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Exploring the Flavors of Provence

From Marseille and Aix-en-Provence, to Avignon, Saint-Remy-de-Provence, and Gordes … and the many picturesque villages in between, our Expert Host will enliven your senses. Partake in wine and olive oil tastings, gaze upon sunflowers and lavender fields, and experience unsurpassed culinary delights throughout your 9-day trip through Provence. Return to Le Mas de Belle Combe to relax in the countryside and gaze upon the Luberon mountains, the experience sunsets over the hilltop village of Gordes, and wander amongst the home's gardens and olive groves as you make your way to the pool. Enjoy Chef dinners, wine tasting, and an AOC olive oil tasting as highlights of this exclusive Premier experience.

October 12-22, 2022 (departing USA October 11, 2022) with Top Chef Alum Chef Dave Martin*
From $6999 Per Person; Double Occupancy; Single Supplement $1,800; Limited to 18 passengers

PROGRAM HAS BEEN UPDATED FOR 2023; BOOKINGS MADE FOR 2022 WILL REMAIN AS BOOKED.
May 19-May 27, 2023 (departs USA May 18, 2023) with Chef Bob Waggoner
September 8-16, 2023 (departs USA September 7, 2023) with Chef Antoine Fremont
October 13-21, 2023 (
departs USA October 12, 2023)
From $7599 Per Person; Double Occupancy; Single Supplement $1,800; Limited to 18 passengers

DAY-BY-DAY IN PROVENCE

Depart United States for Marseille, France*

*Please note that the October 12-22, 2022 departure goes into Nice and out of Marseille. This departure includes: 

Day 1 — Cagnes-sur-Mer, France Arrive Nice International Airport in the morning, followed by private transfer to your hotel. Check-in your hotel and enjoy a Welcome Dinner with the group. Day 2 — Nice This morning following breakfast, you will be transferred to Old Nice for a guided tour, which starts with the Cours Saleya market, a must-see on the French Riviera with its striped awnings protecting the beautiful and delicious produce. Our Expert Host will guide you through a tasting of local culinary treats, such as traditional socca. You will learn about the local ingredients and producor the Vence Chapel. This beautiful chapel is in the town of Vence on the French Riviera, built and decorated between 1947 and 1951 under a plan devised by Henri Matisse. You will transfer to St. Paul de Vence for a visit to Maison de Parfums Godet to learn about their 100-year history, as well as the art and science of creating perfumes. You will then be at leisure to explore within the medieval walls encircling the narrow streets of St. Paul de Vence, to stroll through its many unique shops, and enjoy lunch at leisure. You will return to the hotel and have your evening at leisure.
The 2022 tour continues on to Aix-en-Provence en route to the villa and includes the itinerary from Day 3 through Day 9 below. Please call for the complete itinerary.ts of the south of France and the way they are used in the traditional food. It, of course, will be an opportunity to stroll the famous Marche aux Fleurs Cours Saleya — the flower market — and learn about the longstanding history of Nice as the carnation capital of France. As well, you will enjoy a tasting at the historic Maison Auer, a continuously operating chocolaterie and confiserie that is currently run by the fifth generation of confectioners in the Auer family. You will have time to explore Nice and enjoy lunch at leisure before departing for the hotel. Evening at leisure.
Day 3 — Vence - St. Paul de Vence After breakfast at Chateau Le Cagnard, your guide will pick you up from the hotel to bring you on a guided visit to the Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence, often referred to as the Matisse Chapel

2023:
Day 1 — Marseille — Aix-en-Provence

Arrive Marseille airport in the morning, followed by private transfer to your hotel in Aix-en-Provence, Hotel Le Pigonnet, (or similar). Check-in your hotel and enjoy a Welcome Dinner with the group this evening.

Day 2 —Aix-en-Provence
Following your final breakfast, enjoy a guided tour of Aix-en-Provence, founded by the Romans in 103 BC. Aix-en-Provence has been called the city of a thousand fountains and is known for its colorful market, which will be in full swing on this Saturday. Explore this amazing market, discovering the vegetables and fruits, cheeses, herbs, olive oil, and all the flavors of Provence in the center near Cours Mirabeau. Following your guided tour and lunch, spend the balance of your day at leisure exploring this beautiful city.

While in Aix, we encourage you to visit a local wine/spirits shop to purchase your beverage of choice for cocktail hours and your general enjoyment
wine will be available with dinner. You will be warmly welcomed home with a champagne toast, hors d'oeuvres, and Chef’s dinner this evening.


Day 3 — Gordes
Following breakfast, depart for your villa in the Provencal countryside — your accommodations for the next six nights. Enjoy time to refresh and relax before enjoying lunch and a wine tasting, as well as the first Chef’s dinner — for which you can help with preparing as much (or as little) as you wish.

Day 4 — Gordes
Spend the morning in beautiful, medieval Gordes. On a guided tour, walk through the vaulted, arcaded lanes that reveal the town’s many charms. Visit the Caves du Palais Saint-Firmin a Gordes, which boasts a variety of artistic features, provide evidence of life in Gordes (listed as one of France’s most beautiful villages) from the Middle Ages onwards, and offer visitors a wonderful opportunity to immerse themselves in the history of this mysterious, semi-troglodyte world. Moving from room to room, visitors will learn all about the history of the place and the know-how associated with the oil production process. Late morning, enjoy an aperitif (Rosé, white or red wine, still and sparkling water, fruit juices, savory bites) served in the gardens (privatized for the occasion). Transfer to the Abbaye de Senanque, a Cistercian abbey renowned for its spectacular lavender fields, for a guided visit. Chef’s dinner.

Day 5 — Gordes — At Leisure
Enjoy time this morning in Gordes with our Expert Host shopping the market for local ingredients for tomorrow's Chef's dinner. Otherwise, you can enjoy the entire day at leisure to relax by the pool, take a hike to enjoy the landscape of the area, or walk on your own into Gordes to visit the shops for gifts to take back home. Dinner will be at leisure -- you can make reservations in Gordes. Transportation can be arranged upon request (not included).

Day 6 — St. Remy de Provence
Today, enjoy St. Remy de Provence. In the village of Saint-Remy in the heart of Provence, forever entwined with the legacy of Vincent van Gogh, you will find everything Provençal you desire as you stroll along the boulevards under the shade of century-old trees. You will enjoy strolling through the local market place, brimming with fresh produce, baguettes straight from the oven, fragrant herbs, and seasonal specialties … taste and select some French cheeses to take back to the villa. Then enjoy a guided walking tour that will take you around the narrow little streets, discovering squares where children play in the fountains, and the attractive boutiques and art galleries that make the town’s historic center so lively. Taste some local delicacies along the way. Enjoy time at leisure for lunch. Transfer back to the villa for time at leisure before this evening’s Chef’s dinner.

Day 7 — Avignon

After breakfast at the villa, you will depart for Châteauneuf du Pape between Avignon and Orange, France. In the 14th century Pope Jean XXII, chose Châteauneuf as the location for their summer residences, and then decided to plant vines on the stony land which surrounded their landholdings. For a long time, the wine production remained a secret but in 1929, it was officially recognized and bestowed with its own appellation: Châteauneuf du Pape. This appellation means that the wine production in Châteauneuf du Pape is subject to strict controls to ensure that the 55 vineyards produce extremely fine wine. Enjoy a private wine tasting at a vineyard in the heart Châteauneuf du Pape. Then transfer to Avignon, a city in southeastern France’s Provence region that is set on the Rhône River. From 1309 to 1377, it was the seat of the Catholic popes. It remained under papal rule until becoming part of France in 1791. This legacy can be seen in the massive Palais des Papes (Popes' Palace) in the city center, which is surrounded by medieval stone ramparts. Enjoy a guided walking tour, including passing through the lively market, and a guided visit to the Palais des Papes (entrance tickets included), enjoy lunch or do some shopping.  You will be welcomed home this evening with a regional dish from our local culinary artisan.

Day 8 — Bonnieux — Menerbes

Following breakfast, head out to enjoy the hilltop villages of Bonnieux and Menerbes. In addition to walking tours, you will have free time to peruse each quaint locale and have lunch at leisure. You will return to the villa for a final Chef's dinner.

Day 9 — Gordes
Check-out and transfer to Marseille Airport for your flight home.

**IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Itinerary subject to change. Premier Tours & Travel reserves the right to modify programs and itineraries (including arranged sightseeing, accommodations, dining experiences, aircraft, trains, vessels, and so forth) at any time due to unforeseen circumstances or circumstances beyond Premier Tours & Travel’s control, including force majeures. In the instance our Expert host cancels due to unforeseen circumstances, Premier Tours & Travel has the right to substitute another Expert host, such as a chef, in such an emergency (timing allowed) and/or the tour will continue in its entirety. Every effort is made to operate our itineraries as planned but alterations may need to be made after the final itinerary has been issued. Airfare is not included. Deposits are utilized to secure services on your behalf and are nonrefundable. Deposits are transferrable to a future Expertly Done Culinary & Wine Travel tour. Wine is included as noted otherwise alcoholic beverages are the responsibility of each adult guest. Two glasses of wine will be provided with Chef's dinners at the villa; additional wine is your responsibility. Guests are limited to one carry on and one checked baggage and will be responsible for any additional fees charged for additional luggage. Please see Key Items to Know Before You Leave Home in Terms & Conditions.

 

ABOUT CHEF BOB WAGGONER
 

 
Chef Bob Waggoner Bob received his formal training with Michael Roberts at Trumps in Los Angeles from 1981 to 1983, and later in France at a constellation of Michelin-rated restaurants with chefs Jacques Lameloise, Charles Barrier, Pierre Gagnaire, Gerard Boyer and Mark Meneau. At 23, he took on his first chef position at the private club “Members” in Caracas, Venezuela. Chef Bob Waggoner returned to France at age 24 to become chef of the Hotel de la Poste in Avallon for three years. Then, in 1988 at age 26, in the town of Moneteau in Burgundy, he became the first American chef to own his own restaurant in France, the much acclaimed Le Monte Cristo. He is one of the few Americans to be Knighted with the “l’Odre du Mérite Agricole” from the Government of France. In 1991, Waggoner was offered the opportunity of Chef de Cuisine with Chef Jean-Pierre Silva, the two-star Michelin, at Le Vieux Moulin in Beaune, France. After 11 years in France, he returned to the States in 1993 to cook at the award-winning Turnberry Isle in Florida, before joining The Wild Boar in Nashville, where he earned the restaurant a coveted AAA Five-Diamond Award and the Grand Award from Wine Spectator. 

He finally found his way to Charleston where he was Executive Chef of Charleston Grill at Charleston Place for a dozen years. Every year, Chef Bob was at the Charleston Grill, it was awarded AAA Four-Diamond and the Mobile Four-Star award, and in 2001-2005 he was nominated four times for The Beard Foundation "Best Chef Southeast" award. He is author of the Charleston Grill at Charleston Place: French Influenced Lowcountry Cuisine cookbook. Always well regarded as a media-savvy chef, he has won an Emmy for his television show “Off the Menu” with Turner South. He also hosted 2 cooking shows with PBS, U Cook with Chef Bob and Sing for Your Supper with Chef Bob. Currently, he is the owner of “In the Kitchen with Chef Bob Waggoner” where he hosts cooking classes in a relaxed, casual, and sophisticated atmosphere. With his easygoing nature, he can teach anyone the culinary tips and techniques for "how it's done" in the finest restaurants.

 

ABOUT CHEF DAVE MARTIN

In 2006, Dave took a chance on a new reality show called ‘Bravo’s Top Chef‘ without knowing where the experience would lead him. It proved to be an incredible opportunity where he could put himself out there in front of America and prove that he could thrive under pressure in the kitchen. Viewers fell in love with Dave’s personality along with his ability to transform old school dishes into updated comfort food classics.

Fast forward to 2022 and Dave has proven to be a global flavor expert that knows how to work with the ingredients indigenous to any region and create dishes that stay true to their origin. There’s no better example than his two most recent projects in NYC- Chama Mama (a Georgian restaurant) and Dalup (an Indian fast-casual spot). His new cookbook, ‘The Tequila Diet’ (an exploration of Mexican food and drink) goes live in May of this year in partnership with El Bastón del Rey Tequila.

Aside from his restaurant and food truck experience, Dave works with a consulting group that provides innovation and insight to big food companies like ConAgra, PepsiCo and Yum Brands. These projects help big food companies keep on trend through research and meetings with the top chefs around the country to find out what’s happening out in the marketplace. This keeps him in tune with current and future trends and ensures that he on top of his game with nationwide trends and not just with what’s hot in NYC. Under these big food companies, he has worked for brands like Hunts, Rotel, KFC & Bertolli along with doing recipe development and desk side product launches for food commodities brands like Lamb Weston (Grown in Idaho and Alexia brands), The California Walnut Board and The US Apple Board.

When Dave isn’t working on restaurant projects or hosting immersions for major food companies, he’s running his events division. Producing interactive corporate events for companies like Cisco Systems, UBS, NBC & Estee Lauder to large scale programming across the country for Tufts University and Women’s Health Magazine. Cooking classes, intimate dinner parties and wine pairing events in wine country like Willamette Valley, Santa Barbara and Los Olivos round out the roster. It’s all about Food, Wine, Spirits and Travel in Dave’s world where he’s trying to take it all in one day at a time. Dave even made his way back to the small screen on Food Network’s Chopped and Cutthroat Kitchen winning both shows.

Dave is proud to be “Fast Food Sober” for 17 years now and is an avid promoter, supporter and advocate for a healthier lifestyle through cooking with fresh, real ingredients.

ABOUT CHEF ANTOINE FREMONT

10 years Cooking teacher Institut Paul Bocuse in Écully Rhône (2011-2021)

Chef de cuisine educational restaurant, gourmet restaurant
Animator cooking workshop amateurs and professionals
Responsible for various internal catering departments
Responsible for English-speaking culinary programs & representation for French gourmet cuisine in Asia, Africa, Latin America, United States, Finland.
Organizer of culinary event in France for SIRAH LYON 2019

11 years of experience as Production Manager Event Catering in the Vaucluse

Composition of the menu and the different proposals: cocktail, seminars, weddings, meal trays, cooking classes...
Creation, Development and Qualification of Recipes
Monitoring of costs and product quality
Management of production schedules
Implementation and monitoring of HACCP hygiene standards
Management equips up to 30 people according to production rate

My References: Meffre Traiteur Vaucluse (3 m€ turnover), Marseille Traiteur Vaucluse (2 M€ turnover), Michea Traiteur Lyon (2.5 m€ turnover)

15 years of experience as a gourmet and regional Chef

Design and costing of menus, cost control on 2 restaurants (gastronomic - Club House)
Implementation of banquet menus, seminars, and gastronomic menu
Management of a team of 10 people
Owner and Chef of a restaurant

My References: Christian Têtedoie Lyon, the counter-head in Lyon, Hotel restaurant Golf du Gouverneur - 4 stars in Monthieux (Ain), Restaurant la Petite Auberge (Hautes Alpes)