Kitchen at Camont is a French culinary retreat in Gascony, led by Kate Hill, teaching the art of charcuterie and butchery.

France was at the heart of a a recent gathering in Copenhagen called MAD4. I was delighted to see that the most innovative and forward looking young chefs, René Redzepi of Copenhagen’s NOMA and David Chang of NYC’s Momofuku among those leading the way, turning their attention to and honoring the classic French masters who have paved the way for today’s global contemporary cuisine. Alain Senderens, Olivier Roellinger and Pierre Koffmann-three of the founders of Nouvelle Cuisine- were present and generous with their experience and perspective. They in turn had taken their inspiration in the late 60’s and early 70’s from France’s regional farm-based cuisine and shifted to the use of only the freshest ingredients. This was the French cooking revolution of the 20th Century. Now 50 years later, international chefs seek to strengthen ties to this French cuisine in a new fresh 21st Century way.

Gascony nestles in the very southwest of France in the crook of the Garonne River Basin. The abundant rivers, fertile flood plains and temperate 4-season climate of this historic Duchy makes it a perfect place to grow food. Lots of food. In fact, the Lot-et-Garonne department boasts the most diverse agriculture in all of France. Teaching from the heart of this garden of France, I learned to shop from a wealth of local farmer’s markets and from the farmers themselves. French food culture conspires with us in the kitchen at Camont to teach a certain thoughtful approach, an understanding of truly seasonal produce- not just fruits and vegetables, but meat and cheese, too. Working with the people who literally ‘turn dirt into food’, understanding the seasons, discovering the anatomy of a healthy meat animal- be it rabbit, chicken, pig or cow, and learning how to choose a ripe vegetable or a perfect piece of fruit, will change the way you think as you cook. As I learned to cook, butcher and make charcuterie in Gascony, so I teach it- in Gascony.

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Camont is my historic farm site perched on the Canal de Garonne near Agen built in 1724. From this privileged site-discovering thoughtful producers, dedicated artisans, and an amazing diversity of product all over Gascony-I have created a new teaching space-the Charcuterie Kitchen at Camont-where we butcher, cook, salt, cure, and celebrate all things charcuterie working alongside farmstead butchers and inspiring cooks in a comfortable spacious setting.

Carved from the long stone barn at Camont, the new 600 square feet workshop space allows us to work on whole carcass and primals creating finished products in sufficient quantity for small production. A creative workshop as well as classroom, the Charcuterie Kitchen at Camont, draws on our own gardens, orchards, and poultry yard. Camont is a modern day creative retreat, far from the competitive world, where students are encouraged to develop new food products as well as master traditional French farmstead charcuterie.


kate & ham

Kate Hill, a published author and professional cook of 30 years, founded Camont as a cooking school and retreat in 1991 after moving to this fruitful spot in France from the US. Camont became a place to rethink ideas about food and cooking and Kate is a willingly mentor, coach and teacher. Here, we grow and buy seasonal produce from local farmers and make great Gascon food to share in the old stone kitchen.

Our programs have grown from Kate’s relationships with Gascony’s thriving food community – particularly its farmstead butchers, and now you, too, can work with them to learn how to break down a pig and cure your own charcuterie. This work has placed Kate at the forefront of the global nose-to-tail butchery movement organizing international workshops with French farmer/butcher Dominique Chapolard and founder of Grrls Meat Camp.

Kate teaches and consults with professionals like Michael Ruhlman for Conde Nast Traveler, the BBC’s French Odyssey series with chef Rick Stein, which was filmed in Camont’s wonderful kitchen and International restaurant groups. Kate’s work has also been featured in Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Dish, Appellation and Maison Sud Ouest magazines, as well as the New York Times, the LA Times, London Times and the Boston Globe. On line she write the Food Stories from Gascony here, as well as serve as a administrator to the very popular facebook group- the Salt Cured Pig. When not working virtually, Kate welcomes students to Camont with her giant farm dog Bacon, a trio of barn cats, a dozen chickens, a flockette of ducks – and whoever else happens to be stopping by.

Learning at Camont

"If you want to learn to surf, go to Hawaii. If you want to learn to make charcuterie, go to France."
— Renzo Garibaldi- OSSO, Peru

Courses at Camont

Immerse yourself in France! Discover the best raw materials, learn classic techniques & taste the delicious results while living & learning in the beautiful agricultural landscape called Gascony.

Butchery & Charcuterie at Camont- Four Week Intensive course

  • 4 weeks X 5 days a week= 180 hours of instruction & experience
  • 2500€ per week (includes 1000€ integrated HACCP certification)
  • February 22- March 18 2016 (Sold Out) new dates soon

Learn the skills of traditional French Farmstead Charcuterie working with Kate Hill in a brand new charcuterie workshop Kitchen at Camont. Together with her friends, the remarkable Chapolard family on their farm, Kate teaches the process of making charcuterie from growing the year old pigs to curing, smoking and cooking traditional French Farmstead Charcuterie for home, restaurant or production work.

French Farmstead Charcuterie- One Week Introductory Course

  • 1 week- 5 days instruction; approximately 30 hours
  • 2250 euros
  • June 21; special dates on request

One-week Introduction to French Kitchen Charcuterie at Camont Maybe you have a small farmstead like the Townsend family from Australia above, or are a working chef looking for a jumpstart into simple charcuterie, or just a lover of all things salty…

Online Courses

New online courses will be coming soon from our own video studio kitchen at Camont. Sign up for our newsletter and be the first to know.

Travelling Courses

Several times a year, we pack our knives and know how, jump a plane and bring a little of Gascony to you. Butchery & charcuterie workshops & cooking classes can be booked for schools, organizations, private groups or individuals.

Basquelandia Road Trip

  • 6 days
  • 1500 euros + expenses
  • Spring 2016

This Salt Circle Road Trip: Basquelandia for Spring 2016 is now open for booking- just 7 places total in the Big Van are available. I’ve been making these impromptu forays along the Basque country back roads between sea and mountain…

Insider’s Gascony: a taste of France’s richest food region

  • 7 days / 6 nights
  • 4950€ (double occupancy; single supplement 1000€)
  • May 29- June 4; September 11-17 2016

Gascony, known as the potager or “kitchen garden” of France, is nestled in the crook of the Garonne River Basin located in between Bordeaux and Toulouse in Southwest France. The abundant rivers and temperate four-season climate of this historic Duchy…

Food stories from Gascony

Food Stories from Gascony is curated by writer/cook Kate Hill to share the good food of Gascony as it is grown and made on the small farms and in the tiny villages of Southwest France.

Back to Cooking School- Butchery & Charcuterie

What happens at a cooking school in France that specializes in teaching Butchery & Charcuterie? If you’ve visited here before, followed my Instagram photos, or drooled over the Facebook photos, you’ll remember how hungry you’ll be by the end of…


Summer souvenirs of cool French cooking

  Summer Cooking Classes during a heatwave? ? Of course, if you are within the cooler stone walls of Camont’s natural air conditioned interior world. Even during la canicule of 2015, we must cook; I just change my attention to how I cook.…

Summer + Red = #Summerrosso

This is “Not Campari”. When my dear friend in Tuscany, Judy Witts Francini proclaimed “Red is the New Black” this summer, it started a hashtag war. Her Italian Campari; my Gascon rosé. Somehow, all of a sudden, I was seeing…

Rillettes- #1 Kitchen Charcuterie at Camont

Simple rillettes often get lost in the big charcuterie picture-that diverse family of patés, terrines, boiled hams, and other salt-cured meats. Really, it’s hard to make a pot of cooked meat and fat look sexy (although I think I did a…

French Apple Tarte

That classic Apple Tart for this week’s Cooking at Camont sessions. 

Rhubarb Strawberry Crumble for breakfast

The first rhubarb grown in my garden was cause for celebration this week. This is a new patch of ‘Frontyard Foraging Garden’ that was just started barely two years ago when Jill L. came for a gardening internship at Camont.  So…


Instagram Gallery

A thousand pictures are worth a million words. Take a look at Camont and Gascony as I see it— everyday, in my kitchen, at my table, and across the landscapes of France.


Get in touch

Questions? Feedback? Or just like to say hello? Feel free to send us a message anytime; we don’t bite and we’d love to hear from you! Or if you’d prefer, you can also reach us via telephone, visit us in person and naturally, find us on your favourite social media sites.

Tel: 33 5 53 47 56 29
Int: 05 53 47 56 29

47310 Sainte-Colombe-en-Bruilhois

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