Julia Child fans will soon be able to potter about in the cooking legend’s kitchen and sleep under the same roof she did when the chef’s vacation home in France opens to visitors this summer.
For nearly three decades, Child and her husband Paul spent their summers at La Pitchoune, or La Peetch as she nicknamed it, located in Provence.
In the 1990s, the house was turned into a cooking school by owner Kathie Alex. But after changing hands again under the ownership of Boston couple Makenna and Yvonne Johnston and friend Wendy Timmons recently, the house is set to embark on a new chapter, this time as a guest house that opens in June, and a ‘culinary retreat,’ which will serve up cooking lessons.
Bookings for the house start in June on Airbnb.
Its biggest selling point? The possibility of cooking in Child’s customized kitchen which has been kept intact over the years, with extra-tall countertops and the iconic pegboard from which hang copper pots, pans, measuring cups and assorted kitchen utensils — some of which are Child originals. The kitchen is similar to the one preserved at the Smithsonian museum.
Beginning in 2017, the cottage will also host a cooking school led by Yvonne, a former Air Force Captain who is currently enrolled at the International Culinary Center.
The weeklong Courageous Cooking classes will be limited to six guests, and include breakfasts and lunches, excursions throughout the local area and yoga. Sessions will start in April 2017.
In an interview with Boston magazine, Yvonne said the philosophy behind Courageous Cooking will be to adopt Child’s casual, unpretentious attitude towards food.
“The focus is on cooking French food, for sure, and really, on the Julia Child way of cooking: The no-holds barred, ‘Look at that omelet!’ style of cooking. Our goal is to really take out some of the anxiety that comes with big messes, especially for new-ish cooks.”
The house sleeps six guests in three bedrooms. Rates start at $590 USD a night and the cooking course starts at $2,550.