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Cooking Classes at Cuisine de Provence

Barbara Schuerenberg says, “I always joke that I learned to cook out of self-defence as our mother was a terrible cook.”  Clearly, she was successful in that pursuit as she enters into her sixth year of running her cooking school Cuisine de Provence in Vaison la Romaine.

Cuisine de Provence #CookingSchool #VaisonlaRomaine

German-born Barbara’s journey to Provence a decade ago was far from a straight shot. She studied art history (in the US) and worked as a contemporary art critic (in the UK). Ten years ago, this international, multilingual couple (Barbara and her husband) felt it was time to leave behind the big city hassles. However, the relocation question was where?

They chose Provence for its climate, food and slower pace of life. One might wonder what the transition was like moving from fast-paced London to tiny Vaison la Romaine. Barbara tells me the village suits them just fine,

“Vaison la Romaine is alive and active all year round and has a good mix of Provençal, foreign and other French inhabitants. The medieval part of town is beautiful and picturesque, and we have summer dance and music festivals in our amphitheater.”

Cuisine de Provence #CookingSchool #VaisonlaRomaine

Based out of Barbara’s comfortable kitchen, Cuisine de Provence courses typically run from mid-March to the end of October. The number of participants is limited; with only 4-5 people everyone gets involved in the preparation of the regional dishes.  The format for her classes is to cook several traditional Provençal recipes with seasonal ingredients. This is how Barbara describes her classes,

“We prepare 5 to 6 different recipes, typically an elegant little starter and a tapenade followed by Provençal specialties like a pissaladière, a fougasse or a vegetable tart, a main dish like Provençal chicken, aioli, petits farcis or seiches à la Niçoise. Also, of course, desserts – a clafoutis, a lemon or a fig tart – all depending on the season and on market availability.”

Tomato tart Cuisine de Provence #CookingSchool #VaisonlaRomaine

The best part?

The relaxed meal at the end of class when students can savour the dishes that they prepared. Barbara sends her clients away with a printed, illustrated recipe folder and a Cuisine de Provence apron.

Cuisine de Provence #CookingSchool #VaisonlaRomaine

We could not let Barbara go without asking her “where the locals go” in and around Vaison la Romaine.


On a clear day driving – or if you dare biking – up Mont Ventoux is a must. An almost extraterrestrial experience with incredible views!

Explore Vaison’s important Roman ruins and don’t miss the cobble-stoned streets of the old town there are plenty of beautiful photo opportunities.


The cheese from Madame Déal’s Lou Canesteou she is one of the highly respected meilleur ouvriers de France, and her cheese selection is second to none.

The ice cream at Vaison’s Patisserie Peyrerol – pricey but oh so good! Caramel crème brûlée is my favourite.

Should you be here during truffle season, buy one, get some fresh pasta from the Italian shop in Cours Taulignan, cook the pasta al dente, mix with a bit of butter and shave the truffle on top. One of the simplest yet most luxurious culinary joys in Provence.

Tuesday morning is when the weekly market the Marché Provencal takes place in the center of Vaison-la-Romaine.


Pick your accommodation wisely so that you can sit in a garden and listen to the chant of the cigales – the sound of summer in Provence – preferably with a glass of rosé by your side.

Now that you are tempted to visit Vaison la Romaine and treat yourself to a tasty class get in touch with Barbara to book your half-day of cooking heaven at Cuisine de Provence.

Cuisine de Provence #CookingSchool #VaisonlaRomaine

Image credits: All photos were provided by and published with the permission of Barbara Schuerenberg


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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne has traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and blogging. Her first airplane ride at six months of age was her introduction to the exciting world of travel.

While in Provence, Carolyne can be found hiking with friends, riding the hills around the Alpilles or tackling Mont Ventoux. Her attachment to the region resonates in Perfectly Provence this digital magazine that she launched in 2014. This website is an opportunity to explore the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle (food & wine, places to stay, expat stories, books on the region, travel tips, real estate tips and more), through our contributors' articles.

Carolyne writes a food and travel blog Ginger and Nutmeg. Carolyne’s freelance articles can be found in Global Living Magazine, Avenue Magazine and City Palate (Published Travel Articles).

1 Comment

  1. Sally Kauser
    August 28, 2018 at 6:17 am — Reply

    Wonderful article as always. Keep them coming, I always enjoy them and am transported to Provence. Thank you.

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