Our resolution to (finally!) learn to cook collided with our resolution to eat less sugar when we were invited to attend a macaron making class at the Atelier Culinaire at Quartier Dix30 in Brossard. But our belief in moderation (along with our love of dessert) won hands down over our diet. So, we woke up early on a Saturday morning and drove traffic-free across the Champlain bridge for a 10am class (classes begin at 6pm on weekdays) in the gorgeous open-concept style kitchen workshop.
teens and learning The Basics to more advanced skills like molecular cuisine and flambés, the classes are designed to support you as you learn new skills, tools and recipes from experts including Danny Dupuis (tartars, French cuisine, sauces and stocks, etc.), Long Chiem (sushi and maki), Solène Thouin (vegetarian cuisine), Ludovic Potwa (soups), Yan Garzon (molecular cuisine) and Marie-Fleur St-Pierre (tapas). You can also take Wine Discovery workshops, given by renowned sommeliers Bertrand Eichel and Geneviève Boucher.
Our macaron workshop was led by co-owner Olivier Michallet, who took the 7-person class step-by-step through the process of making airy meringues and a sumptuous salted white chocolate caramel filling, offering expert tips you don’t find in recipe books. When do you put the meringues in the oven? When the tops are shiny and not-at-all sticky. Meringues rising too high? Open the oven door for just a few seconds. How do you know they’re done? Touch the top of the meringue and feel for firmness. Look who’s the expert now!
The majority of classes are taught in French, but they do offer the occasional English course. Though we’re hardly proficient en français, we found the 3-hour workshop an excellent opportunity to practice tossing around our french foodie vocabulary. Baguette, foie gras, bon appetit…see? Not difficult at all! You can also book the Atelier for a private course for corporate events or celebrations, including bachelorette parties and birthdays.
We left the workshop three hours later with two boxes filled with our delicious creations, a tub full of salted caramel sauce, a satisfied sweet tooth (we had to test them, after all) and a sense of pride and confidence in our new-found baking abilities.
We even signed up for another class. But this time we’ll be keeping both our resolutions by learning vegetarian cooking.
Atlier Cuisinaire, 8900 boul. Leduc, suite 40, Brossard (Quebec), 450-656-6161, www.aculinaire.com