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= 180 hours of instruction & experience
  • 2500€ per week (includes 1000€ integrated HACCP certification)
  • September 7 2015 (waiting list) ; November 2 2015 (waiting list); February 1-26 2016

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 Cooking Class

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

    Cooking-at-Camont is a NEW 3-day program that allows you to work and learn in the two kitchens: my new spacious ‘Keeping Kitchen’ at Camont where we make charcuterie, pastries, and bread and my charming original Kitchen where we celebrating traditional…

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.

Rhubarb Strawberry Crumble for breakfast

The first rhubarb grown in my garden was cause for celebration this week. This is a new patch of ‘Frontyard Foraging Garden’ that was just started barely two years ago when Jill L. came for a gardening internship at Camont.  So…

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First Local Berries!

These lovely berries are with me all year long in my kitchen at Camont. They are a reminder of the good things to come in the middle of a long winter. They are a reminder of how fleeting a season…

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A French Spring: where summer food begins

The first time I drove into the Lot-et-Garonne department, it was the Spring of 1988. It was snowing. I was driving into a sunny snow storm on the Canal de Garonne.  I remember masses of purple wisteria wired to stone walls, draped over…

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The Basquelandia Gang Spring 2015- Banca, Euskal Herria

Dr. Michele Pfannenstiel, Sean Richardson, Shaphan Markelon, John & Carrie Gower, Christiane & Dominique Chapolard, Kate Hill  

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Basque encounters of a ham kind

Driving across the Landes forest southwest from Camont and towards the Pyrenees, is a lesson in patience. I am in a hurry to leave our Camont cocoon, get in the van and start the day driving south. I know that…

Saucisse de Couenne- pork rind sausage

  “Everything but the oink.” Nothing goes to waste on a pig. Of all the nose-to-tail recipes I love, from Fergus Henderson’s slow-braised pork belly to Michel Dussau’s Brioche de Boudin Noir et Pomme, I love the fat and simple…

RAINY MARKET NERAC

Rainy Market at Nerac

Buy that brightly colored umbrella, please, so that I might share in the dancing parade of rainy day markets. Stop and gossip under the drips that water the fields and orchards along the hillsides of Nerac. Roll those carts over…

J’adore la poule au pot authentique et naturelle, telle que le bon sens gascon l’a créée. La poule au pot n’est pas sophistiquée, elle est unique.

Maire-Claude Soubiron Gracia Rey

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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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