Wednesday, October 5, 2011

French Cooking Class

Cafe' de Paris
A friend told me about a French cooking class that was to be held at Cafe' de Paris. This cafe was opened almost 3 years ago by two cousins who are originally from France. You may remember from a previous post that my neice took me to this restaurant for my birthday.

After Smitty B told me about the online coupon ,I paid for and downloaded it. I decided I'd step out and do something different. When I arrived Saturday chef had something of a Continental breakfast for us at one of the tables. There was coffee, juice, crossaints with jelly and thick sliced bacon. There were two people there ahead of me  partaking of the goodies. I didn't read my coupon ahead of time and so I had  eaten before leaving home. Had I read it,I would have seen where breakfast would be provided.

 The work stations were all prepared with what we would need. We were divided into two teams, red and blue. I was on the blue team. There were only 4 of us though chef said he had planned for 8.

We would be preparing a main dish and a dessert.  The teams were to exchange dishes at the end of the class and taste each others cooking.
We began with the dessert first because it would need time to bake. La clafoutis or baked berries little pie 
The mixing bowl contains egg and milk which must
 be continuously whisked. The other ingredients are added as listed in the recipe. After placing our strawberries in a buttered and floured ramekin we poured the egg mixture on top. These were given to the sous chef to take to the oven. Chef Serge' told us  any berry could be used in this recipe. Some of us even placed a few chocolate chips inside our mixture.

Preparation of the main dish began which was Creamy raviolis with shrimp and raisin. Though it isn't  mentioned in the title a few green peas were also inside the ravioli. To save time chef had purchased prepared ravioli circles. On each circle a small amount of cooked shrimp, cooked peas  and raisins were place. This mixture was covered with another ravioli circle and crimped/folded around the edges to keep the stuffing inside. It was imperative to have  it closed or else it would come loose during cooking. Also, there's only a small amount that can be put inside or else the ravioli will be difficult to close. 
 These are  my 3 raviolis before they were cooked.
The pan is heated first with the milk then the raviolis are placed inside. They were cooked on a medium heat. It's best not to turn the ravioli back and forth or else it may fall apart.To the sauce was added additional raisins, peas, parmesan, pesto. Allowing the sauce to cook down into a thickness really pulls the flavors together.  Scooping some of this thickened sauce onto the ravioli adds to the flavor.
This is the blue team's dish plated and ready to devour.
Chef Serge' Pambo was comical and very talkative. He told us so much about his home country, his family, how he got started in the business and various cooking tips. A very patient, congenial  man, but he does talk a lot.

The red team's presentation drizzled with pesto
The dessert smelled wonderful and was put aside to cool so that it could be removed from the ramekins in one piece.  Once it was plated, we were also served ice cream on the side.
Chef brought out a bottle of Argentina Maltec wine.  As we ate and drank wine chef gave us an informative lesson on wines.That is, it was informative to me. The wine was great also and served at room temp.

I was unsure as to how the ravioli would taste since the stuffing was a little odd. It was delicious. The hint of sweetness of the raisins mixed with the peas and shrimp made for a different kind of meal. We were not hurried out afterwards. I don't know if it was the wine, the beautiful day or me being in a good mood but this was the best day I've had in a very long time. I'd advise anyone to take this class. Chef Serge' gave us much more than what we'd paid for.

Here we are after the class. I'll let you guess which person I am. (I gave you hints in my post)
That's It


  1. I LOVE this restaurant! If you hear of them doing this again would you let me know??? I missed this deal or I would have been all over it lol.

  2. This looks like so much fun and the food sounds delicious. I tried to post this comment on your blog but I must have done something wrong. Carolyn