La Pitchoune is the name of a small stucco cottage that beloved American chef Julia Child and her husband Paul built in the Provençal village of Plascassier in France in the early 1960s.
As a charismatic cookbook writer and television show cook, Julia Child was known as much for her wit and charm as she was for her bœuf bourguignon.
The cottage was built on property belonging to Julia’s best friend and coauthor of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Simone Beck and her husband Jean Fischbacher. They had a “handshake agreement” that the Child’s would turn the cottage back over to the Fischbachers when they were finished using it.
La Pitchoune is as delightful as its original inhabitant’s sunny disposition.
Bright and airy throughout, this cozy cottage is deceiving because it actually has 3 bedrooms, and of course, a large and very functional kitchen.
The Childs had La Pitchoune built in 1963 and visited the property each year for decades until Paul Child’s health declined.
Following the deterioration of Paul and the death of Julia’s long-time friend Simone Beck in December 1991, Julia relinquished the property in 1992. She said that La Pitchoune had lost its “raison d’être” without Paul and Simone and she knew it was time to pass it on.
In the mid-1990’s a chef named Kathie Alex turned the cottage into a cooking school called Cooking with Friends in France.
In recent years, Julia Child’s home in Provence has been available as a vacation rental through Airbnb.
For $700 a night, you can sleep in the cottage and cook in the very same kitchen where Julia Child cooked!
The kitchen has been replicated to what it looked like when the Childs owned the property, and many of Julia’s cooking ware and utensils remain.
Interestingly, there is a security camera in the kitchen to ensure that the utensils (of near priceless value) don’t walk away.
Julia Child in the kitchen of La Pitchoune:
Today, the kitchen has been updated with a LaCanche double oven and stove with five burners.
Most everything else has stayed the same as when Julia was here: the pegboard full of cooking tools, the spice rack, the dark green tile backsplash, and wood countertops and cabinetry.
La Pitchoune is a Provençal expression for “the little one”.
Apart from the famous kitchen, La Pitchoune features 3 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms.
As an Airbnb, the cottage can comfortably sleep 6 adults.
But take note: the cottage is offered strictly as a rental in the ‘off-season months’ which are December-February. Cooking classes (along with accommodation) are held at La Pitchoune during the rest of the year.
From the website:
“Weekly rates are inclusive of 4 chef’s cooked meals, unlimited wine (house & 24 bottles from our favorite vintners), on-call concierge, and daily breakfast service. Price starts at $18,000 a week for six people.”
Sounds like a lucrative venture!
The website also warns that La Ptchoune is a living “breathing home that is and has been used heavily as a cooking school and home for nearly 50 years.”
This is to alert potential guests that it might not be up to the expectations of a high-end hotel aficionado. It is an old house, after all, but that is why it is so utterly charming.
Guests have access to the entire house, including the famous kitchen, the pool, and all the gardens.
The property also boasts a gorgeous outdoor kitchen with a wood-fired pizza oven, BBQ, and Tuscan grill.
It’s absolutely perfect for outdoor dining, or, salle à manger en plein air.
The grounds boast glorious terraces and gardens filled with vegetables and herbs.
Another bonus: fresh eggs from the resident chickens.
La Pitchoune is located on a hillside near the small village of Plascassier, 30 minutes from Cannes and 40 minutes from the Nice airport.
It’s not hard to see why this magical little place was Julia and Paul’s long-time sanctuary.
Julia’s spirit will always be at home in the kitchen of La Pitchoune.
What ya thinking? Leave a comment!