Brigitte Dumant gives French cooking classes from her beautiful home in Normandy. In this interview, she tells us more about this, and shares some of her best tips for cooking and sourcing the freshest ingredients

You may also like to browse our sample Gourmet Food Tours to get more inspiration for your next trip to France!

Brigitte and travelers in her garden after a cooking class
Brigitte with travelers Marcia, Elliot, Evelyn & Steve after a cooking class

Marcia, Elliot, Evelyn & Steve

How did you learn to cook?

I learned from my mother, and my family owns six restaurants in Paris! I always loved cooking and having friends home for dinner - isn't it a good combination??

What's special about Norman cuisine?

In Normandy, you can find the best creamy ingredients: cream, cheese, the best apples, and the best Calvados (apple brandy) to flambé what you are cooking!!

Brigitte in her kitchen
Brigitte in her home kitchen, where she teaches her cooking classes

Brigitte Dumant

Where do you source your ingredients?

My husband is busy with the vegetable garden, which includes artichokes, zucchinis, eggplants, squash, tomatoes, and different herbs.

I go to a special farm to buy chicken and I buy local fish (such as scallops, sole, shrimps and crab) from fishermen’s wives at Trouville. They sell the fish their husbands have caught during the day or night directly from the boat, and of course, the fish is very fresh!

My favorite local markets are at Pont-l'Évêque or Deauville, where many local producers sell their products.

Fresh scallops from Normandy
"This morning, I went to the open market at Deauville and I bought scallops in their shells directly from the boat." - Brigitte

Brigitte Dumant

Can you share your favorite cooking tip?

I love to teach travelers how to make sauces, to make dishes extra special. When I prepare a sauce, I always begin slowly and carefully. The secret is to cook it gently and slowly for a long time and not to do it too fast. No hurry!

What are your favorite cooking ingredients? 

I love to use different herbs, such as fresh oregano, chives, tarragon, thyme, and rosemary, to enhance the flavor.

Do you have a favorite restaurant in Normandy?

I go to restaurants to have fun with friends or family - this is the most important thing for me - so any restaurant with a special and good atmosphere! We usually go to Les Vapeurs in Trouville, which is a brasserie and an institution.

Brigitte's house in Normandy, where she teaches her cooking classes
Brigitte's house in Normandy, where she teaches her cooking classes

Brigitte Dumant

We are very grateful to Brigitte for taking the time to answer our questions!

For us at France Just For You, it's important to us that our travelers have the chance to immerse themselves in French culture, with lots of opportunities to interact with local French people. 

This is why we arrange for you to stay at premium B&B accommodation, where the English-speaking French hosts will offer you a warm welcome and be happy to talk to you and offer tips about local places to visit. 

We can also arrange private tours with expert local guides; specialist activities like truffle-hunting; wine-tastings; and private cooking classes with local culinary experts, like Brigitte! 

If you would like to book one of our self drive tours in Normandy, and include a cooking class with Brigitte, let us know - we would love to hear from you!

France Just For You

Experts in self-drive tours in France

Travelers Reviews

Jeanne & Michael from Australia
A Great Cultural Experience What we loved most about our wonderful trip was the special activities that FJFY hand picked and tailor made for our interests. We did an awesome cooking experience in Provence, a fun food and wine walking tour with in Nice and a very enjoyable and informative walk in Lagrasse with Carlos. We visited many local markets …
Wherever possible we prefer to travel on our own as opposed to going on a tour package. With France - Just For You, they arranged for a vehicle and booked us into a couple of lovely B&B’s and a great Boutique Hotel in Paris and booked a couple of activities that we were interested in. Besides that, they put together a book for us with everything we …
There are not enough superlatives for our experience with Emilie. Prompt correspondence and thorough questions led to the perfect vacation for my family. Her choice of hotels in Paris and Provence were exactly what I would have chosen on my own. Her tour guide recommendations were spot on. The fact that she arranged all of our transfers, train …
I can echo everything that has been said in the previous three reviews. The personalization of this entire trip was incredible and Emilie communicated quickly and completely, both in the planning of the trip and after we were in France. My husband and I were spending four weeks in France in celebration of our 50th anniversary. We were a little …
Lisa & Don from the US
The Perfect Trip Through France With France Just For You Emilie interviewed us and designed a perfect trip from Paris through the Loire Valley and Normandy, back to Paris, to celebrate my husband's 70th birthday. Every detail was perfect and it was easy to get around. The places she selected for us to stay were simply lovely with wonderful hosts …
Dealing with Emilie is like having a personal concierge. The 10 day trip was perfect. She allowed time to relax and we were able to experience France like locals. This is our 8 th trip to France but after this tour, it will not be our last. Thank you Emilie!

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