Friday, April 2, 2010

Cooking Class in Paris

Before going to Paris, my sister-in-law, Susan, sent me the Eye Prefer Paris blog by Richard Naham (transplanted New York restaurant owner and caterer) which linked me to the Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Having a free day on the Friday (classes are offered Wed. through Sun.), our group of four women decided to try it. It turned out to be one of our best experiences that week.

Richard picked us up at the Raspail Metro station at 9 am. and we shopped the Raspail market selecting seasonal ingredients for the lunch we would be making.Richard pointed out that often radishes are presented as an accompaniment to appertifs with butter and salt...the green stems removed but not necessarily the white tails. White asparagus were in season. Scallops from Normandy were displayed in their shells.
The Raspail market is open Tuesdays and Fridays and also includes clothing items such as reasonably priced scarves (beautiful ones for 5 euros) and stylish kid's clothing.

Following our market tour, Richard took us on a Metro ride to the private townhouse of our cooking class chef, Charlotte Puckette, a delightful woman originally from Charleston, South Carolina who has 13 yr. old triplets and has lived in Paris for over 20 years operating a successful catering business. Over coffee we discussed the lunch menu we would make:
Asparagus Tart with Chevre and Arugula
Roasted Duck Breast with Fig Gastrique and
Chocolate Fondant

Note the beautiful stone walls of Charlotte's newly designed kitchen - making up the entire first floor of her townhouse. Here is some of our group trying our hand at the asparagus tart.
and the finished product...
The recipes were easy to adopt to our Canadian kitchens using ingredients we could find at home. Cost of the class and market tour is 185 euros per person (about 4.5 hrs.) and it would be ideal for 3 - 6 people.....a wonderful addition to any Paris trip. Richard also does shopping tours to stores known only to insiders.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed your cooking class, Stephanie! I did a day at another school, Promenades Gourmandes, last year when I visited Paris with Sydney. It's a wonderful way to experience the city.
    I'd recommend one of Richard's walking tours though the Marais. The Place des Vosges has to be one of the prettiest squares in Paris.
    I have to agree that Paris is the best.