Every successful individual knows that his or her achievement depends on a community of persons working together.
Ian trained as a chef in 1988 at Le Talbooth restaurant in Essex, England. His passion and curiosity for food was one of the deciding factors in moving the family to the Dordogne. Since 2004 Ian has been the resident chef and owner at Le Chèvrefeuille, showcasing local dishes from local produce. The dream of running a cookery school quietly lurked in the background.
One of Ian’s greatest pleasures is introducing others who have a love of food, fresh produce, and an interest in cooking using traditional cooking methods, to the local ingredients for which the region – and all of France – is renowned. Ian has established a wonderful relationship with the local producers who willingly share with him their passion for, and knowledge of, regional ingredients, produce and traditional cooking methods. Ian’s built up an in-depth knowledge of regional specialities and how they are prepared, cooked and presented is readily shared.
Constantly learning, Ian’s recently taken up foraging for food, a most satisfying pastime.
From the moment Ian and Sara set foot in the Perigord Noir, they knew it was the place they wanted to be. The outdoors, the heathly lifestyle and the abundance of fresh, quality seasonal produce swayed them to up roots from the UK in 2004 with their three year old son Adam.
In 2004, the couple set about to transform Phase 1 of ‘the dream’, their ancient ‘pride, joy and stress’ Perigordian farmstead, Le Chèvrefeuille, into what has become a stunningly, exquisite award-winning guesthouse with bed and breakfast and self catering accommodation. It was during this transformation period that they welcomed the arrival of Alice, their daughter, followed closely by Bella, the cat. In 2012, Phase 2 of ‘the dream’ was realised with the establishment of Cook Dordogne.
The couple are incredibly proud of the numerous awards they have won for both Le Chèvrefeuille and more latterly CookDordogne – gaining a reputation for “excellence” for both and featuring in many guidebooks.
Above all, what they both hold dear and value the most, is witnessing the satisfaction of their guests during their stay at Le Chèvrefeuille or from their CookDordogne course, or both!
Living in such a cuisine rich, important food bowl of France which produces ingredients such as duck, goose, foie gras, truffles, cheese, walnuts, chestnuts and cèpes complemented by fabulous wines from Bordeaux, St Emilion, Monbazillac, Bergerac and Cahors, what better place to launch a cookery school.
The school is run out of Le Chèvrefeuille’s inside and outside kitchens depending on the season . Not only do students experience one-on-one cooking tuition with Ian, they are treated to an explanation of the variety of produce, the colour, aromas, tastes of the regional specialities to enrich their learning experience.
The classes are always full and in demand with many students returning for further tuition and new students from word of mouth referrals.
Why not pack up, come and stay at Le Chèvrefeuille for a few days and learn how to seriously CookDordogne?