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From Cagnes-sur-Mer, St. Paul de Vence, Nice, and Aix-en-Provence, to Avignon, Saint-Remy-de-Provence, and Gordes … and the many picturesque villages in between, our Expert Host will enliven your senses. Partake in wine and olive oil tastings, gaze upon sunflowers and lavender fields, and experience unsurpassed culinary delights throughout your 12-day trip through Provence. Return to Le Mas de Belle Combe to relax in the countryside and gaze upon the Luberon mountains, the experience sunsets over the hilltop village of Gordes, and wander amongst the home's gardens and olive groves as you make your way to the pool. Enjoy Chef dinners, wine tasting, and an AOC olive oil tasting as highlights of this exclusive Premier experience.
May 18-May 28, 2022 (departing USA May 17, 2022) with Michelin Star Chef Bob Waggoner
October 12-22, 2022 (departing USA October 11, 2022) with Top Chef Alum Chef Dave Martin
From $6999 Per Person; Double Occupancy; Single Supplement $1,800; Limited to 18 passengers
May 17-May 27, 2023 (departing USA May 16, 2023) with Michelin Star Chef Bob Waggoner
September 6-16, 2023 (departing USA September 5, 2023) Local French Chef Antoine Fremont
October 11-21, 2023 (departing USA October 10, 2023) Top Chef Alum Chef Dave Martin
From $7499 Per Person; Double Occupancy; Single Supplement $1,800; Limited to 20 passengers
DAY-BY-DAY IN PROVENCE***
Depart United States for Nice, France
Day 1 — Cagnes-sur-Mer, France
Arrive Nice International Airport in the morning, followed by private transfer to your hotel Chateau Le Cagnard, a Small Luxury Hotels of the World property (or similar). Check-in your hotel and enjoy a Welcome Dinner with the group.
Day 2 — Nice
This morning following breakfast, transfer to Old Nice for a guided tour, which starts with the Cours Saleya market, a must-see on the French Riviera with its striped awnings protecting the beautiful and delicious produce. You will be guided through a tasting of local culinary treats, such as traditional socca. Learn about the local ingredients and products of the south of France and the way they are used in the traditional food. It, of course, will be an opportunity to stroll the famous Marche aux Fleurs Cours Saleya — the flower market — and learn about the long-standing history of Nice as the carnation capital of France. As well, enjoy a tasting at the historic Maison Auer, a continuously operating chocolaterie and confiserie that is currently run by the fifth generation of confectioners in the Auer family. Take time to explore Nice and enjoy lunch at leisure before departing for the hotel and a group dinner at Chateau Le Cagnard.
Day 3 — Vence — St. Paul de Vence
After breakfast at Chateau Le Cagnard, your guide will pick you up from the hotel to bring you on a guided visit to the Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence, often referred to as the Matisse Chapel or the Vence Chapel. This beautiful chapel is in the town of Vence on the French Riviera, built and decorated between 1947 and 1951 under a plan devised by Henri Matisse. Transfer to St. Paul de Vence for a visit to Maison de Parfums Godet to learn about their 100-year history, as well as the art and science of creating perfumes. Enjoy time at leisure to explore within the medieval walls encircling the narrow streets of St. Paul de Vence, to stroll through its many unique shops, and lunch at leisure. Return to the hotel and have your evening at leisure.
Day 4 — Aix-en-Provence — Villa Le Mas de Belle Combe, Gordes, France
Following your final breakfast at Chateau Le Cagnard, depart Cagnes-sur-Mer for your lovely, fully private villa in Gordes. On the way, enjoy the amazing town of Aix-en-Provence, founded by the Romans in 103 BC. Aix-en-Provence has been called the city of a thousand fountains and is known for its colorful market, which will be in full swing on this Saturday. Our local guide will help to get you acclimated before exploring the market with Chef, discovering the vegetables and fruits, cheeses, herbs, olive oil, and all the flavors of Provence in the center near Cours Mirabeau. After lunch at leisure in one of the many cafes in Aix-en-Provence, enjoy renown shopping and peruse the many art galleries before transferring to Villa Le Mas de Belle Combe — your home in Provence for the next seven nights. While in Aix, we encourage you to visit a local wine/spirits shop to purchase your beverage of choice for cocktail hours and your general enjoyment — wine will be available with dinner. You will be warmly welcomed home with a champagne toast, hors d'oeuvres, and a Chef's dinner with our local French chef.
Day 5 — Gordes
Wake up to breakfast and an amazing view of the hillside village of Gordes, France. Spend the morning in beautiful, medieval Gordes. On a guided tour, walk through the vaulted, arcaded lanes that reveal the town’s many charms. Visit the Caves du Palais Saint-Firmin a Gordes, which boasts a variety of artistic features, provide evidence of life in Gordes (listed as one of France’s most beautiful villages) from the Middle Ages onwards, and offer visitors a wonderful opportunity to immerse themselves in the history of this mysterious, semi-troglodyte world. Moving from room to room, visitors will learn all about the history of the place and the know-how associated with the oil production process. Late morning, enjoy a nougat tasting from the famed Maison Perrert with an aperitif (Rosé, white or red wine, still and sparkling water, fruit juices, savory bites) served in the gardens (privatized for the occasion). Stop in a café for lunch or have a picnic on your own overlooking the Luberon region before being transferred to the Abbaye de Senanque, a Cistercian abbey renown for its spectacular lavender fields. This evening, Chef will be hosting the first Chef’s dinner, which you are welcome to help create.
Day 6 — Bonnieux — Menerbes
Following breakfast, head out to enjoy the hilltop villages of Bonnieux and Menerbes. In addition to walking tours, enjoy free time to peruse each quaint locale before enjoying a wine tasting and lunch at Bastide de la Marie. Return to the villa for a lovely Chef's dinner.
Day 7 — At Leisure
Today, enjoy the entire day at leisure to relax by the pool, take a hike to enjoy the landscape of the area, or walk on your own into Gordes to visit the shops for gifts to take back home. Dinner will be at leisure -- you can make reservations in Gordes. Transportation can be arranged upon request (not included).
Day 8 — Saint-Remy
In the village of Saint-Remy in the heart of Provence, forever entwined with the legacy of Vincent van Gogh, find everything Provençal you desire as you stroll along the boulevards under the shade of century-old trees. Your guided walking tour will take you around the narrow little streets, discovering squares where children play in the fountains, and the attractive boutiques and art galleries that make the town’s historic center so lively. Enjoy strolling through the local market place, brimming with fresh produce, baguettes straight from the oven, fragrant herbs, and seasonal specialties…taste and select some French cheeses to take back to the villa. Enjoy lunch at leisure at one of the many cafes and restaurants before departing for Moulin du Clos Jeannons, an olive oil mill that favors traditional processes such as using a stone wheel to crush the olives. Participate in a tour and tasting, as well as take an opportunity to meander the beautiful grounds. Transfer back to the villa with time to refresh and relax before the nightly Chef’s dinner.
Day 9 — Avignon
Explore Avignon, a city in southeastern France’s Provence region that is set on the Rhône River. From 1309 to 1377, it was the seat of the Catholic popes. It remained under papal rule until becoming part of France in 1791. This legacy can be seen in the massive Palais des Papes (Popes' Palace) in the city center, which is surrounded by medieval stone ramparts. Enjoy a guided walking tour as well as a visit to the lively local market. Spend time at leisure to visit the Palais des Papes (entrance tickets not included), enjoy lunch or do some shopping. You will be welcomed home this evening with a traditional Mediterranean paella.
Day 10 — Châteauneuf du Pape
After breakfast at the villa, you will depart for Châteauneuf du Pape between Avignon and Orange, France. In the 14th century Pope Jean XXII, chose Châteauneuf as the location for their summer residences, and then decided to plant vines on the stony land which surrounded their landholdings. For a long time, the wine production remained a secret but in 1929, it was officially recognized and bestowed with its own appellation: Châteauneuf du Pape. This appellation means that the wine production in Châteauneuf du Pape is subject to strict controls to ensure that the 55 vineyards produce extremely fine wine. Enjoy a private wine tasting at a vineyard in the heart Châteauneuf du Pape. Take time to have a light lunch before transferring to the chateau for the balance of the day at leisure. Enjoy your final dinner this evening in Provence.
Day 11 — Gordes
Breakfast at the Villa. Check-out of Villa Le Mas De Belle Combe and transfer to Marseille Airport for your flight home.
**IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Itinerary subject to change. Premier Tours & Travel reserves the right to modify programs and itineraries (including arranged sightseeing, accommodations, dining experiences, aircraft, trains, vessels, and so forth) at any time due to unforeseen circumstances or circumstances beyond Premier Tours & Travel’s control, including force majeures. In the instance our Expert host cancels due to unforeseen circumstances, Premier Tours & Travel has the right to substitute another Expert host, such as a chef, in such an emergency (timing allowed) and/or the tour will continue in its entirety. Every effort is made to operate our itineraries as planned but alterations may need to be made after the final itinerary has been issued. Airfare is not included. Deposits are utilized to secure services on your behalf and are nonrefundable. Deposits are transferrable to a future Expertly Done Culinary & Wine Travel tour. Wine is included as noted otherwise alcoholic beverages are the responsibility of each adult guest. Two glasses of wine will be provided with Chef's dinners at the villa; additional wine is your responsibility. Guests are limited to one carry on and one checked baggage and will be responsible for any additional fees charged for additional luggage. Please see Key Items to Know Before You Leave Home in Terms & Conditions.
ABOUT CHEF BOB WAGGONER
Chef Bob Waggoner Bob received his formal training with Michael Roberts at Trumps in Los Angeles from 1981 to 1983, and later in France at a constellation of Michelin-rated restaurants with chefs Jacques Lameloise, Charles Barrier, Pierre Gagnaire, Gerard Boyer and Mark Meneau. At 23, he took on his first chef position at the private club “Members” in Caracas, Venezuela. Chef Bob Waggoner returned to France at age 24 to become chef of the Hotel de la Poste in Avallon for three years. Then, in 1988 at age 26, in the town of Moneteau in Burgundy, he became the first American chef to own his own restaurant in France, the much acclaimed Le Monte Cristo. He is one of the few Americans to be Knighted with the “l’Odre du Mérite Agricole” from the Government of France. In 1991, Waggoner was offered the opportunity of Chef de Cuisine with Chef Jean-Pierre Silva, the two-star Michelin, at Le Vieux Moulin in Beaune, France. After 11 years in France, he returned to the States in 1993 to cook at the award-winning Turnberry Isle in Florida, before joining The Wild Boar in Nashville, where he earned the restaurant a coveted AAA Five-Diamond Award and the Grand Award from Wine Spectator.
He finally found his way to Charleston where he was Executive Chef of Charleston Grill at Charleston Place for a dozen years. Every year, Chef Bob was at the Charleston Grill, it was awarded AAA Four-Diamond and the Mobile Four-Star award, and in 2001-2005 he was nominated four times for The Beard Foundation "Best Chef Southeast" award. He is author of the Charleston Grill at Charleston Place: French Influenced Lowcountry Cuisine cookbook. Always well regarded as a media-savvy chef, he has won an Emmy for his television show “Off the Menu” with Turner South. He also hosted 2 cooking shows with PBS, U Cook with Chef Bob and Sing for Your Supper with Chef Bob. Currently, he is the owner of “In the Kitchen with Chef Bob Waggoner” where he hosts cooking classes in a relaxed, casual, and sophisticated atmosphere. With his easygoing nature, he can teach anyone the culinary tips and techniques for "how it's done" in the finest restaurants.
ABOUT CHEF ANTOINE FREMONT
10 years Cooking teacher Institut Paul Bocuse in Écully Rhône (2011-2021)
Chef de cuisine educational restaurant, gourmet restaurant
Animator cooking workshop amateurs and professionals
Responsible for various internal catering departments
Responsible for English-speaking culinary programs & representation for French gourmet cuisine in Asia, Africa, Latin America, United States, Finland.
Organizer of culinary event in France for SIRAH LYON 2019
11 years of experience as Production Manager Event Catering in the Vaucluse
Composition of the menu and the different proposals: cocktail, seminars, weddings, meal trays, cooking classes...
Creation, Development and Qualification of Recipes
Monitoring of costs and product quality
Management of production schedules
Implementation and monitoring of HACCP hygiene standards
Management equips up to 30 people according to production rate
My References: Meffre Traiteur Vaucluse (3 m€ turnover), Marseille Traiteur Vaucluse (2 M€ turnover), Michea Traiteur Lyon (2.5 m€ turnover)
15 years of experience as a gourmet and regional Chef
Design and costing of menus, cost control on 2 restaurants (gastronomic - Club House)
Implementation of banquet menus, seminars, and gastronomic menu
Management of a team of 10 people
Owner and Chef of a restaurant
My References: Christian Têtedoie Lyon, the counter-head in Lyon, Hotel restaurant Golf du Gouverneur - 4 stars in Monthieux (Ain), Restaurant la Petite Auberge (Hautes Alpes)