Never in my dreams would I ever have thought that I’d be able to say I took a private cooking class at the age of 25, but here I am now blogging about it. Le sigh…
I met my soon-to-be-cooking-partner-in-crime Sara from This Girl Loves, and after a quick croissant break, our class began. If you’d like to see lots of pictures of my hands mushing things together and examples of my concentration face (as well as a much more detailed account of the class) read her blog post about it.
Stephanie chose the menu, which consisted entirely of local specialties. There’s nothing I love better when traveling than learning about what the locals eat, but this time I had the chance to MAKE it too!
Chef Gilles also helped us out, with the patience of a god as we took all of our photos and videos. Do you know how long a cooking class takes when it involves bloggers? So long that I was STARVING by the time we got to eating. But anyways…
We learned how to create a three course meal, and the starter was my favourite of the dishes.
It consisted of Le Cure Nantais, a local cheese that’s a bit like Camembert. We cut the cheese into pieces and then double breaded each in nut butter and bread crumbs. Smelled a bit funny when we first cut it into eighths, but we soon forgot.
After frying the coated bits, we placed a few pieces on top of local Nantes greens and put some berries on top.
Next up was the main course– fresh sea bass and local veggies.
I must admit I’m not a fish-lover. And I’m DEFINITELY not a fish de-boner. Quite embarrassingly, I could not do the de-boning of my fish. Sara did it with ease and I asked Stephanie, with puppy-dog eyes, to de-bone mine …
We all concluded that I’m a much better eater than I am a cook. Fine by me.
Because we were eating a bit heavily during the first two courses (this region is known for adding butter to EVERYTHING), Stephanie opted for a nice light dish called crémet Nantais, made with a local whipped cream, fresh fruit and berries, homemade crumble (YAY) and a fantastic syrup that we created that was made with ginger (my fave), vanilla, and a few other bits and pieces.
We enjoyed our meal with a local white wine (I believe it was Muscadet, which I had every day that I was in Nantes because it was so DELISH) and when we were all overly full and extremely happy, we made our way back into the calm bustle of the city of Nantes.
I also produced a video of our cooking class– watch it to see Sara, Stephanie and I in action!
Special thanks again to Stephanie letting us experience the local dishes of her hometown (and for putting up with Sara and I’s nonexistent French!) If you’re ever in Nantes, make sure to pop by L’Atelier des Chefs for a cooking course, as they have every type that you may want to experience. They also have quite a few more locations around France (include Lyon and Paris) .
Disclosure– this class was complimentary but as always, all opinions (and tastebuds) are my own.