Cook In France

Cook In France

A look at the lives of Jim & Lucy Fisher

The Fisher’s impeccably-run cooking holidays take place in their beautifully converted barn. The smooth running of their courses gives an atmosphere of calm, while Jim and Lucy are relaxed and look pretty glamorous, in an understated, designer way. You would have no idea of the huge amount of planning that goes into their courses, or the fact that, after effectively working for 14 hours a day for several days on the trot, they must be exhausted. You would also have no inkling that the couple and their 14 year old daughter, Jenny, lived in a caravan for 16 months, whilst working on the conversions and renovations on their property, dealing with dirt, heavy work and sub-zero temperatures.

Five years ago, the family packed some belongings into their caravan, and left their house in England and the safety of their jobs, to find a new life in France. Off they trundled on their adventure, and eventually came across the ancient farm of Bombel, which was in need of total renovation. They fell in love with Bombel, and bought it immediately. Then they started work to create their home and their future business…


Lucy (middle) chats to the guests

Their cookery courses started in early 2004, and the bookings have flooded in ever since. Unfortunately for customers, although short courses can be arranged, there is usually only one week-long holiday per month. This is because it takes the whole Fisher family an entire week to prepare for the course – planning menus, doing vast quantities of shopping (8 dozen eggs, 20 bags of flour…) – and a week to recover, washing laundry, et cetera. During the week itself, Jim enlightens the guests and keeps tabs on bookings, while Lucy keeps things together behind the scenes, washing up, and laundering the 40 tea towels used everyday, among other things. Lucy admits that she needs “…an intravenous supply of tea in the mornings…” to kick start her day. “Guests even bring us English tea bags, or send them over for us!”


Jenny (right) helps with the stock

It is all worth it, though. The family are fulfilling their dream, and the confident and bi-lingual Jenny fits in with the guests and routines so well that she wants to follow in her parents’ footsteps; “I’m going to run a restaurant in Portugal with my friend, and we’ll have a Peugeot car.” But, Jenny – that means you’ll have to work all the evenings and weekends. “Um. My daddy can work the weekends for me.” Sounds like she’s got her future dream well organised…

Jim launched his cooking career after becoming a Masterchef finalist and cheffing with various chef superstars. To find out more about getting your own slice of his expert knowledge, visit, or telephone the Fishers on +33 (0)5 53 30 24 05.

To read the review of a Cook in France holiday, go to the ’Cookery Courses In France’ article.

© Gemma Driver 2005

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Gemma is a food writer, who lived in France for eight years, and now divides her time between her cottage in the rural Dordogne and her home in the UK.

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