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Provence:fresh fruit and Veg

It is finally here, Spring has finally reached us! And surrounded by blooming flowers, buzzing bees and sunny days, we decided to offer you the chance to enter a give-away and win a wonderful cooking experience in Provence whilst Kathy from Food Lover’s Odyssey will offer you the chance to win one of our cooking classes! Super chance not to be missed!

Why in Provence, you might ask? But because this is where our dearest friend and amazing chef Kathy Ayer offers amazing cooking courses!

 We had the pleasure of cooking a variety of sweet Carnival desserts last February here in Mira, in between enjoying a lot of Cicchetti and wine stops and dressing up in fancy costumes and walking around Venice, having a great fun time, snapping lots of photos and acting like real tourists!

 And as we prepared Frittelle and Galani, Kathy told us about her wonderful cooking classes in Aix-en-Provence. Aix en Provence is the typical place in France where you can “enjoy a holiday” in all its aspects. It ‘s a small town in the heart of Provence, described by some as a kind of small Parisienne rive gauche. Aix en Provence is the ideal place in which to go and act as tourists (meaning “seeing things” and go shopping) without getting too much stress, running around all day. The city is surrounded by the typical rural landscape of Provence, with traditional houses and French-style gardens. City of art and historical capital of Provence, Aix-en-Provence, has an architectural heritage among the richest in the south of France. And there is no more beautiful epithet than “the cuisine of the sun” to define the cuisine of Aix en Provence and Provence in general. The dishes and typical recipes of this land are based on products that find in the sun the secret of their taste. Olive oil, rosemary, marjoram, thyme and other herbs are indeed a hallmark of the cuisine of this place. But do not worry: Aix en Provence is the ideal place for gourmets. In all the restaurants you can try delicious meat and fish dishes, accompanied by vegetables and strictly good wine. It is simple and tasty food very similar to the neighbouring cuisine of Italy. But it is not only Italy that influence the cuisine of Provence: in this French region you can find typical Spanish traits.

Cheese in Provence

Joining one of Kathy’s cooking classes you will be able to sample some amazing menus and take part in the ritual of going to the market first thing in the morning to collect all the fresh ingredients which then will be used during the class. During her classes she teaches typical French cooking, preparing dishes like Mille Feuille of Tomatoes, Mousselline of Chevre Frais and Herbs with a Basil Vinaigrette, Veal à la Provencale, Moelleux of Chocolate and Cherries with two sauces and much much more. You can view all the range of cooking classes on offer on her website Food Lover’s Odyssey. Kathy’s cooking groups are very small, maximum 8 people, so you will be able to have a real hands-on experience with a fantastic chef!

By entering our give-away you could have the chance to win 1 market tour and full-meal cooking lesson with Kathy Ayer, to be taken from April to October 2014. Simply place a comment telling us what you would like to cook with Kathy in Provence by 9am Monday 14th April 2014 and then we will randomly draw a number. The number which will be drawn will win a 1 market tour and full-meal cooking lesson with Kathy.

Selection of food


To win The Provence Market Tour & Full Meal Class (class details here): To win, leave a comment telling us what your ideal meal in Provence would be.

To win a One-Day Hands-On Cooking Class in Venice for one (class details here) – To win, visit Kathy’s blog post today announcing the giveaway and leave a comment on her post.

Simple: Leave two comments, one on each blog post, and get two chances to win. Make sure to leave your comments by Monday, April 14, 2014 by 9am Venice & Provence time (Midnight Pacific Standard Time) when the giveaway closes. I’ll pick a winner for the Food Lover’s Odyssey’s class and Kathy will pick a winner for our Venice cooking class. Winners will be chosen randomly using www.random.org and we’ll announce the winner in a post the next day.

NOTE: The contest is open to anyone worldwide!

So, what are you waiting for? Get in there and tell us what your favourite dish is and win a cooking class in Provence!

UPDATE: The giveaway is now closed. Thank you everyone for participating in this giveaway and in Food Lover’s Odyssey’s giveaway. And the winner is…… Steve McEnroe (that is comment #3)!  You can now make your way to Aix-en-Provence and join Kathy in her Provence Market Tour & Full Meal Class!  Bon appetit!

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  1. Marivic L April 7, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

    I can’t seem to choose just one dish–just the thought of cooking *anything* with Kathy in Aix will be fabulous. But just in case I really need to specify one dish, I would love to learn how to make a perfect cassoulet! Aix-en-Provence, here I come!

  2. Krista April 7, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

    What a marvelous giveaway! I got to sample Kathy’s cooking in Italy and it was divine. 🙂 I would love to try seafood and fish prepared in wonderful ways, and vegetables in Provencal style would make me very happy indeed. Sampling cheeses would be dreamy and for dessert, oh, anything chocolate or creamy or fruity would make my heart sing. 🙂

  3. Steve McEnroe April 7, 2014 at 9:27 pm #

    I would love to learn to make a cassoulet with goose or duck confit. My very first meal in Europe was an incredible duck confit at a wonderful restaurant in Toulouse.

  4. Victoria De Maio April 9, 2014 at 4:49 am #

    Why would I LOVE to win a cooking lesson in Provence with Kathy – so that I could cook and dine in Provence with Kathy! All I can say is OOOOO-LA-LA!!!

  5. Lois Reynolds Mead April 10, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

    Chevre drizzled with lavendar honey, assorted olives and saucissons. tomato gazpacho with mint, fish, Blanc de Blancs Cassis, dessert of lemon tart or strawberries

  6. cathy branciaroli April 11, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    Having just finished reading Provence 1970 I am still mesmerized by the cooking of this region. My ideal meal would be something from Richard Olney’s “Simple French Food” — olives and anchovies playing a key role. Thanks for offering this giveaway!

  7. John Helm April 13, 2014 at 8:15 am #

    How about Braised Beef with Barolo (Brasato Al Barolo), sounds good to me. Meatballs with Anchovies (Polpette Alle Acciughe) seems very Venetian but I’m not so sure about the combination.

  8. Carolyn Banks April 13, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

    I would love to learn to cook some authentic French dishes but. Would leave that up to Kathy and the Pros since I am definitely a novice. And to shop in the fresh food markets of Provence…Heaven!

  9. Sherry April 13, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

    What an opportunity! I would love to do a dish with lamb.

  10. Linda S. April 13, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

    I would love some lentil soup to start, then roasted leg of lamb with rosemary or braised lamb shoulder/neck bones and root vegetables. An almond apricot tart to finish. Simple but satisfying.

  11. Pris Ewing April 13, 2014 at 9:24 pm #

    Cooking in Provence with Kathy sounds like a dream! I would love to learn how to cook provencal dishes but would leave which dishes up to Kathy.

  12. Joanne Wells April 13, 2014 at 11:41 pm #

    Whatever is in season at the markets. I favor farm to table and seasonal cooking. I remember the great produce available at European markets that I had not seen in my farmers market.

  13. Joanne Wells April 13, 2014 at 11:46 pm #

    Whatever seasonal vegtables are available. Also any meat or seafood that is local or farm or sea to table.

  14. Kate Gerry April 14, 2014 at 12:43 am #

    I would love to learn to cook a bouillabaisse, with greens and something delicious with mushrooms. Some sort of chocolate deliciousness for dessert and finish off with wine & cheese. Kathy would know what is in season so I would be open to her suggestions. I eat milk products, eggs, fish and chicken and love seasonal fruits & veggies.

  15. Jenna April 14, 2014 at 5:27 am #

    My ideal meal in Provence would be a perfectly roasted chicken, gently roasted seasonal veggies, a baguette and a beautiful rose. I would finish with local cheeses and a dessert wine…Sauternes. Great giveaway!

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