Kitchen at Camont is a French culinary retreat in Gascony, led by Kate Hill, teaching the art of charcuterie and butchery.

France was at the heart of a a recent gathering in Copenhagen called MAD4. I was delighted to see that the most innovative and forward looking young chefs, René Redzepi of Copenhagen’s NOMA and David Chang of NYC’s Momofuku among those leading the way, turning their attention to and honoring the classic French masters who have paved the way for today’s global contemporary cuisine. Alain Senderens, Olivier Roellinger and Pierre Koffmann-three of the founders of Nouvelle Cuisine- were present and generous with their experience and perspective. They in turn had taken their inspiration in the late 60’s and early 70’s from France’s regional farm-based cuisine and shifted to the use of only the freshest ingredients. This was the French cooking revolution of the 20th Century. Now 50 years later, international chefs seek to strengthen ties to this French cuisine in a new fresh 21st Century way.

Gascony nestles in the very southwest of France in the crook of the Garonne River Basin. The abundant rivers, fertile flood plains and temperate 4-season climate of this historic Duchy makes it a perfect place to grow food. Lots of food. In fact, the Lot-et-Garonne department boasts the most diverse agriculture in all of France. Teaching from the heart of this garden of France, I learned to shop from a wealth of local farmer’s markets and from the farmers themselves. French food culture conspires with us in the kitchen at Camont to teach a certain thoughtful approach, an understanding of truly seasonal produce- not just fruits and vegetables, but meat and cheese, too. Working with the people who literally ‘turn dirt into food’, understanding the seasons, discovering the anatomy of a healthy meat animal- be it rabbit, chicken, pig or cow, and learning how to choose a ripe vegetable or a perfect piece of fruit, will change the way you think as you cook. As I learned to cook, butcher and make charcuterie in Gascony, so I teach it- in Gascony.

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Camont is my historic farm site perched on the Canal de Garonne near Agen built in 1724. From this privileged site-discovering thoughtful producers, dedicated artisans, and an amazing diversity of product all over Gascony-I have created a new teaching space-the Charcuterie Kitchen at Camont-where we butcher, cook, salt, cure, and celebrate all things charcuterie working alongside farmstead butchers and inspiring cooks in a comfortable spacious setting.

Carved from the long stone barn at Camont, the new 600 square feet workshop space allows us to work on whole carcass and primals creating finished products in sufficient quantity for small production. A creative workshop as well as classroom, the Charcuterie Kitchen at Camont, draws on our own gardens, orchards, and poultry yard. Camont is a modern day creative retreat, far from the competitive world, where students are encouraged to develop new food products as well as master traditional French farmstead charcuterie.

 

kate & ham

Kate Hill, a published author and professional cook of 30 years, founded Camont as a cooking school and retreat in 1991 after moving to this fruitful spot in France from the US. Camont became a place to rethink ideas about food and cooking and Kate is a willingly mentor, coach and teacher. Here, we grow and buy seasonal produce from local farmers and make great Gascon food to share in the old stone kitchen.

Our programs have grown from Kate’s relationships with Gascony’s thriving food community – particularly its farmstead butchers, and now you, too, can work with them to learn how to break down a pig and cure your own charcuterie. This work has placed Kate at the forefront of the global nose-to-tail butchery movement organizing international workshops with French farmer/butcher Dominique Chapolard and founder of Grrls Meat Camp.

Kate teaches and consults with professionals like Michael Ruhlman for Conde Nast Traveler, the BBC’s French Odyssey series with chef Rick Stein, which was filmed in Camont’s wonderful kitchen and International restaurant groups. Kate’s work has also been featured in Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Dish, Appellation and Maison Sud Ouest magazines, as well as the New York Times, the LA Times, London Times and the Boston Globe. On line she write the Food Stories from Gascony here, as well as serve as a administrator to the very popular facebook group- the Salt Cured Pig. When not working virtually, Kate welcomes students to Camont with her giant farm dog Bacon, a trio of barn cats, a dozen chickens, a flockette of ducks – and whoever else happens to be stopping by.

Learning at Camont

"If you want to learn to surf, go to Hawaii. If you want to learn to make charcuterie, go to France."
— Renzo Garibaldi- OSSO, Peru

Courses at Camont

Immerse yourself in France! Discover the best raw materials, learn classic techniques & taste the delicious results while living & learning in the beautiful agricultural landscape called Gascony.

Butchery & Charcuterie at Camont- Four Week Intensive Course

  • 4 weeks X 5 days a week= 160 + 20 = 180 hours of instruction & experience
  • 2250 euros per week (includes 500 euros HACCP certification)
  • Feb 16 2015; September 7 2015; November 2 2015

Learn the skills of traditional French Farmstead Charcuterie working with Kate Hill in a brand new charcuterie workshop Kitchen at Camont. Together with her friends, the remarkable Chapolard family on their farm, Kate teaches the process of making charcuterie from growing the year old pigs to curing, smoking and cooking traditional French Farmstead Charcuterie for home, restaurant or production work.

Kitchen Charcuterie- One Week Introductory Course

  • 1 week- 5 days instruction; approximately 30 hours
  • 2250 euros
  • April 12, May 24, June 21

One-week Introduction to French Kitchen Charcuterie at Camont Maybe you have a small farmstead like the Townsend family from Australia above, or are a working chef looking for a jumpstart into simple charcuterie, or just a lover of all things salty…

Cooking at Camont- 1 to 3 Day Classes

  • 3 days 10:00- 15:00 5 hours
  • 350 euros per day
  • April 8, 22, 29; May 20; June 3, 10; July 1, 15; Aug 5

Cooking-at-Camont is a NEW 3-day program that allows you to work and learn in the new spacious ‘Keeping Kitchen’ at Camont. Celebrating traditional Gascon cuisine with a new regard,  I introduce you to my favorite seasonal French dishes from soups to desserts:,…

Online Courses

New online courses will be coming soon from our own video studio kitchen at Camont. Sign up for our newsletter and be the first to know.

Travelling Courses

Several times a year, we pack our knives and know how, jump a plane and bring a little of Gascony to you. Butchery & charcuterie workshops & cooking classes can be booked for schools, organizations, private groups or individuals.

Basquelandia Road Trip

  • 6 days
  • 1500 euros + expenses
  • April 19 2015

This Salt Circle Road Trip: Basquelandia for Spring 2015 is now open for booking- just 7 places total in the Big Van are available. I’ve been making these impromptu forays along the Basque country back roads between sea and mountain…

Food stories from Gascony

Food Stories from Gascony is curated by writer/cook Kate Hill to share the good food of Gascony as it is grown and made on the small farms and in the tiny villages of Southwest France.

Like many other Frenchman I have retained all my life the food I ate as a child…

Pierre Koffmann, Memories of Gascony

How to make Duck Confit: Live from the Keeping Kitchen.

Confit Days are some of my favorites Winter days; pots and kettles, jars and terrines start to align like so many stars in a Winter constellation- the Fat Duck. This weekend is the first weekend in the Keeping Kitchen at…

Learning at Camont 2015

  I have to admit I am as drawn to the new as much as the old; the latest smart TV has been a pleasant diversion these last few winter nights; my iPhone is a constant companion; I am looking…

2015 Programs at Camont

Along with my new teaching kitchen, new version of this website is nearly finished, but I couldn’t wait any longer! Here are the dates for all programs- from an Introductory Kitchen Charcuterie to our 4 week long French Farmstead Butchery &…

New Food Stories from Gascony

That new broom. This new kitchen. There is a fresh wind blowing cobwebs and old ideas out the windows at Camont. Left behind are brand new cream-colored walls and a few red stripes on aprons and torchons in a new…

French Summers- the long perspective on Summer Food.

In my perfectly seasonal mind, Summer is 3 months long- beginning June 1 and ending on August 31. This means over the last 26 years living at Camont, I have had 2418 days of Summer… or nearly 7 years of long…

Éphémère Courses in French Living: FMR-at-Camont

I’ve been thinking a lot about teaching lately. How we learn an idea or a skill. How we assimilate it into our everyday life. As the summer garden blooms along the kitchen wall, I think about the lessons learned this…

More Tips on How to Have a Great Vacation in the French countryside…

Before we jump into Tip # 11, refresh your last summer lessons- the Top Ten “How to have a Great Vacation in the French Countryside.” http://kitchen-at-camont.com/2013/06/17/47-tips-vacation-french-countryside/ and then http://kitchen-at-camont.com/2013/08/06/47-tips-for-a-great-vacation-in-the-french-countryside-6-10/ Ready for Number Eleven? When the first hint that Summer has arrived, don’t looking…

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A thousand pictures are worth a million words. Take a look at Camont and Gascony as I see it— everyday, in my kitchen, at my table, and across the landscapes of France.

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Get in touch

Questions? Feedback? Or just like to say hello? Feel free to send us a message anytime; we don’t bite and we’d love to hear from you! Or if you’d prefer, you can also reach us via telephone, visit us in person and naturally, find us on your favourite social media sites.

Tel: 33 5 53 47 56 29
Int: 05 53 47 56 29
Email:
hello@kitchen-at-camont.com

Camont
47310 Sainte-Colombe-en-Bruilhois
France

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