A FIRST-HAND INTRODUCTION TO THE CULTURE AND COOKING OF NICE
STROLL THE COURS SALEYA
Our day begins at 9.30am at the Cours Saleya market, while there is still a fresh morning breeze. The narrow maze of centuries-old streets that is the Vieux Nice opens up onto this splendid space lined with bars, cafés, and fish restaurants on either side and market stalls down the center.
“Le tout Nice” converges on the terraces at lunch, but early in the day you will join the shoppers strolling through the market and admire the vivid displays of seasonal produce, spices, candied fruit, and flowers.
Though the bigger stalls are the most dazzling thanks to their array of colors, what really interests us is the small producers’ stalls. The fruit and vegetables are not as uniformly shaped and the variety not as great, but every ingredient we’ll find here is firmly rooted in the region and much of it is organic.
SAMPLE FRESH LOCAL PRODUCE
Depending on the season you might see organic lemons, perfect for making the local lemon tart; real wild asparagus; fragrant Mara des Bois strawberries; tomatoes ripened on the vine; peaches bursting with juice; and of course, the mix of salad leaves known as mesclun (no Niçois meal would be complete without it).
We will select the best meat and fish for your choice of menu – perhaps lamb from the nearby Alpes de Haute-Provence or Mediterranean Sea bass.
Because traditional Niçois cooking relies more on vegetables than meat or fish, we can also plan an entirely vegetarian menu. No matter what the main ingredient of our meal, we will not forget the wine and selection of cheeses.
RELAX AND ENJOY YOUR WORK
We will then make our way to Rosa’s newly created cooking studio, where everyone will play a role in preparing the meal. Tucked away in rue St-Joseph, one of the most charming streets in the Old Town, this light-bathed studio has a large granite-topped island with built-in gas burners and a separate dining table that seats ten.
No need to worry if you are a beginning cook, the atmosphere is relaxed! A couple of hours later we will sit down to an authentic Niçois meal and toast our efforts with a glass of rosé (or, if you prefer, an intriguing local red or white wine).