Weekend Culinary Retreats
A weekend culinary retreat in a charming Vermont village with hands on instruction from a renowned chef and lodging in one of Vermont’s finest country inns.
Brandon, Vermont is a quaint village in the authentic Currier & Ives tradition, that has been tastefully updated to suit the needs of today’s visitor. It is known for its hospitality, friendly natives, gifted artists, and a fun atmosphere. Chef Robert has been the Executive Chef at The Four Seasons Hotel in Boston, The New England Culinary Institute and Café Provence restaurant which he opened in 2004. The Lilac Inn is leading luxury romantic Vermont Country Inn Bed and Breakfast known for romantic getaway packages and special celebrations – in any season.
The Culinary weekend includes per person:
2 nights at the Lilac Inn
Reception with Champagne at Café Provence
2 Dinners at Café Provence
Lunch at Gourmet Provence (Café Provence’s bakery)
Visit to local Farms
3 hr. class/workshop at Café Provence
Brunch with demo at Café Provence
The Vermont Culinary Weekend is available for the following dates:
January 30-February 1
Each weekend class will be limited to 6 couples (minimum of 3 couples). The cost including two nights lodging at the Lilac Inn, meals and classes at the Café Provence and the visit to the Vermont goat farm, is $1495 per couple including all taxes and gratuities.
Friday afternoon, guests arrive in Brandon at their leisure and check in to The Lilac Inn. At 6pm Chef Robert will host a reception with champagne and a stationary display of local cheeses in Café Provence private dining room. Each participant will be presented with an embroidered apron and a group picture will be taken. Afterwards they will enjoy dinner in the Café Provence restaurant. Saturday morning at the Lilac Inn: specially cooked three course Vermont gourmet breakfast of fresh fruit plate, croissant or scone and cooked to order farm fresh egg omelets or pancakes with Vermont maple syrup and bacon, sausage or ham. Saturday 9am until noon: participants will work with Chef Robert in the Café Provence Culinary Theater to work on the menu for Saturday night’s 4 course dinner.
The seasonal menu will emphasize farm to table ingredients:
Blue Ledge Farm Goat Cheese Cakes Salad
Warm goat cheese cakes with lemon herb dressing and balsamic reduction
Cafe Provence Seafood Stew
Braised Vermont Lamb Shanks with Cassoulet from the South West of France
Chocolate Bomb with Vermont Apple Juice Caramel Sauce and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
At noon guests will enjoy lunch at Gourmet Provence and after lunch will have free time to relax at the Inn or explore the unspoiled village of Brandon. At 3 pm guests will take a field trip to a few area farms and tour their facilities. They will return to the Culinary Theater to complete the dinner preparations with Chef Robert and at 7 pm guests will dine with the Chef and enjoy the meal they have prepared. Sunday morning at 9am guests will return to the Culinary Theater where breakfast will be served. Chef Robert will demonstrate eggs Benedict with wilted spinach. Here guests have the opportunity to learn how to make hollandaise sauce and poached eggs. Breakfast will also include French toast Grand Marnier, fresh orange juice, coffee, fruit salad and mini pastries from our bakery.
After breakfast guests are free to enjoy the varied shops of Brandon, local museums, numerous winter recreation choices or cultural offerings, such as, the Robert Frost trail.
For information or reservation:
Café Provence: Call 802-247-9997 and ask for the Catering Manager or Chef Robert or email
or call Doug or Shelly at the Lilac Inn at : 800-221-0720 or email
Here is a story about the weekend on Go Nomad
My wife and I took part in a Cafe Provence culinary retreat that was part of a trip to celebrate my wife’s birthday. She loves to cook and has participated in several cooking schools. This time she included me in the cooking. Like a fish out of water, I joined her. Chef Robert treated us to some cooking techniques in a very enjoyable fashion. We enjoyed some old favorite dishes and learned a few delicious new ones. Now, I can participate in producing a meal and do things other than washing dishes. Learning where some of the foods we used in the dishes we prepared (a goat farm, yak farm and beef farm)came from —by visiting them —was a part of the weekend that I particularly enjoyed.
“My wife and I just returned from the culinary weekend retreat with Chef Robert. There is not enough room to explain the FANTASTIC and UNFORGETABLE WEEKEND EXPERIENCE. This was for my wife’s birthday and we can say that we are very happy to have chosen this to celebrate the occasion. During the weekend we visited 3 farms which was very instructive. Of course we learned various cooking technique all the while prepping our evening meals. Chef Robert is an exceptional Chef and Teacher and was always there to answer our questions, we must not forget to thank Nadene who seem to help to put all this together”.
Michael and Sossi Hubbard, Montreal, PQ