Chef School France for everyone

chef school france

Learning to cook like a French Chef… Janine Marsh goes to chef school and enjoys being a chef at an hour long authentic gourmet chef experience…

If you’ve always wanted to learn to cook like a real French chef then the group Atelier des Chefs may be perfect for you.

On a recent day trip to Lille I was amazed to find that I could fit in a 30 minute lesson with a top chef for just €17 – and then have 30 minutes to eat what I’d prepared – with a glass of wine and a desert prepared by the chef.

I’d spent the morning wandering around the lovely old town of Lille, shopping and enjoying the fabulous architecture and lively atmosphere before my booked lesson at 12.15. It’s  just a few minutes’ walk from the Grand Place but you are in a different world once you walk through the doors…

The world of the chef…

A kitchen gleaming with every appliance you can think of, spotless metal surfaces await your efforts, you don an apron and take your place at the long teaching tables while Chef stands before you –  it was my very own Master Chef moment – and it was riveting.

chef school france

We were shown how to peel, chop, splice and dice like a pro, had a lesson on what colour the smoke should be when you put the chicken in a pan of oil (white if you must know, black is a bad sign!) and given insider tips. Chef explained what herbs and fruit to use with chicken and just 30 minutes later I found myself plating up the most divine looking chicken with a sauce containing fresh raspberries, reduced balsamic vinegar and thyme served the creamiest of mashed potatoes with basil and olive oil the like of which I’ve never been able to produce before – and certainly not in 30 minutes.  It made me think of Jamie Oliver and his 30 minute meals – yes, it can be done!

The chef spoke a little English but to be honest much of the teaching is in the demonstration and the whole class – a mix of British and French – turned out fantastic meals.

We plated up our dishes, took them into the dining room and sat at the table where we were offered wine, desert and ended with coffee and biscuits.

Another group arrived for a lesson – two couples, men one side, ladies on the other – there was a lot of laughter going on, apparently the men are quite competitive on these courses!

I’d say this is great for a corporate team bonding experience, groups of friends, families, friends and individuals – its a chance to learn from scratch or get top chef tips to improve existing skills and starting at €17 for the entire session (less than £15), ingredients and the extras with the meal I was really impressed.

Every time I go to Lille I’ll be booking in for this course – there are hundreds of different menus, held at different times of the day and if you’re feeling like you want to do a bit more – check out The Pleasure of Cooking, Sushi, Desert and seasonal dishes of a gourmet nature courses that the Atelier des Chefs schools hold.

Bon appetit!

Atelier des Chefs have cookery schools in several locations in France including Paris, Lyon, Toulouse and many other places and their website has lots of really helpful “how to” videos.

To see the recipe for my dish click here: French roast chicken with raspberries and mashed potatoes with basil and olive oil (Filet de poulet doré aux framboises, écrasé de pommes de terre à l’huile d’olive et au basilica)

Lille Tourism website

Related Articles

3 luxury restaurants for an indulgent dinner in Paris

There are thousands of restaurants in Paris and choosing where to go for dinner when you’re only in the city for a short while can be a challenge. Long term American expat in Paris, writer and foodie Barbara Paquet-James reveals where Parisians go when they want to indulge in a luxurious dinner in the city… […]

Continue Reading

La Couronne | the restaurant in Rouen, Normandy that inspired Julia Child

The Norman city of Rouen is brimming with historical gems. Located just a 90-mile drive northwest of Paris, Rouen is perhaps best known for its 4th-century Gothic cathedral that so inspired Impressionist painter Claude Monet. In addition to its architecture, Rouen has a reputation as a great center for the literary arts. Authors Gustave Flaubert […]

Continue Reading

Where to enjoy a luxurious lunch in Paris

Paris is indisputably one of the best food cities in the world. Its marvelous markets and shops touting eye-popping drool-inducing produce, pastries, chocolates and more, are fodder for thousands of food blogs, and there are enough neo bistros and restaurants to keep food reviewers busy for a lifetime just revisiting old chomping grounds. Writer, foodie […]

Continue Reading

Magnificent Michelin starred La Grenouillère restaurant, Montreuil-sur-Mer

As you approach the little village of La Madeleine-sous-Montreuil from the historic hill top town of Montreuil-sur-Mer you can’t help but feel the stress and strife of life simply slip away as the landscape changes from cobbled medieval town to stunning bucolic countryside. A ravishing little hotel and an internationally famous restaurant In the heart […]

Continue Reading

How to make chocolate macarons by Pierre Hermé

Perfect for parties, these gorgeous little more-ish macarons from the master in Paris are from his new book “Chocolate” and classified as “easy” (available from Amazon). Nicknamed the ‘Picasso of Pastry’ by Jeffrey Steingarten in Vogue, Pierre Hermé is to the macaron what Louis Vuitton is to the handbag. Named the World’s Best Pastry Chef […]

Continue Reading


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.