Learning the Art of French Cooking in Rennes, France

Jul 05, 2018    /    get off the beaten track, stories & photos

For the past couple years, every time I’m in a new place, I do my best to find a local cooking class. I’ve rolled pasta with Italian mamas and stuffed burek in Bosnia and Herzegovina. And now, in one of the world’s most beloved foodie havens, I’ve learned the art of homemade mayonnaise, French tarts, and galettes.

Run by a food writer and her chef husband, this leisurely cooking class made its way from our hosts’ charming French home where croissants and coffee greeted us, to the massive local fresh market picking out thyme and strawberries, back to the house where we beat egg yolks and oil into mayonnaise, mixed dough for tarts, and then sat down for a long, luscious lunch of lobster, crab, handmade mayo with herbs and crab eggs, cheese, pasta with clams, and make-your-own strawberry rhubarb tarts.

It was, in short, everything I love about taking cooking classes from people who know and love their local cuisine. Tons of incredible food. Lessons that gave me a new understanding of local cuisine. And an atmosphere that felt like taking cooking classes from a friend – learning, yes, but also chatting, laughing at the antics of their toddler, and just relaxing into the afternoon with good food and good wine.


making cakes

breakfast table

spread making

Chad cooking crabs

crab legs

Chad set table



To book a cooking class with Virginie, visit Airbnb. If you’re signing up for the first time, please use this link. You and I both get a credit if you do!

All photos taken with my Sony a6000.

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  • Lynne Nieman
    July 5, 2018

    Your experiences with cooking classes are inspiring. So I think I’ll have to do this on my next trip to Italy. I have yet to take a cooking class when I travel but I love this idea. Thanks Gigi!

    • gigigriffis
      July 5, 2018

      It’s something I wish I’d started doing many years ago. Such a great way to experience a place.

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