One week. Three-course cooking.

Teen Cooks summer courses are run by experienced cookery teacher Midge Shirley in the heart of the French countryside, inland from La Rochelle.

Students learn to cook a series of meals in a beautiful French house. The friendly atmosphere and relaxing surroundings, swimming pool, trips to local towns and their and their markets, ensure a foodie week to remember. For teenagers aged 15 -18.

One week at Teen Cooks costs £525 per student.

Over the course of the week, three-course meals are prepared Monday to Friday, either morning or afternoon depending on when we shop.Students prepare starters, mains and puddings with help and supervision. This is a hands ­on course: the teacher will not be doing the cooking for them. A practical approach is far more effective than demonstrations alone.

Students learn and cook for three hours each day, either morning or evening depending on when they shop. They prepare starters, mains and puddings with help and supervision. This is a hands-on course; the teacher will not be doing the cooking for them - a practical approach is far more effective than demonstrations alone.

All meals are included in the price, courses run from Sunday to Saturday.

Students start cooking on the Monday and cook every day for approximately three hours (these are spaced throughout the day depending on the daily programme).

Location

The course takes place in the Charente Maritime, about 60 km inland from La Rochelle and 110km south of Poitiers.

The large kitchen, built in the local style, is situated in a 200 year old farmhouse. The house is in a large walled garden which includes a swimming pool.

The house is in a small hamlet. The nearest town and shops are 15 km away, so very little spending money will be necessary.

Students are accommodated in the house in twin-bedded rooms with private bathrooms. The second floor includes a sitting/tv room for the students' own use should they want some time out.

Local dreadlock donkeys

Midge

Teencooks is run and taught by Midge Shirley.

Midge lived in Brussels for a number of years, where she ran Quizines, a successful cookery school. Here, she ran holiday courses (among others) and found it gratifying to see students arrive with next to no culinary knowledge and leave with the confidence to cook a three-course meal for their friends and family.

She was also a restaurant critic and food writer for the Brussels-based magazine The Bulletin.

Midge is co-author of the cookbook A Taste of the Belgian Provinces.