In the Kitchen with the Chef: Cooking Classes in Nice

Why just have lunch when you can come into the kitchen, spend the morning with the chef, learning from the master while preparing the meal together, and then feast on your culinary creations?  Several Nice restaurants and cooking schools offer cooking classes, from cuisine Niçoise to Michelin-starred!

Rosa Jackson Petites Farcis Market tour and Cooking classesRosa Jackson opened her cooking school in Old Nice, Les Petits Farcis, after having given her market tours and cooking classes out of her Nice apartment for years and years!   Her Market Tour/Cooking Class/Lunch starts in the famous Cours Saleya open-air market, where she knows all the vendors and shares their stories and passion.  You’ll choose the products for the day’s Niçoise menu, as well as sampling the wares at some of her favorite stalls. Next, a short walk through Vieux Nice to her immaculate new cooking studio, and on with the aprons!  Everyone participates in an easy-going atmosphere, and the culmination is to savor your locally-inspired creations over a leisurely lunch with wine at the communal table.  The day goes from 9:30am-3pm (later than most others), and at 195€/per person (180€ for 4 or more) it may seem a bit pricey, but Rosa’s personality and know-how have kept the students coming for over 12 years, making her cooking classes some of the most popular in Nice.  She also offers Wednesday evening vegetarian cooking classes and dinner for 75€, and afternoon baking classes from 80€.  12 rue St-Joseph in Old Nice, Tram stop Cathédrale.

La Ville de Nice has jumped into the game, and opened their own Atelier Cuisine Niçoise cooking school mixing old (cooking traditional recipes under medieval arches) and new (the instructors are venerated chefs, but the instruction is by video, in French or English).  Located in the Palais de Senate with its vaulted ceilings, the prices start from 50€/per person (75€ per couple) for 2 recipes and 2 1/2 hours, and goes from there.

Chef Christian Plumail in his kitchen

Christian Plumail from

After 19 years, Michelin-starred chef Christian Plumail closed his famed restaurant L’Univers, and now when he’s not in Mexico, he offers cooking classes in the the inner sanctum of his own apartment, just above his former restaurant. The morning starts with coffee, then a shopping trip to the Cours Saleya Market, where, based on what’s in season, he’ll formulate a starter, main and a dessert. He’ll take a maximum of 10 students, and the group works together to prepare the meal, learning tips, tricks and techniques along the way.  Finally, “l’eau a la bouche“, the creations are consumed during a lunch together with the chef.   9am-1:30, 90€/per person, 54 blvd Jean-Jaures, reserve at 04 93 62 32 22.  It’s possible for the chef to do the course in English, but in that case the entire group must be reserved.  Visit his little boutique at 54 blvd Jean Jaures (actually on the little street just down the stairs) for more info and to sign up.

Chef Daniel Silvetti in his kitchenLu Fran Calin: To learn to cook like a vrai Niçoise you must come to Vieux Nice, bien sur, and take a class from chef Daniel Silvetti, defender of the traditional cuisine. For over 14 years he has been giving his cooking classes, in an effort to perpetuate the traditions of the region.   He only takes small groups of 2-3, and students learn to prepare emblematic and aromatic dishes, followed by a convivial lunch.  80€, Tuesday through Friday 9am-12:30pm by reservation, French only, 5 rue Francis Gallo, just off Place Rossetti in Old Nice, 04 93 80 81 81.

L’Ane Rouge in the Port offers a two-hour class for 70€ … or for 180€ an intensive full day of cooking with Chef Michel Devillers: 8am start with a visit to the produce and fish markets, back to the kitchen for breakfast then the cooking demonstration/participation, lunch with the chef, and a wine lesson/tasting, ending around 3pm.   Private courses for 6-15 by reservation only, in French (or English with a translator), 04 93 89 49 63.

And finally, another cooking school in Nice, this time high above the Liberation open-air Market,  Cuisine sur Cours offers a wide variety of courses, mornings and afternoons, big and small for between 20-80€/person. Private courses can be done in English, and they even have courses for children. 75 ave Borriglione, Tram stop Valrose, 04 93 96 17 29.

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