cooking in the south of france

by Sharon Santoni

fruit tart at les petits farcis cooking school

Taking a cooking class when you visit abroad is a great way of immediately immersing yourself into local culture and food.   I’m kind of tired of being a regular tourist when I travel, and I love to mix things up and find activities that will get me away from the crowds and off the traditional tourist track.

cherries at the market

A great way of doing just that is with a cooking class from someone with local knowledge, and today I want to tell you about  the cooking school Les Petits Farcis in Nice in the south of France.

strawberries for sale on french market

Les Petits Farcis was created by a Canadian girl called Rosa Jackson, and today she is well known in the town of Nice for offering fun and diverse cooking classes and food tours.

These pictures were taken when I was invited to join one of her Market Tour, Cooking Class and Lunch.   This is a great option because Rosa took us out onto the market of Cours Saleya in Nice old town, and then we went back to her kitchens, cooked together and then enjoyed the shared meal.

Rosa worked for many years as  food writer in Canada before moving to France in 1995.   She immediately started offering her tours as a way of sharing her passion for good food and great ingredients.  Today she offers tours in Nice and also in Paris.

In Nce there are many food markets in the different parts of the town.  We went to the Cours Saleya, which merges flowers and food (and antiques too on Mondays!) , and strolled along in the sunshine picking out ingredients and checking off our shopping list.

Rosa had already bought some delicious sea bass for our class, but we needed to buy the vegetables and fruit for our four course lunch.

fish prepared at the pettis farcis cooking school

Back in her kitchens, the mood was relaxed and friendly, we each had a task to complete, and the meal came together before our eyes.   Our first course was a pissaladiere, which is an onion tart, then sea bass with mediterranean vegetables, a selection of cheese, followed by a divine red fruit tart.

cooking at les petits farcis

If you’d like more information about Rosa’s tours and classes just head over to her site Les Petits Farcis, and check for available dates.  You can either join an existing class or privatise an event for you and your friends.  I guarantee you will have a lovely relaxed day, made even better by a glass of rosé wine and beautiful mediterranean sunshine.

All photos with thanks to James Pouliot


Jan Drury May 31, 2017 - 10:46 am

The fruit tart looks delicious. I am having my girlfriends over on Tuesday, what a good idea to make for them. I sure they will enjoy it. Thanks Sharon.

Taste of France May 31, 2017 - 12:12 pm

Yes, a cooking class is a great way to take France home with you. In Carcassonne, we also set up personalized cooking classes with great French home cooks (and we can act as translators if needed).

Jillian May 31, 2017 - 12:25 pm

Thank you for sharing this and how amazing this would be to do a cooking class in any part of France. I have been very lucky to do a gorgeous cooking class in Paris 3 years ago. I loved every minute of it especially the tour of the markets and chosen the food that we were going to cook and learn about. The French really do everything in such a beautiful way.

Louella Haenel May 31, 2017 - 12:32 pm

Hello Sharon, I love your site. It inspires me to dream of beautiful things and life. My husband is French (from Strasbourg) and we live in South Africa. He handmakes amazing clocks and I need to send you some pictures. He is exceptionally talented and gifted with his hands at this hobby, especially since he has been in the hotel and restaurant game all his life and now retired. Please let me know if you would like to see some of his handy work and if you are interested in promoting the clocks or possibly advise how we can market them.

Victoria May 31, 2017 - 2:12 pm

Such a good idea to schedule an cooking class while on vacation. I will be going to Isle of Palm in South Carolina for my son’s wedding this June. Isle of Palm is near Charleston, South Carolina which is a wonderful old Southern City on the Atlantic. I will have time to tour Charleston and I may just try to find a cooking class. Loved the tart. Thank you for your blog.

Katherine May 31, 2017 - 2:20 pm

Love cooking, love France and love your blog too…thanks for all your inspiration.

Madonna May 31, 2017 - 5:34 pm

They say our sense of smell is our most lasting memories. A cooking class would indeed bring home a wonderful memories. I love the simplicity of the French menu. It all seems so easy, yet beautiful.

Enticing photos.

Terri Arbutina May 31, 2017 - 7:04 pm

I have always wanted to try my hand at making a tart! Now, since I see pictures, I will have to google and see what kind of mischief I can get myself into! Thanks for the inspiration!

Lissy parker May 31, 2017 - 7:08 pm

Sounds amazing!
xo, lissy

Emm June 2, 2017 - 7:27 am

That sounds like such fun, and tasty. Nice (!!) photos. Love the strawberries in the hanging basket.


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