Food the way it should be
Food should always be a pleasure and never a chore. Since the 1950s Western culture has neglected to train our taste buds with increasingly easy access to processed food. Our food and wine classes are designed to help you reawaken your taste buds and to discover a new sensory perception of food and drink. We want you to go away with a new appreciation for what real food is. Tasting will become a conscious process that not only serves to fill your belly, but brings you pleasure and enjoyment above anything that processed food can supply.
Our tasting sessions make use of the latest scientific research, but primarily encourage you to take an intuitive approach to food and wine tasting. You will become aware of why you like or dislike certain textures, aromas and tastes in food and wine with hands-on workshops to help unlock the complexity and individuality of taste in general.
We focus entirely on food and wine from the surrounding region. Chartres is located in the Beauce – the 'bread basket' of France. Bakeries use local flour and compete for not only the best baguette, but the best bread in general, giving rise to a plethora of types of bread you won't find elsewhere in France, or indeed, the world. Other crops grown in the vast, flat fields of the Beauce include sugar beets and root vegetables – many not found elsewhere. Meat dishes are based around pork, rabbit and wild and domesticated fowl, all of which live in perfect harmony alongside the wheat fields. We work with local farmers and artisanal cheesemakers to source the highest quality local produce and serve authentic heritage recipes that honour the traditions and history of the region. A highlight of our courses is always a dégustation meal prepared for us by the chefs at Restaurant Saint-Hilaire. With admirable dedication to supporting local food suppliers, Saint-Hilaire source local ingredients and artisanal products especially for our tasting weekends.
Loire Valley Wine
Wine from the picturesque Loire Valley is considered local in Chartres, as grape vines do not thrive in the flat landscape of the Beauce. Wine has been made in the Loire since Roman times and today the region is well-known for its zesty Sauvignon Blanc. However, this belies the diversity of a region that produces the full spectrum of white, red and rosé wines; sparkling wines in the style of champagne; and what were once the most famous sweet dessert wines in the land.
Through our tutored wine tastings you will be introduced to this diverse region, while learning how to taste wine as a professional, what is it that makes a 'good' wine, and how the flavours and structure of wine pair well with food.