Madeleine Vedel

The Curious Writer and Guide to Food, Wine, Cheese, & Travel in Provence

Madeleine Vedel is a writer, photographer and teacher. Over a peripatetic life she has become an accomplished goat cheese maker, a culinary tour guide in Provence, a translator and writer of articles and stories. Trained in France, she brings her culinary, wine and cheese know-how across the Atlantic to Northern Michigan. During the winter, she organizes culinary tours out of her home in Avignon, France.

Thank you again for making it such an amazing trip. It was so much more than a cooking course - it was a sensory experience of note, with a cultural and history tour included - so much more than what I bargained for.
— Mary K.

A cooking class with Chef Erick Vedel in his home kitchen in Arles features fresh ingredients from the market and the surrounding country side, stories and history to enliven each dish, and local wine and cheeses to round out the 4-6 dishes prepared. Each class is three hours of instruction/preparation followed by the feast of your labors.

Surrounded by the bounty of Provence, the urge to share it comes naturally in this sun-drenched country. The many varieties of fish at the market come straight from the Mediterranean Sea just a half an hour away -- leading every market day to be fish day in our house. The olives are pressed nearby and give a smooth and fruity golden green oil to drizzle over vegetables, bread, pasta.. The wines in our "backyard" are amongst the most distinguished, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Lirac, Tavel, and more. Mushrooms grow in the the hills, tomatoes are sold ripe from the field July through October, and fresh cheese from goats and sheep raised and tended locally is there for the asking.

Classes can be scheduled for a morning going through lunch, or an evening going through dinner. (10am-3pm or 5pm-10pm). Each class includes the 3 hours of instruction, 4-6 dishes, and the meal following accompanied by local wines and cheeses.

For 1-2 participants: 250E; for 3 or more participants: 100E/person. Children are welcome to participate. Under 12 - 50E/child; 12-16 - 75E/child, over 16 - adult rate.

On Wednesdays or Saturdays, a morning Arles market tour can be added. In this case, the day begins at 9am and the cost is 125E/person.

Some words from happy clients:

"What a wonderful time we had at your house! I was so excited about the new recipes that I invited friends over for Sunday dinner and have been cooking for two days! I'm doing the Lapin, the white chocolate mousse, carrots and the cheeses in the zucchini."

"Our visit to Arles will be in our memories for many years to come. Thank you again for an absolutely wonderful cooking class and experience of French life. The invitation to visit with us is open any time."

"I just wanted to drop you a note, thanking you for taking part in making my trip to Provence the best vacation I've ever had. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute and can't imagine a holiday without a cooking class again.... Thanks again. I really enjoyed the cooking classes, and I do hope Jean-Marie (the baker)'s business didn't go down too much the week I helped shape the croissants!"