Buzz: State-of-the-Art Cookery School

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Buzz: State-of-the-Art Cookery School
“Now just go downstairs and give your hands a good scrub”. This is Nicolas Bergerault’s greeting to students entering L’Atelier des Chefs, the state-of-the-art cookery school located in the quartier Miromesnil. The former print works was transformed last year by Bergerault and his brother Francois. The dynamic siblings have impressive backgrounds in sales, marketing and management both in France, the UK, Middle-East and the USA. Their brilliant business skills made it obvious to them that there’s a nitch-market in chic et pas cher cookery schools; their slick idea can, and will be, exported worldwide. In the meantime it’s playing to full houses in Paris. Bergerault says much of the business is booked on line www.atelierdeschefs.com So having “scrubbed-up” we are in the light airy stainless steel and glass kitchen, gleaming fresh products punctuate the work surfaces and the menu is posted on a blackboard. “Dos de Cabillaud laqué au miel de soja” In just 30-minutes (costing just 15€) 8 of us will learn to cook this dish, coached by ex-Ritz chef Jean Sébastian Bompoil,then eat it at the adjacent table d’hotes ! Cheese, wine, dessert du jour and coffee can be added but you’ll pay a little supplement. We are about to “attack” a tranche of cabillaud (cod) with fresh langoustines, shallots, tomatoes on the vine and sucrine (baby lettuce). The finished dish is laqué with honey and soya sauce. Our chef/teacher is chef Jean Sébastian Bompoil (The Ritz, The Ritz Club, Laserre) he heads of team of eight super-chefs hot to trot. “The concept is flexible”, he explains. “Everyone can learn something here, from the professional to the amateur who loves cooking but doesn’t dare!” Oui chef! Because of the well planned configuration of the school there is a continuous flow of cooking/eating/wine tasting/buying essential utensils and cook books/making new best friends, from the boutique. There are courses for kids, say, team building, a birthday dinner, making a wedding cake, and, not only French cuisine, although Minceur Gourmande® is getting a lot of interest,as is Italian, French, Japanese, Thai! Below-stairs in the cellar “L’Oenolunch” (25€)just launched. Daily wine tasting from 12.45-13.30, guide 16 students around a “buffet dejeunatoire,” of terrines, quiches, salads and cheeses, offers 2 wines around specific themes introduced by sommelier Guillaume Barthélemy, founder of VintéGraal Wine Agency (www.vintegraal.com). Fascinating! Most wine-courses are so lengthy and technical they send you to sleep. Here the idea is not to bore you or flog you anything, although if you want to buy, Barthélemy is your man. “Tell us what you want and we’ll bespoke courses for you”, promises Bergerault. “La cuisine is a show, L’Atelier des Chefs offers you the stage”. L’Atelier des Chefs, 10 rue Penthièvre, 8 th (Metro: Miromesnil), T: 01 53 30 05 82 www.atelierdeschefs.com e-mail:[email protected] Continuous courses daily from 15€. Shut Sunday. Also worth your attention the 3rd Cuisines en Fete from an idea by the gorgeous talented Guy Martin (Le Grand Vefour ***). There’s lots happening so chose where you want to be by logging on to www.cuisinesenfete.com.
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Born in Hampton, Middlesex, UK, Margaret Kemp is a lifestyle journalist, based between London, Paris and the world. Intensive cookery courses at The Cordon Bleu, London, a wedding gift from a very astute ex-husband, gave her the base that would take her travelling (leaving the astute one behind) in search of rare food and wine experiences, such as the vineyards of Thailand, 'gator hunting in South Florida, learning to make eye-watering spicy food in Kerala;pasta making in a tiny Tuscany trattoria. She has contributed to The Guardian, The Financial Times Weekend and FT. How To Spend It.com, The Spectator, Condé Nast Traveller, Food & Travel, and Luxos Magazine. She also advises as consultant to luxury hotels and restaurants. Over the years, Kemp has amassed a faithful following on BonjourParis. If she were a dish she'd be Alain Passard's Millefeuille “Caprice d'Enfant”, as a painting: Manet’s Dejeuner sur l’herbe !