A Moveable Feast

mussels and scallops

One of the high points of my recent trip to Paris with my sister Diane was the cooking class we took at Cook’n With Class, a Parisian cooking school offering classes in English to locals and tourists. Diane and I chose the Morning Market Class, in which students shop with the chef for fresh ingredients and then prepare a four-course meal back at the school.

We met Chef Patrick Hebert and four other students on a very cold morning at a Métro stop near Montmartre. Chef Patrick led us to the markets, where we inspected the meat at a boucherie:


. . . the fish at a poissonier:


fish 2

scallops at the market

. . . and the cheese at a fromagerie:


Chef Patrick gave us pointers on choosing the freshest fish:

chef patrick inspecting fish

Guided by the chef’s suggestions and the food preferences of the students, the group mutually decided on this menu:

Scallops and Mussels in Saffron Sauce
on a Bed of Caramelized Fennel

Duck Magret with Figs
Haricots Vert (Green Beans)
Celeriac au Gratin

Cheese Tray

Chocolate Souffle

Talk about fresh fish! We watched the fishmonger shuck and clean the scallops we ate later that day:

shucking scallops
After shopping for fruit and vegetables, we headed to the cooking school to prepare our feast. The classroom was all set up, with a station for each student:

CooknWithClass classroom

cooking class station

We got right to work, separating eggs for the soufflé . . .

separating eggs for souffle

. . . chopping fresh tarragon . . .

dlw and dks chopping tarragon
. . . measuring Grand Marnier for the chocolate soufflé . . .

measuring grand marnier
. . . sautéing the fennel as Chef Patrick looked on . . .

sauteeing fennel
. . . buttering ramekins for the soufflé . . .

dlw buttering ramekins
Chef Patrick showed us the correct way to sharpen knives . . .

chef patrick sharpening knives

. . . and how to keep our fingers out of the way when chopping vegetables. Here he is slicing celeriac:

slicing celeriac
Dinner is coming together! Here is the celeriac au gratin bubbling in the oven . . .

celeriac gratin bubbling in the oven

. . . mussels cooking in cream . . .

mussels cooking in cream

. . . scallops sizzling in the pan . . .

scallops cooking
. . . and the duck magret resting in a bowl . . .

duck magret, resting
Dinner is ready.

The first course: mussels and scallops in saffron sauce on a bed of caramelized fennel:

mussels and scallops
The main course: duck magret served with figs sautéed in butter and port, haricots vert, and celeriac au gratin:

dinner is served
While the chocolate soufflé was in the oven, we enjoyed a cheese course:

cheese tray 1
Chef Patrick showed us how to slice the variously shaped cheeses so that the last person wasn’t left with all the rind:

serving cheese
Now, ready for dessert. Ah, the first bite of chocolate soufflé:

chocolate souffle


Here we are at the end of the day with Chef Patrick:

chef patrick and his students
Don’t we look well fed and contented?




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11 Responses to A Moveable Feast

  1. Diane says:

    A great post on a great day!!

  2. Tres bien! Bon appétit. 🙂

  3. Lisa D'Andrea says:

    That’s just an amazing experience – marketing, choosing the menu that was just something to dream about, and the fabulous instruction. What a blast and a great memory you made. What’s the secret to searing the scallops so nicely? Starting with a very hot pan? They were gorgeous!!

  4. Virginia says:

    Oh! Oh! What fun! What a delicious looking meal! I’m going to put this on my bucket list to do with my sister. 🙂

  5. Sandy says:

    What an amazing and memorable experience!!!

  6. Claudia says:

    So happy for you! What a wonderful experience!

  7. Jing says:

    What a wonderful time we had in Paris! Glad you like those photos 🙂

  8. Thank you for the lovely write up of your class. I’m glad you enjoyed yourself. Everything looks delicious.

  9. Linda Dyer says:

    My mouth is watering. The duck looks fabulous! As does the soufflé. What a wonderful experience

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