Our Journeys

France with Portland Food Adventures and Chef Aaron Barnett
September 11-19, 2016


France with Portland Food Adventures and Chef Aaron Barnett – Fall 2016

Price: $5,650 per person (subject to a 12 person minimum)
(Airfare and travel insurance not included)


DAY 0 - September 10-11 - Fly from the US to Geneva

Fly from the US on September 10 to arrive in Geneva, Switzerland on September 11th. As the meeting with the group will be the next day – September 12 – at about 10/11 am at Geneva airport – we suggest that people arrive one day earlier to get over jet lag and rest. There is a wide choice of airport hotels and we will be happy to help with recommendations and bookings.

DAY 1 - September 12 - Geneva

Travelers will meet at the Geneva airport and join their group. We’ll start with a city tour of Geneva, exploring old town with its towering centerpiece – St. Peter’s Cathedral – and the Reformation Wall. Next, we’ll drive to Lyon and check into our hotel, ending the evening with a welcome talk, and a wonderful dinner at a bouchon of Aaron’s selection. Sleep in Lyon.

DAY 2 - September 13 - Lyon

Today we’ll start with a city tour of Lyon and an introduction to the local cuisine. We’ll explore the narrow cobblestone lanes of old town and, if time allows, take the funicular up to the stunning Notre Dame Basilica, and take in the view. We’ll also start to make our acquaintance with the food, of course! Lyon is famous for “quenelles” (a kind of dumpling made with fish), various meat dishes, sausages, and salads. Tonight we have a very special dinner at world famous Paul Bocuses’ restaurant. Sleep in Lyon.

DAY 3 - September 14 - Lyon

Today we’ll take a tour of the famed in-door food market, Les Halles, known to be the best collection of local, knowledgeable merchants you can find. You’ll have time today to experience more of the beautiful architecture in Lyon — like the Cathedral of Saint-Jean, with its amazing stain glass windows and astronomical clock, and the oldest church in Lyon, the Abbaye Saint-Martin d’Ainay – or take a leisurely walk through the peaceful Parc de la Tête d’Or along the Rhône river. Tonight we’ll have yet another fantastic dinner at another of Aaron’s special choices that he’s been reading about and discussing for years. Sleep in Lyon.

DAY 4 - September 15 - Lyon

Take some time on your own today to discover all that Lyon has to offer – from one of the best fine arts museums in France (Musée des Beaux-Arts), said to be second only to the Louvre, to a superb archeology museum (Musée de la Civilisation Gallo-Romaine), to the oldest ancient ruins in France. Tonight we have another special dining experience planned. Sleep in Lyon.

DAY 5 - September 16 - Lyon

We’ll take an excursion today beyond the city and visit one of the lovely wineries in the Beaujolais region (about an hour drive), filled with classic and new wineries, bistros and charming B&Bs. We’ll do some wine-tasting and eat at one of the bistros or, if weather allows, have a picnic. Back in the city we’ll check out Cafe des Federations to end our day. Sleep in Lyon.

DAY 6 - September 17 - Drive to Annecy, France

On our way from Lyon to Annecy, we’ll stop at Aix-Les-Baines and check out its interesting variety of ancient Roman ruins, grand hotels, thermal spas, and a lovely promenade along the lake. Next we’ll make our way to Annecy, considered to be the Venice of the Alps, with its winding canals, colorful houses, and Palais de l’Isle, a 12th Century castle built in the middle of one of the canals. Sleep in Annecy.

DAY 7 - September 18 - Annecy

Today we’ll have a chance to enjoy the beautiful local open-air food market of Annecy, and dive into the local cuisine. We’ll also pay a visit to the Château d’Annecy, once home to the counts of Geneva. Sleep in Annecy

DAY 8 - September 19 - Geneva

The group will be transferred to Geneva for their morning flight out or for the beginning of their European extension. If you’d like to, in two days, we’ll begin a 10 day Spanish culinary tour with Chef Jose Chesa of Ataula, starting in Barcelona. We can help you with connections.

About Chef Aaron Barnett of St. Jack and La Moule
Chef Aaron Barnett grew up in Canada, where his parents instilled a love of food in him at an early age. They moved to California, where Aaron enrolled in culinary school. He externed in Vancouver, BC at Lumiere, and then found his footing under Gary Danko in San Francisco. Aaron moved to Portland, where he became Executive Chef at Olea and 23 Hoyt when it first opened, and then realized his dream of opening his own place featuring Lyonnaise cuisine with St. Jack, which soon thereafter garnered Eater Restaurant of the Year, and also was cited as a StarChef Rising Star Chef in 2011. The new location generates wide acclaim to this day, and in 2015 Barnett opened up La Moule.

While known nationally for his Lyonnaise cuisine, Barnett has yet to visit the city where his cuisine has its foundation. On this journey, you’ll have the opportunity to explore Lyon with Chef Aaron, visiting the bouchons and market he studied diligently to open St. Jack. We’ll also see Geneva and spend two days in beautiful Annecy.

This trip takes place two days before another Portland Food Adventures trip with Chef Jose Chesa of Ataula to Spain. We can help you coordinate the two journeys for a spectacular 19-day excursion with two of Portland’s best chefs! Or, the whole month of September: We’ll be in Italy starting September 3 with Chef Rick Gencarelli for a pizza and wine tour!