I was very fortunate to be able to spend a wonderful week at Le Calabash earlier this month, booked through the International Kitchen. I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in learning new cooking skills in a very relaxed and enjoyable environment. The food I ate during the week was absolutely delicious.
Sidney and Alison Bond must be among the most friendly people I have met. They went out of their way to ensure that we all enjoyed ourselves and the week went smoothly. They both have many years of experience in the industry and are so keen to share as much knowledge and skills with all their guests. They adopt the lessons depending on the skills of the group, so participants need not be concerned with any prerequisite knowledge. Our group wad a mix of both singles and couples and the week suits both.
I have learned so much from the Bonds, thankfully I took my camera and a notebook to write as much down as possible. The food we tasted and prepared was a good mix of French food but also food from other cultures which ensured that we all left with so many new ideas and recipes.
But what I enjoyed most of all in the week was that Sidney and Alison focused on developing our skills and techniques, not just giving us recipes. They encouraged us to think outside the square and taught us how to use our new techniques to adapt recipes and ideas for our own needs. There were many opportunities to put our skills into practice. Since I have been home I have been busy making quite a few dishes and the quality of what I am able to cook has significantly improved.
They also showed us what tools and implements to use, and where to buy equipment and ingredients online. I ordered quite a few items online while I was still away so it was ready for me when I got home.
The week was a good balance between lessons, practical experience but also some sightseeing - we visited Chateau Chenonceau, visited a local farmers market, went to a goats cheese farm and visited a winery.
Overall I cannot rate the week highly enough and I would have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone with an interest in preparing and eating good food, in a fun and thoroughly enjoyable environment. I can't wait to be able to go back again myself one day!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.