What do you buy for a friend who doesn’t really need anything?  I racked my brains on what to buy for Kady who has gorgeous clothes, wonderful jewelry, amazing shoes, fabulous bags and the list goes.  I called her husband and he thought she would enjoy doing a cooking class.  Not because she can’t cook, at least I hope that is not what he was implying, but more because she would enjoy it.  So, with this in mind I signed us both up for a class at the BCAE in French Bistro Cooking.

Last week we joined 10 other eager students of all women and one man and Chef Lars for what was to be fun, educational and ultimately very filling class.

Chef Lars, is a very funny man and incredibly enthusiastic, which makes for a wonderful class that just flies by.  I am not sure he actually realizes he is funny, but he is… it’s his dry wit and use of some funny “non American” terms.  German born, 25 years of cooking/chef’ing experience and currently a private chef and tutor and a super teacher overall.  He reminded us throughout the evening of the many other classes he also teaches at the BCAE; one being Knife Skills, which I must sign up for because watching me chop an onion is quite terrifying. He also taught us that if you put a stainless steel sharpening tool, the one that is usually in the middle of a kitchen knife block, and put it in burnt soup, it takes away any burnt flavor to it.  Strange but true!

On our menu for the evening’s class was Vichyssoise, Pork Normandy, Ratatouille and finishing with Crème Brulee.  The way the class is put together is by just giving you a list of ingredients for each dish and together with the guidance of Chef Lars, we made each dish.  This is the one thing I do wish was detailed – in writing.  I totally forgot throughout the evening to write down my own directions for each dish.  I will have to use my memory and I can pretty much remember everything except the Vichyssoise.

The evening started with the whole group chopping eggplant (aubergine), Zucchini (courgette), onions, potatoes, leeks, peppers etc.  Chef Lars was giving us guidance on the best way to chop, but of course, if we really wanted to know how to do it properly, we should sign up for his Knife Skills class.  He was allowed to mention this class nine times throughtout the evening – he ran out of mentions quite quickly.

We then moved over to the stove area to watch and take part in the actual making of each dish.  Each person got a chance to do something to put the dishes together or just to observe. 

Everything turned out wonderfully and we ended the evening with a delicious three-course meal.  I actually always thought Vichyssoise was chilled soup, which it can be, but you can also eat it warm and it was delicious with some crusty French bread.

I have already made the Ratatouille, I will at some point make the Pork Normandy and I cannot wait to make Crème Brulee as the last time I made it, it turned into scrambled egg – not kidding. 

Busy chopping

 

Lars showing us his knife cutting skills

 

Kady helping with making the Creme Brulee

 
 

 

I was helping with cooking the pork

Straining the cream and eggs for the Creme Brulee

 

Creme Brulee finishing touch – it was so good with Grappa soaked cranberries

 

Delicious Ratatouille

 

Pork Normandy with sweet apple

 

A super fun cooking class!

Tracey