Last year, not long before Christmas, after thinking about it for months I finally decided to announce that I’d be hosting workshops in my home in the Médoc. I hesitated, I was ambivalent about it, was it actually a good idea?
9 months later the answer is clear. Yes it was and is a fantastic idea. I had worried about letting people down, I had wondered if our facilities would be good enough. If I would be good enough. I also wondered, to be completely honest, if I would enjoy hosting the workshops and frankly if the people who’d come would all be … as nice as I imagined.
In my last post I mentioned statistics from my restaurant. Well here’s one from my workshops. People who came and weren’t nice. Zero. I know, I can’t believe it myself. But that’s the truth and it makes me incredibly happy. A great number of those who came have written to express their satisfaction, often in very personal letters but here is a comment that warmed my heart, left on the blog by a good man who brought his wife and daughter to the workshop, gave us some good ideas and whose positivity was infectious in every way.
“Mimi’s Workshop is one of those experiences you want to tell everyone about, but desperately try not to for fear of never being able to get an opening for a return visit! But, seeing as how she and her family overdelivered on every promise made I want to help them achieve greater success than they have imagined. And, while “being half-French and (she is) uncomfortable talking about money”, I’m American and don’t have a problem broadcasting … this is a bargain! Get it while it lasts! Thank you, Mimi and Oddur, for sharing your talents, family, lifestyle and home with us. You’ve given us a great gift!” Rob Kline, workshop guest June 2015
As I think back to all the wonderful people I’ve met in the past year I get very emotional and nostalgic and there is a part of me that feels that next year’s crop simply won’t be able to compete with this year’s (now I’m talking like a sensitive headmistress on graduation day). But that’s how I felt after every class. Everything was special, each class in it’s own different way. We’ve had big classes, small classes, mixed classes, ladies only. We’ve had experienced cooks and beginners, couples, sisters, old friends and new friends. A lot of wine enthusiasts, newlyweds and one lady who bought a house, adopted one of our puppies and threw a wedding banquet in our restaurant. There’s been lot more tears than I ever could have imagined, mainly tears of joy of course but moments of real tenderness. I’ve had a smashing time.
Now that we are entering the fall months I’ve been thinking about next year, quite a few things are already lining up and I made up my mind this summer that we’ll definitely be doing the workshops again next year. I had planned to announce the dates a bit later but since the start of September I’ve been inundated with emails asking for next year’s dates. I understand that most people attending come from quite far away and trips like that need planning. So I decided to announce early this year and at the end of this post you can find all the dates for next year.
This year’s workshops have all been in the same format. We meet for breakfast, cook lunch together then we tend to take a little break (a big lunch with lots of wine simply calls for it) or have an outing until we start cooking again and have dinner together. And as they say in America, if it ain’t broken why fix it! So we’ll stick to our guns, won’t raise the price (500 euros per day per person all meals and wine included. Which means a three-day class is 1.500 euros per person). I will help people find suitable accommodation in the region (we’re far more experienced now than in the early days – and while I do recommend to people to rent a car so they can explore the region they are by no means obliged to, we will pick them up at the station/airport if that’s needed.
One of the few changes we’re making this year it that I’ve decided not to do any 2-day workshops, it’s simply too short and I feel that we just need 3 days or more. So all the workshops will either be 3 or 4 days.
As I said it’s all been overwhelmingly positive but there is always room for improvement. One thing we will fix this fall and next year is to be more organised in certain areas. A lot of people are interested in photography and while we tried to introduce some photo “lessons” here and there we feel that it’s better to be clear about who wants what. So from now on, if any of you booking a class are particularly interested in photography you should simply mention that when you reserve a space and one of the days we will split up the class, some will cook others will style and shoot. Also, one area that I’ve found people to be extremely interested in is wine and wine tasting (who would have thought ha ha). So next year we have decided to branch out a little and offer more formal wine tasting classes. While we always have great wines (and do a lot of blind tastings anyway with exceptional wines) next year we’ll be doing two workshops that focus even more on wine and exceptional vintages. The price for those needs to be higher so we can go deeper into the cellars of Médoc and unearth some treasures ( a supplement of 500 euros will be added to those classes).
So not to stall any further, here are the dates for 2016:
2-4 (3-day class)
9-11 (3-day class)
31-April 3 (4-day class)
7-9 (3-day class)
27-30 (4-day class)
11-13 (3-day class)
25-28 (4-day class)
1-4 (4-day class)
15-17 (3-day class) special wine-tasting class
29 June -July 1 (3-day class)
No classes in July, August
27-30 (4-day class)
5-7 (3-day class) special wine-tasting class
19-22 (4-day class)
2-5 (4-day class)
23-25 (3-day class)
6-8 3-day class
Additionally if any of you can get together a group of 6 people I can arrange something outside the published dates for you, if the dates and stars align.
For all bookings and further information please contact [email protected]
Can’t wait to hear from you! Mimi x
56 thoughts on “WORKSHOPS 2016”
Oh Mimi, I’m wishing you a great success to this second year’s sessions and hope to be able to attend them too some time in the future!
Greetings from Athens, Greece 🙂
Lovely! Would love to see you! Mimi x
Damn, woman, the first part of this post made me tear up big time, and I’m wearing make up and now I’m not a pretty sight, so making a mental note NOT to come to your blog wearing make up 😉 oh how I wish I could attend one of your workshops only to eat and drink the wine – and of course, learning, especially styling and photography. Still hoping for that winning lottery ticket so I can book myself a holiday in Médoc and take it from there, one wine after the other…
Looks like a wonderful vacation to me! What a beautiful setting. A day of cooking, wine and friends is worth every penny. Best of luck for a wonderful year.
C est vraiment chouette. Un jour je m inscrirai! Ça c est sûre! Bravo pour votre travail!
Green with envy! I can’t commit to 2016, but will experience vicariously through your blog and Oddur’s photos. May they be as much fun as 2015.
I will be spending 4 days in Bordeaux next week. Could you please advise your favorite restaurants, markets, etc in the area?
I enjoy your blog so very much and hope to be a part of a cooking group at some point.
Dear Mimi, yes please! J’ai noté “Le glouton”, but i’m sure you have also good tips…
J’espère pouvoir venir un jour à l’un de vos workshop. Du haut de mes 24 ans, je vais devoir attendre un peu…
I would like to attend the October 19 – 22 Wine tasting session.
It would be just me. Any openings??
Hi Pamela, I just announced the 2016 dates so we do have opening although my inbox is getting quite full. Please send me a mail to [email protected] and I will respond today 🙂
Mimi, I extremely happy for you! It has been so much fun and very rewarding to watch all of this grow and come to real life. You have so much to be proud of . . . . I love the escape you give us into the French countryside. ♥
My email is sent! I’m so excited! Everything’s that Rob said is so true! 🙂
Is this the Dana, the newlywed? Are you going back? 🙂
I’m so happy for you and your whole family Mimi. It’s a dream come true. I would love to attend one of your workshops in the future. What a wonderful experience it would be. Please attach more of Oddur’s gorgeous still life quality photos along with your beautiful writing. Each photo seems to tell a story. I love them! I know you’re so very busy but maybe in between your regular posts you could also just keep us up to date with lots more of Oddur’s photos! Best wishes on your next workshops!
This sounds so marvelous. Wonderful to know that everything you had mentioned was as so and more. Rare most times in the world. Could u please list a little refresher on the prices? God only knows when but now it is becoming more of a definite option. God Bless and continued blessings, success & JOY!
Un jour peut-être…d’ici là j’espère une visite au Québec 😉
I felt compelled to compliment the first photograph in this post. It looks like an oil painting from another time. Simply beautiful. The rich colours of the fruits, bread and scallions against the white table cloth, the rusticity of the wood and the lighting…..beautiful. My humble compliments to Oddur. And of course, to your own vision and your creations, the blog, book, these courses…to the things we don’t see like you and your running of a family and a household….a truly gargantous-humongous compliment to you Mimi! How do you do it, and do it so well? Unbelievable.
I can not pin any pictures from your website. Was this intentional ?
That under seam on the linen in shot 1 is driving me nuts.
Everything in writing after that is a blur.
Sounds like I need to see video material or a show in the offing!
Yes!!!! A show would be amazing!
Mmmmm, I’d appreciate being at the table so much more than that the tablecloth on the table was upside down!!!!
It’s all about food, friends, family (incl dogs!!!) and laughter! Mimi, Oddur, kiddies and dogs, chooks, vege garden, Anne the brocante shoplady, Mr Medoc, etc etc etc.
I’d trade places in a nanosecond!!!! xxxx
Hmmmm! Off to Italy one week from today and a much anticipated cooking school in Montefollonico. Mimi, I think I will put you on my wish list for next year. What food enthusiast wouldn’t long for an adventure in Medoc and the beautiful countryside. See you next year???
Dear Mimi, my mother and I had a wonderful time at the workshop this summer!
To everyone that wonders, it’s so worth it! Mimi&Oddur are warm, welcoming and generous. Generous with their time, home, children’s and their dogs. They are passionate and truly love what they do. Some things can’t be faked! To all that love this blog, the workshop is an unique opportunity to immerse yourself in Mimi&Oddur world. They are authentic loving people and gracious host. What’s on this blog is exactly how they live, the plates, linens, aprons are the same, it’s quite amazing!
Thank you so much Mimi&Oddur
Ma chère Cassandre! You are so lovely, thank you for such a lovely message. What a wonderful time we had, I can’t wait to see you again! Mimi x
I just wanted to write and tell you how much I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and making some of your recipes which have universally been praised. But I really hit it out of the park last week when I made the Panna Cotta from your wonderful cookbook for an al fresco luncheon for some friends. It’s amazing….really! I used peach butter that I made last summer on the top and it was delicious. Each ramekin was licked clean! I’m certain that it will be a “go to” recipe often used in the future.
So merci mille fois (is that right?) for the inspiration to cook simply and beautifully!
Just a word to say that you were a part of a very special gift to my Godchild, a lovely woman of some 40 years + or so, last Fall.
I inherited my mom’s entire Creuset set which I use and have used thoroughly over the years cooking for my family and friends. Truthfully, I must say that none of my other siblings appreciated its cooking value a I did (and my mom knew that), preferring more lightweight cooking wares. Anyway, since my big entertainment years are behind me more than ahead, I decided to pass on my best Creuset pieces to my Godchild, Isabelle, now, not when I’m dead. Isabelle has definitely inherited my passion for good food and world cuisine. I knew she was hoping to inherit the set. Anyway, the week of her birthday, I was still wondering what to offer her that would warm her heart and, one night, I come home from work and open my cupboard and see all these beautiful Creuset pots, far too many for little ol’me, whose entertainment years are far more behind me than ahead of me. I told her to get out of her house, that I had something special to drop off at her place – a surprise gift I said – and to leave the door opened for me. Her hubby was home. I took four of my best Creuset pieces, scrubbed the hell out of them, tied a beautiful moss gree ribbon to each of them, as well as to a copy of your beautiful book, A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse, and left.
Her daughter and hubby said she was moved to tears when she entered her kitchen and saw the different, still like new Creuset pots, my mom’s, originally, but also her grand mother’s, the woman who raised her the first two years of her life.
You are in our hearts now.
Oh, dear Mimi,
Just back from Corsica and Umbria. All the time I was thinking of the great experience I had at the workshop! Thank you for all amazing moments, you and your family shared with us. I would like to come again and again.
P.S. Waiting for the new book impatiently
Thank you Tatyana! We must have crossed paths in Umbria, such a shame we couldn’t meet 🙂 We had such a lovely workshop together, you and all the girls, all the laughter a the dinner table! 🙂 Hope to see you soon. Mimi x
I can’t think of two days that were better spent. What a wonderful experience- the family, food, dogs, and surroundings were enchanting. Would (and have) recommended it to anyone! My mom (Kiki) and I would do it again in a heartbeat…
Thanks again Mimi and Oddur!
Thanks for the sweet comment Amy! I’ll never forget your stay, how lovely your mom was, and a huge thanks for the amazing drawing of Dick! It’s so beautiful. You are so talented Amy (and here, I’ll just say it, why don’t you start a line of stationary with dog greeting cards?) 🙂 Mimi x
Hi Mimi, first off i absolutely adore your blog, book, show and everything else you do. I heard somewhere that you are thinking of creating a YouTube channel? I hope that is true!
Love and thanks from Canada
Big thanks Bea! Yes, you heard right, a You Tube channel is on its way, just a tad later than expected because we want to make something extra nice! 🙂 Hope to see you soon! Mimi x
Everything sounds lovely! I’m excited to plan a time for next Fall. You mention that you will not be hosting any 2 day workshops because it’s not enough time, but perhaps this price point will inhibit participation for some…
It would be my dream for my family to create and feast with your family. Cheers to hoping!
Oh it would be lovely to meet you! Fingers crossed, Mimi x
I hope this finds you and your family well. It’s taken me so long to say THANK YOU, but you really deserve it. Your workshop was the highlight of my year! I am so lucky to be a part of one the first workshops, and even have memories forever preserved in your meatball challenge post 🙂
Rob’s review is absolutely true. It took some saving on my part, but the worth of those days goes beyond finances. Not only was your entire family so charming, but I made wonderful friends. Each day was a complete delight, and showed me just how beautiful life can be. I hope to return to Medoc someday and hope to meet again. Best wishes to your family and on all your future endeavors!
Hello Monica! I am so happy to hear from you. It’s feels like such a long time ago, but all these memories are cherished forever. I can’t believe how lucky we have been, hosting such amazing people like you! Life is good 🙂 Big hugs from all of us, Mimix
I am feeling so very blessed…My spot for the December cooking class is reserved…Gilles has been contacted…I have reserved the Marie Antoinette room at his Chateau…my plane ticket bought….3 nights in Paris…and on top of all this I get to do this with one of my oldest and dearest friends! What more can a girl ask for? Seriously, Mimi I can’t wait…I am deeply touched by all the heartfelt comments of the attendees and your readers! As one of your attendees said, “Some things can’t be faked” is a testimony not only to you but your family…Can you guess I am counting the days until December 9th? Thank you for all the joy you bring your readers! Happy Fall! ❤️
Oh Stephanie! I can’t wait. We will have a great time together! See you very soon! Mimi x
Hi! Would anyone be able to recommend a good hotel in the area? Thank you!
Hi! There’s a lovely simple and charming B & B called La Hourqueyre, then I love Château de Loudenne in St yzans de Médoc or Ormes de Pez in St Estèphe. Mimix
I can’t wait for my workshop with you in November, just about 1 month away!!!
See you soon!!!
Dear Mimi, I’m the lady who lives in
Saudi Arabia and comes over to see you with my son during my week-end in Medoc! Just to tell you thank you for your kind greeting. We, my son and and I, are going to keep on following your culinary adventures. Hope to see you again another time. Anna
It’s always uplifting and inspiring to read you ! Good to know that even a seasoned entrepreneur (and yes, I mean it as a compliment, and yes, I do feel you have that kind of experience !) has her doubts and questions before wandering off to a new venture. As I am working on my own business, the budget for your workshops doesn’t fit in the books for now, but I do very much hope to attend one some day. Wishing you the very best in the mean time !
Maëlis / La Fiancée du Panda / Panda Living
Being Canadian, I thought it only naturals to spend American Thanksgiving in France. I can attest to the fact that attending one of Mimi’s workshops is like stepping straight into one of her blog posts. The house is grand. The dogs are charming. The children are lovely. The wine is delicious and Mimi and Oddur are very gracious, generous hosts. But the food!…..the food was the star!
This is awesome news, Mimi! I’m hoping to take a trip to Europe sometime next year and will definitely keep these dates in mind. So exciting! 🙂
do you have a opening in october for two
Mimi- Arden and I are very much looking forward to next week. Arden hopes to explore the afternoon photography options if that is available. Hope this is okay. Thanks Sarah
Thanks for the ispiration for cooking !
Can wait to join one of your workshops.
Happy holidays !
This workshop will go right on to my bucket list….I so want to come! I hope that one day I will be able to get away and do so. Blessings to you and your family as you venture into 2016!
dear mimi, just bought your cookbook!
love what you do!
wanted to know if any workshops are coming up this summer? would like to participate.