Cooking classes available at Normandy’s Chateau de Canisy

Chateau de Canisy in Normandy is up to something special with a three-day cooking school for its guests. Photo: Chateau de Canisy

NORMANDYDecember 2, 2012 – Among the favorite activities at Normandy’s Chateau de Canisy ( ( is the elegant four course dinners.

Served family-style in the banquet hall, Canisy’s dinners are a unique blend of traditional local cuisine, fine wines and delightful conversation amid ten centuries of history dating to William the Conqueror.

Dinners include cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the salon before moving to the dining room for appetizers, a entrée, salad and cheese and dessert. Following dinner, guests return to the salon for coffee and aperitifs.

Banquet room, Canisy

So popular have these nightly culinary adventures become that regular visitors to the chateau began requesting the opportunity to prepare similar gourmet pleasures themselves. Voila! Ask and you shall receive, as Canisy’s Chef Christian Small now offers a three-day  French Cooking school holiday for 2 to a maximum of 6 guests.

Canisy’s “Cook with our Chef” invites visitors into the kitchen of the 1000 year old château where you will discover the cuisine of Normandy through local market visits, an afternoon tasting the gastronomic specialties of the region and several hands on cooking classes.

The three day program is all inclusive from 990 € per person.

Since inheriting the prodigious Chateau de Canisy with it setting on 740 acres of lush, green farmland in the 1970s, Count Denis de Kergorlay has continuously renovated his acquisition to adapt the aristocratic lifestyles of the past for the 21st century.

Canisy is unique for many reasons, among which is its unbroken bloodline of ancestral heritage which dates to the 10th century. De Kergorlay opens his residence to the public, allowing visitors to experience chateau life for themselves, but he is quick to emphasize that his home is not a hotel. Don’t expect a front desk, bellmen, room service or elevators.  Rather Chateau de Canisy is a rare travel discovery that allows guests to enjoy French ambience of French combined with the history of Normandy.

Winter at Canisy

As Count de Kergorlay always says, “Come and enjoy the real ‘vie de château.’

While Chateau de Canisy traces its origins to the Middle Ages, it underwent major changes in the 16th, 18th and 19th centuries.  The transformations and renovations have continued in the 21st century with the addition of a second pond, a newly landscaped park and a small petting zoo.

Located in Normandy at the southern edge of the Cotentin Peninsula, Canisy is rarely, if ever, found on maps of the region, deferring to its larger neighbor St. Lo which is five miles away. 

Less than a five-minute walk from the castle is the tiny village of Canisy consisting of a parish church, a couple of boulangeries, several shops and a bank that line four streets radiating like spokes from a small roundabout.

When he is personally in residence at Canisy, Kergorlay loves to treat visitors to the intriguing history of his castle.  Everyone is welcomed with gracious hospitality, and all are treated as if they are lifelong friends or acquaintances.  From the moment guests walk through the door, be they first-timers or long-time “friends of the chateau” they feel completely at home.

Authentic bed chamber, Canisy

The count knows he has succeeded when the “chateau life” comes alive for his visitors within mere minutes of their arrival.

Today, Count de Kergorlay’s passion for restoration drives him to continue making his chateau at Canisy a unique “living” museum.  Each bedroom is individually appointed from a different period of French history.

In addition, Canisy’s history combined with the count’s ancestral links that bring the pages of history alive through the likes of figures such as Marie Antoinette, Charlotte Corday, Alexis de Tocqueville and General Omar Bradley and more.

Canisy’s myriad of stories combined with the ghosts of its past immerse you in a vibrant tapestry of the last millennium in France. And now there is the added opportunity to join “Cook with  Chef, Christian Small” as an on-going aspect of de Kergorlay’s “vie de château.”

Peabod is Bob Taylor, owner of Taylored Media Services in CharlotteNCTaylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club, which creates, and escorts customized tours to SwitzerlandFrance and Italy for groups of 12 or more.

Inquiries for groups can be made at Taylored Media has produced marketing videos for British Rail, Rail Europe, Switzerland Tourism, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council, the Finnish Tourist Board, the Swiss Travel System and Japan Railways Group among others.

As author of The Century Club book, Peabod is now attempting to travel to 100 countries or more during his lifetime. To date he has visited 70 countries. Suggest someplace new for Bob to visit; if you want to know where he has been, check his list on Facebook. Bob plans to write a sequel to his book when he reaches his goal of 100 countries. He also played professional baseball for four years and was a sportscaster for 14 years at WBTV, the CBS affiliate in Charlotte. 


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Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor has been travel writer for more than three decades. Following a career as an award winning sports producer/anchor, Taylor’s media production business produced marketing presentations for Switzerland Tourism, Rail Europe, the Finnish Tourist Board, Japan Railways Group, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council and the Swiss Travel System among others. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club ( and his goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.


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