There are so many wonderful food and wine activities to do while visiting Villefranche sur Mer. Following are a few of our favorites. All of our Riviera Experience apartments are equipped with kitchens and eating areas designed for enjoying beautiful food purchased in markets and specialty shops, or recreating one of the recipes you learn in a cooking class, or wine tasting after taking a wine class or tour.
Cooking Class with Les Petits Farcis
One food and wine activity that we highly recommend is a taking a cooking class with Rosa Jackson of Les Petits Farcis. You will really enjoy participating in her cooking class and market tour. She gives a wonderful overview of the Nice area and the foods that are typical of our region. And she is a superb cook and teacher. Every time I take one of her classes, I learn so many new techniques as well as great new recipes that I do over and over again at home. Her cooking studio in Old Nice is beautiful, very functional and in a great location. The classes all start at one of Nice’s two main food markets, Cours Saleya or Liberation. You then walk to her cooking studio and make the recipes for the lunch you will share together. The class includes a starter, a main course with accompaniment, a cheese course and dessert, and of course wine as well. Part of the tour includes visiting a terrific wine cave in the Old Town.
She also does Zoom classes, so once you are back home, you can continue staying connected to her delicious cooking classes remotely. Her “Tour de France” classes take place on Saturdays and the menus change seasonally. I have taken a lot of her Zoom classes too (probably about 25), especially during COVID! They are terrific, fun, and incredibly delicious. Plus it keeps us eating really well, learning new recipes and techniques, not to mention staying connected! My husband, who is not a big foodie, is always lurking around the kitchen on Saturday evenings during the Tour de France classes and eager to know what we will be having for dinner that night. Maybe he’s becoming a bit of a foodie after all. Saturday nights during COVID have become especially fun and delicious evenings. Thank you Rosa!
In addition to being a great cooking instructor and cook, Rosa is a wealth of information about the food scene in France but also in nearby Italy and elsewhere. She has been working in the food business for over 30 years and has many connections in the French food world. She is also a food journalist with training in nutrition. She is a treasure and a Riviera experience to not miss. Here website is at https://www.petitsfarcis.com/.
Cheese Tasting Soiree with Raphael
Another really delicious food and wine activity is a cheese tasting with Raphael. He has a great knowledge of cheese, is an accomplished chef, and a highly regarded French language teacher as well. There are a LOT of French cheeses — over 500! As General De Gaulle once said, “It’s hard to rule a country with 365 cheeses.” It is fascinating, delicious and fun to learn about French cheeses. It is a big deal and an important profession to become a “fromager,” a person who selects, refines and sells cheeses. One must have a diploma to be a fromager. Join Raphael for a delightful 2.5-hour class to learn about the seven categories of cheeses, and taste between 10-12 different ones, from each category — with wine, of course! Contact Shelley to set it up while you are visiting Villefranche.
Price: 40 euros per person. Minimum of 5 persons.
Wine Tasting Class with Viktorija
I met Viktorija through Rosa’s cooking classes at Les Petits Farcis where she leads wine tastings and teaches about wine in the Tour de France series. Viktorija is a cookbook author and accredited sommelier. Her knowledge of food and wine, not to mention languages (fluent in seven!), is vast, and she shares that knowledge with passion. She especially loves French and Italian food and wine but also knows the wines of the world. She is a French Wine Scholar and has published a number of books about the foods and wines of Italy and France. She lives in Nice, so while visiting Villefranche we highly recommend doing a wine tour or wine tasting class with her. You will love it and learn so much. Rosé, as you probably know, is the wine of the South of France. Viktorija is an expert on rosé and says it is one of the reasons she moved to Nice (there are others but it was a big part of the enticement). Contact her for more details and to customize your wine experience while visiting the South of France at: https://www.siptasteshare.com