Invitation to 1st Ever Grrls’ Meat Camp… in France.

May 19, 2011

Meet Marie-Helene – pig farmer & artisan butcher.  She has a story to tell you. And so does Christiane, Yvette, Jehanne, Marthe, Marjorie and Kate.

I invite you to join me in a week of exploration—of the farms, markets, butchers shops & kitchens of Gascony in SW France—from a Grrl-Butcher perspective. When Chef/Instructor Sarah Wong of Seattle (K-@-C alumni) wrote- “Could you set up an inter-cooperative workshop where each participant could share their strengths, and we could learn from each other?” I knew that was exactly what we needed do.

Come. Let’s work together, in a spirit of cooperation and collaboration, to be inspired and instructed by the generous spirited Gascon women farmers and butchers, my friends and neighbors, and each other- Grrlfriends in Meat.

This is not a tour. This is a wonderful excuse to share and celebrate; to share what I have been doing here in Gascony for 20 years with my friends in meat: the Chapolard family, the 5 Butchers of Nerac, and listen to their stories like Marie-Helene.

Think Camp. Think Grrls Camp. Think Grrls’ Meat Camp. Only this time we’re the ones running the show…

  • Who are the women in the butcher’s aprons in France?
  • Who grows the beef, pig and poultry that end up on our plates?
  • Who butchers it, cooks it, and serves it to the table?
  • Why do a Grrl’s only Meat Camp?


Nuts & Bolts:


DATES: Arrive Sunday September 18; Depart Saturday morning September 24 2011. Fly into Paris, Bordeaux or Toulouse then train to Agen. Camont is just 15 minutes away.

COSTS: This is a Kitchen-at-Camont sponsored event. That means at cost.

SLEEP- I’ve got places for about 8 grrls to camp out at Camont- the Gypsy Caravans (sleeps 3), the Summerhouse (sleeps  1-2), and the Julia Hoyt (sleeps 3) for free. After that, there is a sweet inexpensive hotel nearby (about 50€ a night). First come, first accommodated. or bring a tent.

EAT- I suggest a ‘cash kitty’ for food and drink (approx. 25€ per day- breakfast & lunch). Dinners or lunches out, pique-nique and aperitifs will be Dutch Treat.

GET UP & GO- I have a rattle trap car that can tote 4 around; we’ll pitch in for other rental cars as needed. with everyone sharing the costs. Car rental and gas will cost about 500€ a week per car split 4 ways.

WHAT ELSE?- We’re sharing. Bring your best ideas, plans, dreams and recipes. We’ll cook at Camont, go to dinner and lunch as we like, and call out for foie gras pizza as needed! Local wine and house made charcuterie is all we need. We’ll butcher and bake, barbeque and bon fire while discovering how the traditional artisan butcher and French farmers have maintained a viable farm/butcher/charcuterie culture for over a thousand years. You’ll meet French women who have held the farms and agriculture of the Lot-et-Garonne department together throughout the last century… and see how they are doing it now.

Bring your knives and cameras, ideas and plans. Let’s stomp around the farms, cut up some meat, cook, eat together and share what we know and learn from the French pros. And let’s do it as… that’s right-Grrrrrrls.

Join a like-minded gang of women- butchers, cooks, teachers and farmers for six days in Southwest France in Kate Hill’s meat-centric Gascony.  Please, come join us as we help define a new standard for women in the meat industry! Your hosts…

Christiane Chapolard & Kate Hill

First Ever Grrls’ Meat Camp

September 18-24 2011

reply in comments with contact info; first come first accepted.

Sorry guys…





{ 2 trackbacks }

Cassoulet- bean, bean, duck | Camont: Kate Hill's Gascon Kitchen
October 7, 2011 at 8:01 am
Grrls Meat Camp – Chicago Rendezvous October 25-29 2012. | Camont: Kate Hill's Gascon Kitchen
September 24, 2012 at 10:42 pm

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Geraldine Campbell May 19, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Hi –
Interested in coming to the camp — and writing about it!
Let me know if there’s space for an at-home cook and food writer!
Geraldine Campbell

Camas Davis May 19, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Count me in! You know how to find me.

Annie Mahle May 19, 2011 at 4:49 pm

I’m so sad we’ll still be sailing. This looks like so much FUN!

Cathy May 19, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Sign me up! I am coming for sure and can’t wait! I’ll bring charcutepalooza with me and carry back everything I learn.

Deborah Starzynski May 19, 2011 at 5:10 pm

What a great idea Kate. Is there room for a caterer – that plays with food? I don’t have charcuterie experience – willing to explore and experiment!

Brian Silvey May 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm

You Grrls are going to have such a great time. Am I bitter? Just a bit and envious.


Chez Loulou May 19, 2011 at 5:24 pm

I so wish I could join you! Darn!
What a fabulous idea and what an amazing week you’ll have.

Kate Hill May 19, 2011 at 5:27 pm

what you are not here? come for a couple days at least!

Kate Hill May 19, 2011 at 5:28 pm

We’ll keep you posted big guy, just have a towel to wipe up the drool.

Kate Hill May 19, 2011 at 5:29 pm

sure Deb, that’s the point. Send me an email to confirm. love to see you again!

Kate Hill May 19, 2011 at 5:29 pm

:( come this winter???

Kate Hill May 19, 2011 at 5:30 pm

You’re in Madame PMC!

Kate Hill May 19, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Send me an email G- let’s get a story out there.

Rachel May 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm

I’m interested, Kate! Sounds like a delicious week.

Sharon Miro May 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Darn!! I will be headign to Italy at that time! Next year for sure!! Jealous.

Maggie May 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Oh I so want to come!

Sue Ceravolo May 19, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Wish I could come. Have a Southern California trip planned at the same time. Mario and I will come for a visit next April when we’ll be in Europe for a month celebrating our 25th Anniversary. The class sounds amazing.

Joanna Cary May 19, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Hi Kate,
I’m so sorry that I wasn’t able to make either of your London dates – 2 big family weekends (my daughter’s 21st can’t be missed!). But, wonderfully, I can make your Grrls week, and would really like to come. We are currently fattening two piglets, and they will be about ready for the knife early October – a first for us, I’m busy practising on meat from the butcher, but would really love to come together with some like-minded women for a spot of butchery, and sharing all kinds of kitchen and garden experience. Fabulous


Natashia May 19, 2011 at 8:27 pm

I live in Basel & would LOVE to attend! I hate a friend here who may be interested, as well as two from the States. Can we get in?

Natashia May 19, 2011 at 8:28 pm

eeerrr… actually, I really like my friend. Please switch “hate” with “have”. Oy!

barb ostmann May 19, 2011 at 11:35 pm

Hi Kate! Sign me up! I already responded via FB, but just reread this and saw that I was supposed to respond here. Hope I’m not too late for a bed — of any sort! Already working on lining up assignments. This will be a super story! See you in Sept! barb

Kacia Stuart May 20, 2011 at 5:29 am

Hey Kate! How do I get included? Would love to be back at Camont again!
Looking forward to seeing you!

Chez Us May 20, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Kate, this sounds amazing. What a fun time to be had in Gascony!!

Kacia Stuart May 22, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Okay, thought I could make it, but I just can’t seem to make it happen this time! I will be thinking of all you having fun! Hope to see you the next time!

Melora Koepke May 27, 2011 at 6:54 am

Got your mail today–I wouldn’t miss it for the world. So many ideas for ways to write this, too…count me in!

Chez Loulou May 31, 2011 at 10:16 pm

I think I can make it for at least 2 days/1 night. Is there still space available? :)

Kelly June 7, 2011 at 10:03 am

This sounds absolutely fantastic!

Anthia Galanis June 8, 2011 at 2:50 am

Hi there – Anthia from Melbourne, Australia here – please sign me up for this workshop if there is still room!

Molly Kearns June 16, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Hey Kate,
My name is Molly and I am very interested in attending this camp! I’ve been a butcher for 8 years. I am currently the head butcher at a shop in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood and feel as though my training has grown a bit stagnant. I’m not learning much as there isn’t anyone there who knows more than me. I am looking to expand my knowledge of this passion of mine. I hope to learn about more traditional methods of butchering. This sounds like a fantastic way to accomplish this. I am also a photographer and a writer, so if those skills are required for anything you may need, feel free to use them.

I look forward to hearing from you soon! I hope I’m not too late…

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