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Cooking School Hangover

Today, I have a cooking school hangover. Slow, sluggish, puffy, nauseated ooooaaaoooaaeee, why did I do that, why did I eat SO much so late!? Last night Dee and I took the Paris Bistro class at DW’s Fresh Market Culinary classroom in Grandville. Here is what we and about 20 others learned to recreate in our own kitchens:

Moules Mariniere=mussels in wine sauce
Sole and Trout meuniere =fish dregded in flour
Soupe a oignon = french onion soup (good french onion soup!)
Crouque Monsieur = grilled ham and cheese sandwich
Crudites and Hors d’Oeuvre Varies = vegi plate extraordinaire!
Coq au Vin = chicken in wine
Pommes Anna = potatos with lots of butter
Steak-Frites = my favorite steak rare with homemade french fries
La Salade/French Vinaigrette = salad
Plateau de Fromage = plate of cheese with dried fruits and nuts
Tarte Tatin = apple and pear tarts with custard cream
Profiteroles = cream puffs with Dark Chocolate Sauce
Creme Caramel = french flan or custard

Now, I don’t know about you, but that is a lot of food to partake of after 9pm! Of course I couldn’t not try everything, just a taste….Oh yeah, they also fed us watercress soup when we arrived…a simple soup just to warm us up! Thank you.

Our teacher Chef Roz Mayberry was very enthusiastic about helping us to learn about what French Bisto food is. She has lived in France and her excitement for the country and the food was contagious!

We started with learning how to butcher a chicken. Which if you have been reading me for very long, you KNOW this is a place I have room for improvement!

After this brief demonstration, the recipes where handed out and we got to work. Here is what is sort of funny. Dee and I got stuck with grilled ham and cheese and potatoes with butter and the arranging of the cheese plate! Next time we decided we are going to put on our aggressive hats and go for the big recipes. We were newbies and we weren’t quite sure how it worked…so we got stuck with the easy stuff. BUT, this gave us the time and opportunity to go exploring, visiting, watching and learning what everyone else was doing. So we really probably learned more now that I think about it because we were not concentrating on one recipe… so either way it’s all good!

Lets start with dessert….cream puffs, these are pre dark chocolate sauce, but aren’t they pretty. Our friend Fiona was apparently born to make cream puffs!

Chef Mayberry made this ahead of time for us Creme Caramel. Ooh-la-la merci! See I am even starting to speak french now, just from one night of cooking it! Voila! I did find myself talking to myself, like Inspector Clouseau in my head(cause that’s just a weird thing I do). “May I be verwee fwank wid you…zat Coq au Vin loooooks mawvlous.” See strange I know…sorry.

Julie was at our station, she is a cooking school veteran. Julie was good. She knew the ropes… she put together this beautiful plate of Crudites. Allison our other table mate, she made the Moules Mariniere…yummy! I love mussels. Dee was not so sure if she loved them…shoot! should have taken a picture of Dee eating mussels! Then we had one more table mate that took off to make the Coq au Vin…she was afraid our passivity was contagious.

WOW! lookee here Croque Monsieur, sounds so much more complicated than grilled ham and cheese. We did have to dip them in an egg wash first mind you.

This is the start of our cheese plate. We later added dried cherries, apricots and walnuts to the plate. I had to walk away. That blue cheese was SCREAMING my name, in french mind you…. and it would not have been pretty if I would have done a number on the blue cheese. Oh my! Do I love blue cheese!

Here it is, the whole shanaly (as my kids would say…don’t ask…).

And here it is again. It was very fun, and a great value. ($40 for 3+ hour class and they have people to clean up your mess!) I would recommend trying a class here if you haven’t already or find a cooking class in your area. I even read in the Grand Rapids Press yesterday of a Chef that you can pay to come in your home and teach classes. Just in case you don’t want to go and get stuck next to the blue cheese bandit in a class you paid good money for.


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  1. Sounds like such a fun class with delish food. And for an amazing price! I'd definitely be a little intimidated, though.

  2. Fantastic! I took a class there a few years ago and loved it, still make a lot of the recipes I learned. Said I would take one class a year…..you've inspired me to get back at it!

  3. OMG – That sounds like so much fun! When we had dinner at Neil's last Saturday he had just recently been to a cooking class there and made us some fabulous appetizers from it – figs filled with goat cheese wrapped in Prosciutto!! Mmmmmm! I want to go! – Carla