More than just cooking!

More than just cooking!

People often ask us what there is to do in Val d'Isere other than “just” cooking on our 6 day Cookery Retreat or our 12 day Foundation Course.

Apart from a multitude of summer activities from mountain biking to hiking, swimming, climbing, archery, tennis, beach volleyball, trampolining, fishing, horseback riding, conquering the local Via Ferratas or simply sitting in the sunshine enjoying a glass of rosé, people tend to forget the most obvious thing: EATING!

You might find this a rather laughable statement, but when someone is thinking about booking a cookery course they find themselves pondering all the things they might learn to cook, certain types of cuisines or a few specific recipes they might have seen on our social media.
Until they physically sit down in front of Chicken Milanese for their first lunch, they often overlook the fact that eating is a large part of the cookery course.

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Our cookbook consists of over 200 pages. During our two week course we will cook every recipe and on the one week course we cover about half of them. And you get to eat all of this – as two course lunches (mains and desserts) and four course dinners (canapes, starters, mains, desserts).

If you have travelled with YSE Ski before, you will quickly realize that the variety is much wider than what we offer on our winter holidays as we are learning to cook from scratch without the parameters of catering for a winter ski holiday.
Cooking towards lunch and dinner each day will give you plenty of opportunities to learn new techniques and recipes but also potentially taste foods you have never tasted before – and had never considered tasting. You may not think you’re a particular fan of shellfish, a certain type of meat or style of cuisine – but preparing it yourself, knowing the ingredients and having the opportunity to taste it in a “safe” environment makes you enjoy foods that you didn’t think possible to ever end up on your plate!

Many of our students go home to be Moules Frites lovers, Foie Gras converts or deciples of the Asian cuisine whereas the most exotic dish on their menu before attending the course might have been Britain’s favorite dish, the Chicken Tikka Masala!

Summer is coming around fast!

Summer is coming around fast!

The snow and weather in Val d’Isere is currently behaving and we’re still waiting for quite a bit more of the fluffy stuff to make its appearance before the end of the winter. 

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But that doesn’t stop us from getting ready for the 2019 summer season and think of all the summer fun ahead of us. And ahead of you - if you decide to book a course with us this year!

We will be running two different courses; A 12 day, intensive Foundation Course for all of those with a deeper interest in cooking or thinking about a career in the hugely varied catering industry – be it a ski season, a summer in a French villa, a yacht job in the Med, an assignment for a shooting lodge in Scotland or even diving into the restaurant world… the list is endless. 

The Cookery Retreat, our popular 6 day course teaches you the important basic skills and techniques of cookery escalating your home cooking whilst allowing a little more time to enjoy some of the attractions Val d’Isere has to offer in summer.

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The majority of our courses run in July and August which is the peak summer season in the French Alps. We promise that the stunning, and often dramatic, sceneries won’t disappoint. If you think that the mountains of the Tarentaise Valley are only worth a visit in winter, a week or two with us will most certainly change your mind.

For those travelling with their partner or a friend, we offer a non-cooking partner/friend option at £95pppn (sharing your room, Transfer from GVA and enjoying the food etc).

If your partner or friend is interested in cycling or mountain biking, Val d’Isere is a brilliant choice. For road cyclists there are plenty of mountain passes in the area that are waiting to be climbed with the local Col de l’Iseran being the highest road pass in Europe.

Mountain bikers have access to a variety of pistes (green to black, just as the slopes in winter), with links to Tignes and back for just 10 euros per day. Pedestrians are free on the Olympique and Solaise bubble!

This summer the Tour de France coming through Val d’Isere on July 26th!
The world’s top cyclists will pass through Val d’Isere just 50m away from where you are preparing two course lunches and four course dinners – if you wanted you could watch from your cooking bench. But we think you’ll probably prefer to take a short break and witness this spectacle from a better perspective!

Here is an overview of this year’s dates and fees.

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The Tour de France is coming through Val d'Isere

The Tour de France is coming through Val d'Isere

Are you sick of having to leave your bike at home when yo go on holiday? We have just the solution!

Our cookery course students can bring a partner or friend to share their room and join us for breakfast, lunch and dinner leaving you free to experience everything the summertime alps have to offer and this summer its the Tour de France!

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Stage 19 of Le Tour de France is coming through Val d’Isere next summer!  The penultimate mountain stage before the riders head directly to Paris.

Friday 26th July will see the race go on a dynamic stage from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne up and over the Col de l’Iseran (2 770m), down through Val d’Isere to Tignes les Brevieres then climbing up the back road for a stage finish in Tignes.  It’s only the eighth time in the history of the Tour that it’s gone up to the Col d’Iseran, and only the second time by its south side which is the toughest one.

Saturday 27th is the last competitive stage and starts in Albertville, over the Cormet de Roseland and down to Bourg Saint Maurice, down to Moutiers via Notre Dame de Pré, then climbing for a stage finish in Val Thorens.

There is plenty of other cycling routes and Val d’Isére is well catered for when it comes to cycling. If downhill or cross country is more your thing the Val and Tignes bike park is for you. For 10 euros per day the lift pass gives you access to all of the trails between the top of Bellevarde and the top of Pallafour in Tignes le Lac. The Olympic and Solaise bubbles are free for pedestrians.

After an energetic day in the sunshine, join us for a 2 course lunch and 4 course dinner. Click here for more details

Congratulations to everyone who recently completed our May Foundation Course (F05)

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Congratulations to everyone who recently completed our May Foundation Course (F05)

Our first Foundation Course wrapped up last weekend. Here are a few shots from our students' efforts over the last couple of weeks.

The 12 day course takes our students from knife skills and the core basics through all of the methods of cookery covered in a longer course. 


Canapes and finger food


From rustic salad starters to a deconstructed pigeon with Foie Gras.

Our menus cover a broad range of ingredients, global cooking styles and techniques so students make the most of their time with us.


Smart plated main courses to our Middle Eastern BBQ.

Understand the difference between slow and fast cooking cuts of meat, seafood and tasty vegetarian cuisine.


Bread and pastries through beautiful plated desserts and hand made ice creams

All in all, a lot of cooking, even more eating and a great kick start to the wide range of cooking careers on offer.

Students are supported long after the last plate has been cleared, our "Après" support offers direct contact with our tutor for help and support with all aspects of cooking and cooking work.

Our 6 and 12 day courses run through July and August when Val d' Isère is open for the summer months. For more details, click here.

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Oh, the places you'll go!!

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Oh, the places you'll go!!

Each of us has quite a story to tell of how we came to be the YSE Cookery School. Our paths have been quite different, but what we have in common is that at some point we all started as seasonaires and had no idea where this "one season" was going to take us.........

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Our Cookbook - First Full-Colour Print Edition

Our Cookbook - First Full-Colour Print Edition

We've been waiting for this moment for a long time: Black and white editions, re-working recipes, taking pictures, a test print, proof-reading for the zillionth time, adjusting pictures, improving fonts, changing layouts.... and now it is finally here!

The 5 top skills we'll teach you on our cookery course

The 5 top skills we'll teach you on our cookery course

What can a cookery course teach you that a cook book can't? Surely all that cooking can be learned from a cook book by one of the famous and popular chefs?! So why spend all this time and money to come out to the French Alps if Jamie, Heston and Nigella can teach you exactly the same for £25 per book? Here are the top 5 skills a cook book can't teach you - and actually, there aren't that many surprises.

The 5 top reasons why you want to learn cooking in the French Alps

The 5 top reasons why you want to learn cooking in the French Alps

Many times we've been asked why people should book with a course at our cookery school and make treck all the way  out to the French Alps for a week or two. Surely you can reach the exact same goals in one of the many cookery schools in England without the added hassle and expense of travelling?

We're All Going On A Summer Holiday

We're All Going On A Summer Holiday

Last week we spoke of the beautiful winter wonderland we're living in right now. But more importantly we would love to tell you about the many summer opportunities Val d'Isère has to offer. When you come to the French Alps for your cookery course, obviously cooking and enjoying your creations is the primary focus. But you should remember that there's a whole host of summer activities to explore during the free hours each day.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

The YSE Cookery School operates exclusively in the summer. July and August are the only two summer months in Val d'Isère when construction stops, the lifts open for free to mountain bikers and hikers and the area most of us only know as a snowy white winter wonderland becomes a vibrant playground for all the summer sports you could possibly imagine.