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Trout Point Cooking & Wine School
Small Luxury Hotels of the World
East Kemptville, Nova Scotia

Trout Point Lodge
5 star Nova Scotia hotel

Making Seafood Paella at Trout Point Lodge
Nova Scotia Seafood Cooking School

Take a culinary vacation to fish school. Trout Point Lodge, owned by three foodies who authored their first cookbook published by Random House in 2004, hosts classes in seafood and Creole cookery. Luxury accommodations, gourmet meals and hands-on culinary instruction provide the mainstay of these three-day, two night get-aways. Visit local oyster farms, the vast Chebogue Salt Marsh, or local fishing ports. Hike, kayak or take a hot tub after your culinary expeditions at this superb wilderness lodge at the confluence of two rivers.

Trout Point counts as the only hotel in Atlantic Canada inspected & recommended by Conde Nast Johansens.
Among the most acclaimed cooking schools in North America, the Trout Point Cooking & Wine School has just recently garnered top recommendations from:

"World's Top 10 Hotel Culinary Schools" Fox News & Gayot.com 
"World's top foodies getaways" Departures 
"Gourmet Food & Wine Experiences" Luxury Travel magazine
"A touch of class" Food & Travel

"Global Culinary School"

"They come for the seafood"
Globe & Mail

"Gourmet traveling North American style"
Peter Greenburg




The Trout Point Cooking School also offers the Cheeses and Cheesemaking Master Class, September 2009.

Hands-on classes
Trout Point Cooking & Wine School

Explore the Nova Scotia Wilderness with the Billys Hill Trail Society!

To have your culinary program considered for inclusion here, please e-mail us.


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The Trout Point Lodge Cookbook: Creole Cuisine from New Orleans to Nova Scotia

"The classes cover many seafood basics, from how to tell whether fish and shellfish are fresh to which kitchen equipment you’ll need for a range of cooking processes, including grilling and salt-baking. In addition, the chefs are eager to demonstrate advanced methods—such as tea-smoking—which you’ll probably never use in your closet-size New York kitchen but are fun to learn nonetheless. I picked up several fundamentals of Cajun cooking, like the "holy trinity" (a mix of chopped onion, garlic and celery that’s at the heart of many recipes) and how to make different kinds of roux. One of the most useful skills I acquired was how to properly cut an onion so that you end up with uniform pieces, rather than giant chunks and tiny slivers.

The lodge also provides plentiful nonfood activities. It sits between the Tusket and Napier Rivers, and is equipped with canoes and an al fresco hot tub. A substantial garden grows many of the lodge’s vegetables, and those visitors with ambitious culinary plans for when they return home can take notes while examining the smokehouse, typically filled with hunks of fish. And the abundant hiking trails provide opportunities for idyllic wandering between meals."

Kate Williams, Time Out New York, May, 2006

click here for the Trout Point Lodge brochure

Cooking class in the Trout Point kitchen

The Nova Scotia Seafood Cooking School has received recommendations from Food & Wine, Harrowsmith Country Life, and Canadian Geographic among many others.
Read more: A Refuge in Acadia

The allure of Nova Scotia's great lodge & guide tradition


From far and wide the inveterate globetrotters came to Nova Scotia, Canada in the early half of the 20th century, drawn by the spirit of adventure, exploration, and the enjoyment of pristine and uncharted nature. Bankers & industrialists joined the likes of Amelia Earhart, Ernest Hemingway, Franklin Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, Zane Grey, and America's finest adventure travel writer, Albert Paine Bigelow, as they flocked to the southern tip of this maritime peninsula, landing at Yarmouth and then proceeding inland.

The Grand and Markland Hotels, the Lakeside Inn, and Birchdale, Braemar, and Bayview Lodges awaited their paying summer guests who boarded the stocky Boston-Yarmouth steamers in that great age of adventure travel. Others founded private family clubs, like the Ardnamuchan, or built secluded lodges of their own like the Argyle, where many a lobser bake and soiree fêted the rich and famous who came to the annual World Tuna Fishing Championship on the coast.


A cabin at Birchdale Lodge

The word "lodge" itself in the sense of a "hunter's cabin" came into use in the 15th century, with origins going back to French and German words for arbor or shelter of foliage.Lodges were always places of attunement with nature. Akin to their southerly neighbors in the Adirondacks, the Nova Scotia lodges were intentionally rustic but comfortable and gracious dwellings built from hand-hewn logs, stone foundations, and rought-cut timbers. Here, without contact with the outside world of hustle and bustle, the globetrotters relaxed: "The spell of the forest and the chase gripped me body and soul. Only these things were worth while. Nothing else mattered nothing else existed." From: Albert Bigelow Paine, The Tent Dwellers

The heart of it all—the frontier territory—was the Tobeatic, sometime called the « empty quarter » of Nova Scotia, a terrain left unto itself by the last glaciers. Etched, rocky, and rough with upland bogs, erratics, deadwaters, pools, and chutes, giant boulders and granite barrens the area was always best accessible by water routes, often up the river. Here moose, black bear, bald eagles, snapping turtles, brook trout, porcupines, and flyying squirrels far outnumber any human denizens. Local canoeist Andy Smith describes his respect for the Tobeatic thusly:

the Tobeatic is addressed with profound reverence, in hushed, respectful tones, quietly, softly, in deference to all the ghosts she harbors, and to all who have ever paddled her caramel waters, walked her granite face and wizened vegetation, and felt her forbidding and sometimes inhospitable remoteness.

Some travelled further afield, to places like Milford House and Kejimikujik, however the majority centered themselves around Yarmouth County and Argyle Muncipality with its famous Tusket River, a place where backwoods French Acadian, New England Planters, and MicMac Indians blended culture and traditions. Some relaxed at the shore or the nearby woodlands & lakes, near the Town of Yarmouth itself. The brave at heart, though, ventured across the countryside by carriage to the edge of the seemingluy impenetrable Acadian forests, where the rivers became the highways.

As Michael McAdam of the Atlantic Salmon Federation has written:

her myriad lakes and tributaries fed an ever-widening stream that flowed through muskeg-laden meadows and rolling thickets of spruce and poplar overseen by giant flat-top pines. Shards of "old man's beard" hung from the hemlock and tamarack that lined her granite banks and her waters took on their characteristic peat stain as she picked up each tarn and brook on her seaward course. Moose grazed in her bogs and wetland meadows and local fishermen packed thousands of barrels of salted gaspereau (or "kiacks" as they are known on Nova Scotia's South Shore) each year for shipment to the New England states. . . . And from those same New England states, and New York, to southwestern Nova Scotia came tbe sports; the rich and the famous. Baseball's legendary Babe Ruth fished her waters for the large salmon which returned, virtually unmolested, to her upstream spawning gravel each summer.

In villages like Kemptville, guiding became a major enterprise for generations of local men, while the woman cooked and tended to the guest quarters.These were old-time backwoodsmen who knew the rivers, lakes, and trails and fishing was the primary pursuit, with a little hunting too. One could sportfish for tuna off Wedgeport one day, and retreat to the Tobeatic Wilderness for fly fishing the next. As early as the 1900s, Nova Scotia had grown a reputation that drew the adventurous spirit:

"Tell me about it, Eddie," ; I said. "Where are you going, this time?" Then he unfolded to me a marvelous plan. It was a place in Nova Scotia he had been there once before, only, this time he was going a different route, farther into the wilderness, the deep unknown, somewhere even the guides had never been. From: Albert Bigelow Paine, The Tent Dwellers, 1908.

Peter and Lewis Vacon, local Acadian French guides, hosted Babe Ruth as he fished and camped on the Tusket. Salmon and trout drew the enthusiasts for hours of fly casting, canoeing, and exploring. In a community where story-telling is a favourite stoveside pastime, there is the oft-told tale of one of Babe's favourite wake-up exercises while ensconced at Billy Lovitt's nearby woodland camp. After an evening of cards, yarns and Jack Daniels, Babe and the guides would retire to be "up and at 'em" by dawn. The Babe would tiptoe outside at 3 or 4 a.m. and discharge both barrels of his 12-gauge Remington into the air. Out would spill the guides, Peter and Louis, swearing in French and struggling to get their pants and shoes on as they careened out of the doorway. Never a man to sleep more than a few hours at a time, Babe would then rack the shotgun, march back into the cabin and make everyone breakfast as they waited for the dawn, muttering to themselves as the big slugger grinned over the stove.

After World War II, the Grand Hotel, Braemar Lodge, and the Markland became, over time, distant memories, each having suffered fires. The Boston steamers stopped running. Birchdale Lodge shifted to private hands, having most recently served as a Carmelite Monastery, and the Lakeside Inn was converted to a retirement home.

In 1998, though, the Province of Nova Scotia declared the Tobeatic Wilderness a vast protected area. And with the new millenium, a new Lodge opened on the banks of the very Tusket River where Babe Ruth had once sojourned with his Acadian guides. Trout Point Lodge brings back the glory and romanticism of the Golden Era of Nova Scotia Great Lodges. An architectural master piece made from giant Eastern Spruce logs, chiseled granite and sandstone, with full scribe notch and dovetail joinery, Trout Point's owners built the Lodge in celebration of the local Great Lodge tradition.

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