Fancy yourself as a chef? Learn the techniques of French cusine in the kitchen with your own private chef. Château Siaurac is the venue with its 15 hectare gardens and stunning interiors packed full of antiques. It is still a family home and they are happy to open their doors and let the apprentis cooks in!
Jean-François Roberts has trained with some of France’s famous chefs (Bernard Oiseau, Alain Dutournier). As his right-hand team you learn from A to Z what it takes from the careful selecting of the products, their preparation, cooking, sauces, the final touches, the all important presentation – all with the clock ticking away…
Join him first-thing in the moring in the vibrant market in the medieval bastide town of Libourne to choose the seasonal products and then help him prepare them in the realtime scenario back in the kitchens.
We then went back to the 18th century chateau (and it modern professional cuisine) to get to work.
We prepared and cooked with Jean-François;
Courgette (Zuchini) Soup*
Farmhouse chicken with creamy risotto
…..but in the meantime other dishes were being prepared and we were able to absorb lots of techniques and crafty professional tips to make sure all was perfect at the right moment!
Of course after all the hard work we had to sample the fruits of our labours in the chateau’s dining room – with antique cutlery, porcelain from Jules Vieillard (Bordeaux’s most famous 19th century porcelain manufacturer) of course. The dishes were perfectly matched with the family’s top wines from Château Siaurac Lalande de Pomerol, their Pomerol (neighbour to Petrus) and their classified St Emilion Le Prieuré from the limestone plateau.
Jean-François’ Courgette Soup Recipe: Clean and cut several zucchini into 1-2 inch chunks. Place in a large pot of salted, boiling water and blanch. Then, put the chunks into a bowl of cold water to fix the color. Sweat maybe a cup of chopped shallot in butter. Add in chunks and then 2-3 cups chicken stock. Puree in Vitamix to a nice soup consistency. Serve topped with a spoonful of goat cheese cream (puree piedmont d’espelette, good fresh olive oil, black pepper and a large roll of goat cheese with a little whipped cream to lighten.) Serve warm.
For more information: www.siaurac.com
The Table de Siaurac (open daily for lunch) at Chateau Siaurac, 33500 Néac (near to St Emilion)