Culinary Adventures

Like planning a perfect meal, Kate Hill organizes her Culinary Adventures from charming introductions to in-depth explorations to sweet endings. Kate opens the doors to her favorite people, places, and food for very small groups of 6-8 friends—old and new. More interested in eating than cooking? How about we throw in some shopping, museums, history, and a glass of local wine? Then these are the weeks for you. Discover Gascony in Southwest France and all its riches from foie gras to armagnac, Roman mosaics to playing boules. Or join Kate on a gastronomic road trip through the Basque Countries of France and Spain or head for the very South of Spain—Seville and Andalucía. Each week is a self-contained adventure that weaves delicious food, art, history, and stories of the living treasures of local food producers. Want a private guide? Some trip planning? Just ask Kate. These are the special places she travels to on her own days off in Europe and is delighted to share with you. Sign up for new offerings and special trips in 2019 here. 

 

Insider's Gascony

IMG_0680.JPG

 

Insider's Gascony: Nerac, France

Insider’s Gascony is one of a kind, behind-the-scenes collaborative celebration of food and wine with a team of local bon vivants who love this part of France known as much as Kate does. Come to Gascony- eat, cook, celebrate, explore, shop, laugh!

Kate Hill has been teaching about and cooking this good food grown in Southwest France at Camont, her French farmhouse kitchen, since 1991. In her first book, ”A Culinary Journey in Gascony”, Kate explored the village markets and small farm producers who inspire the best chefs of France. Over the years, this collaboration expanded between Kitchen-at-Camont and the Chateau de Mazelières to help celebrate the Gascon art de vivre-both rustic and refined. Stay in this charming country Chateau while discovering the relaxed French life with new friends.

Gascony is nestled in the crook of the Garonne River between Bordeaux and Toulouse. A beautiful and most diverse agricultural area of France, Gascon cuisine reflects the gastronomic riches: foie gras to fine wines, farmstead charcuterie, armagnac, and lavish farmers’ markets sporting rainbows of fruit and vegetables. Join us and our good Gascon friends on an edible journey behind the Spring and Fall seasonal scenes of Gascony:

  • Stay in capacious sleeping chambers, with attached salons and kitchens in the beautiful 17th-century Chateau de Mazelières, makers of fine Côtes de Buzet wines, and discover a relaxed chateau life hosted by bon vivant Philippe Bon.

  • Roll up your sleeves in the warmth of Kate’s 18th century farmhouse Kitchen at Camont as we cook rustic French country dishes like cassoulet, poule-au-pot, and confit de canard at Camont. Dine in the garden, play a game of petanque, walk along the canal at Kate's culinary retreat.

  • Discover the secrets of French wine beyond Bordeaux and how to serve it the French way with delicious aperitifs. Côte de Buzet, Côte de Gascogne, Madiran, Cahors.

  • Roll through Armagnac Country sipping and warming up on one of France's most cherished eaux-de-vie with the people who distill it. Learn the secrets of choosing France's lesser known eau-de-vies.

  • Lunch and dine out at charming village bistros, riverside pique-niques, and Michelin-starred restaurants.

  • Enjoy free time to stroll the markets and small shops of Agen, Nerac, and Lectoure- three charming towns.

  • Visit a family duck farm to learn what it takes to produce some of Gascony's famous charcuterie- confit de canard, paté and foie gras, of course!

  • Create your own sweet memories of life in the French Slow Lane. Kate and her team will help you have a memorable week in Gascony.

New Dates: 2019- May 14-19, June 18-23 (sold out), Oct 1-6

New Rates: 4250€ per person double occupancy; single supplement 500€

Includes: 6 days/5 nights accommodation in double bedroom with private bathroom; all meals with the exception of one lunch; wine included with most meals; local transportation from Agen train station or airport; all excursions and entrance fees. Airfare and other transportation not included.
 

Insider's  Andalucía

IA BANNER-1.jpg

 An Insider's RoadTrip: Andalucía

Special Food & Travel Photography Edition with Tim Clinch

May 27-June 2, 2019

Meet Tim Clinch and Kate Hill for a colorful jaunt around Andalucía and all the charms and secrets of the South of the South of Spain. We meet in Seville but quickly take off for the smaller roads, less travelled, and the personal road map that Tim, once a long time resident of Spain, and Kate have drawn- from the Ham pastures of Jabugo and the charming Sierra hideaway of Finca Buenvino, to the Sherry Triangle bodegas and bars, to coastal pleasures of Cadiz. Tim having just completed work on a new book project in Jerez opens the doors to some wonderful cellars as well as sharing his iPhoneography tips and Photography Workshop knowledge. Eat, Shoot, and Cook the wonderful foods of Andalucía and Southern Spain.

  • The Very Best Jamon and Sherry bodegas

  • In and out of bars and cafés like locals

  • Through orange blossom-scented landscapes dotted with haciendas

  • Cook in a hill-top hideaway tucked into the Sierras on the edge of the dense oak dehesa where Iberico pigs browse and get fat

  • Take a private tour of Cinco Jotas- 5J's Iberico hams

  • Explore the golden-hued streets of Jerez and its market.

  • Taste a secret three star Michelin restaurant—Ssh, private!

  • Discover The sunny sea coast port of Cadiz and it's amazing fish market?

Interested in knowing more? Write us and take a look of some of Tim Clinch Photography here.

2019 Dates are May 27- June 2, 7 days and 6 nights; Small group maximum 8; 

2019 Rates are 4975€ per person double occupancy (5395€ per person single occupancy) includes: all local transportation from the meeting point; all accommodations, all meals including 3-star Michelin restaurant; cooking classes and tours, and private guides.

 

Insider’s Catalunya

IMG_3526.JPG

L’Escala . Cadaqués . Portlligat . Girona . Olot

A Catalan RoadTrip

September 9-15 2019

After years of dipping my toes in and out of the clear Blue Mediterranean Sea, I thought it time to share my love of this very Northeastern part of the Iberian peninsula aka Catalunya, Spain. Come with me on a easy going week of lovely small hotels perched on the sea, a sea that warm enough to swim in on these late Summer days. the crowds of gone, but the holiday feeling remains in L’Escala, that anchors the southern crook of the Bay of Rosas. Named after the Island of Rhodes, it’s easy to see why the Phoenicians, Greeks and then the Romans settled into this fertile delta now known as the Empordá or the Emporium.

Today, the long history of these ancient port towns are still apparent. If you look slowly and let the time seep into your bones. Catalan cooking remains a highlight of my favorite foods- direct, unvarnished, strictly traditional and, of course, delicious! Sweet red prawns from Rosas called Carabineros and tender calamari are two of my favorites. Cooked with locally grown rice over an open flame, and served with Garnatxa wine, we begin to understand how life revolves around eating with family. I have cultivated friends and family here over these decades of wandering the little backroads, looking for the perfect anchovy, tasting small sips of fresh and fruity Arbequina olive oil, and eating Pa amb Tomaquet (bread with tomato) at every meal.

Join me at some of my favorite places as I shared with Saveur Magazine’s Kat Craddock and Matt Taylor-Gross. You can see one of our videos here!

3 nights just outside of L’Escala at the Hostal Empuries for it’s fabulous bar and terrace and beach; discover the Empuries archaeological site; day trips to La Bisbal, Vichy Catalan, and Figueres market.

1 night inland near medieval Olot at the amazing Les Cols pavilions & restaurant under Chef Fina Puigdevall Nogareda.

2 nights back at the sea in magical Cadaqués where friends fish and cook for us as we discover the world of Salvador Dali and his crazy house at Portlligat.

Some highlights of this Catalan Roadtrip:

  • Savor late summer along the blue Mediterranean Sea/

  • Exploring the Ruins of Empuries under the pine scented sea breeze

  • Market shopping for the best of Catalan specialties

  • Take a private boat ride along Cap Creus and dive into the clear waters

  • Learn to make Paella and Arroz con Gambas and other Catalan dishes with Kate

  • Taste the eloquent cooking of a two-star Michelin restaurant tucked into an historic Catalan farmhouse

Interested in knowing more?

2019 Dates are Sept 9-15; 7 days and 6 nights; Small group maximum 8; Pick up and return to Barcelona or Girona.

2019 rate 5395€ per person (double occupancy 4975€ per person) includes: all local transportation from the meeting point; all accommodations, all meals including 2-star Michelin restaurant; cooking classes and tours, and private guides.