Friday, June 20, 2014

An Afternoon at The Cook's Atelier

One of our most memorable experiences of the trip was certainly our cooking class at The Cook's Atelier.

Marjorie and her daughter Kendall are expats from Arizona living the dream in Beaune.  They launched their business with cooking classes and supper-club format dinners and in the past year have expanded to include a beautiful wine store and retail space in addition to their teaching kitchen and dining room.  More on that in a bit!

We began the class in front of Hess' Cheese shop, a dream of a store, located on the main square in Beaune.  They helped us pick out a selection of cheeses for the cheese course of our class.  Then we were off to the market to pick up seasonal produce for the day's class.

The produce in Europe is just plain better, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, fresh asparagus, radishes, and peas were all on display.









We brought our spoils back to the kitchen, tied on our aprons and got to work.

On the menu:











Mom taking her turn with the gougeres
A lesson in pate sucree
The base for our raspberry tart
Scoring duck for that perfect crispy skin
Sizzle away!
Once lunch was well underway we went upstairs to the dining room.  The table setting and vintage touches were so beautiful.  




Marjorie and Kendal poured our first beverage of the day - a sparkling wine that paired perfectly with the light airy gougeres.



Had to capture Mom drinking sparkling wine!  And she actually liked it!
Once we sat down it was a parade of one beautiful dish after another paired with delicious local wines. We lingered over each plate - a truly remarkable experience.



And now red wine!
The cheese course included Epoisse - a regional speciality of Burgundy
The piece de resistance - I have literally never tasted raspberries like this, so sweet and fresh - no sugar needed!

Homemade madeleines fresh out of the oven
The cherry on top!
Eventually we had to force ourselves to stand and stretch - dinner was in a couple of hours after all!  (I kid).  But before we left we had to poke around the shop for a few souvenirs to take home with us.  





If you ever find yourself in Beaune I cannot more highly recommend any experience with The Cook's Atelier - we will certainly be back.  In the meantime, I'll have to try my hand at recreating these recipes at home - stay tuned!

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