowledge or training to be successful.

 

YOU WILL LEARN HOW TO MAKE ALL OF THE FOLLOWING:
The French Creams and Fillings ~
Pastry Cream (Creme Patissier), Creme Mousseline, Almond Cream, Frangipane, French Buttercream, Creme Citron (lemon curd), Chocolate Ganache, Salted Butter Caramel, Hard Caramel

The French Doughs ~
Pate Sable (shortbread crust), Pate a Choux (eclair dough), Macaron dough, Genoise (sponge cake), Biscuit Jaconde

The Classic French Pastries ~
Eclairs, Religueses, Seasonal Fruit Tarts, Tart au Chocolat, Tart au citron, Macarons, St. Honore Cake, Fraisier cake, and the Opera Cake

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Arrival day to Aix-en-Provence and Optional Welcome Tour and Apero

We ask that you arrive into Aix-en-Provence the day before your French pastry course starts. For those interested, Kathy will meet you in the afternoon to give you a welcome walking tour of Aix-en-Provence along with a welcome apero (wine, cocktails and nibbles) at the cooking class location.

Day 1: – Focus on French doughs and creams  for French Tarts

Morning class: Guests will make pate sable, pastry cream, almond cream, lemon curd, salted butter caramel and chocolate ganache; and bake and assemble some of the tarts

Lunch break – We’ll break for about 1.5 hours for you to enjoy a picnic-style lunch at the cooking class location.

Afternoon class: Guests will  finish assembling and decorating the tarts and enjoy them for dessert after our picnic-style lunch.

Day 2 – Focus on Pate a Choux, Pastry Cream and Caramel

Morning class: Guests will make pate a choux dough and pastry cream in 4 flavors, then use it to make different types of pate a choux pastries: chouquettes, eclairs, religeuse, Paris Brest and St. Honore

Afternoon break – We’ll break for 2 hours for you to enjoy lunch and Aix-en-Provence on your own.

Afternoon class: Guests will finish assembling their pate a choux pastries and together we’ll create a St. Honore pastry and decorate it with a hard caramel décor.

Day 3 – Morning Market Tour in Aix-en-Provence and Lunch together; Afternoon: Focus on Macarons

It’s Grande Marche’ day (big market day) in Aix-en-Provence, and you’ll spend the morning on a guided walk through the market with Chef Kathy. Learn all about the markets of Provence, what’s in season and how to shop any Provencal market. During our walk we’ll pick up fresh produce and other typical Provencal ingredients to create our picnic lunch from the market. After your formal tour, you will have the rest of the morning to shop the market on your own or relax at a café. We’ll meet back up at the cooking class location for a picnic lunch with items purchased at the market.

Afternoon class: Guests will make macarons and learn all the secrets to making perfect macarons. Fill them with an assortment of classic fillings that we’ll have made together in earlier classes.

Day 4 – Focus on the classic entremets: Le Fraisier and L’Opera

Morning Class: Guests will make a genoise cake and creme mousseline, then use these components to assemble their Fraisier.

Afternoon break – We’ll break for 2 hours for you to enjoy lunch and Aix-en-Provence on your own.

Afternoon class: Guests will create a biscuit jaconde, coffee buttercream, coffee imbibing syrup, and chocolate ganache, and use all these components  to assemble and decorate the classic French Opera “cake.”

Afternoon break – We’ll break for 1 hour for you to enjoy lunch on your own.

In the evening, we’ll meet back together in the historic center of Aix for a farewell dinner together.

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**Sequence of classes and activities may vary. The final itinerary will be given to each guest on the first day of the vacation. Whenever there are local festivals or events happening during a tour, we will try to include them with adjustments to the itinerary to enhance your vacation experience.


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