Cookery courses in Champagne

© T. Joly
“Au Piano des Chefs” offers cooking classes that teach you how to prepare tasty, innovative and affordable dishes. Taking place in restaurant s or charming places, they are suited for everyone and for all ability levels.

[ Practical ]

Two hours home courses from €45 per person
Courses in restaurants or charming places from €70 to €99 per person
Information and booking
Tel : 0677984086
In the wake of the increasing number of TV shows devoted to this activity, cooking has become a trendy hobby in the past few years. More and more people dream to cook like a chef or simply want to improve their skill to prepare tastier daily meal and cooking schools are popping up all around France. Created two years ago, “Au Piano des Chefs” is one of them, but his founder, Eric Geoffroy, developed an original concept.

© T. Joly
 In the middle of the vineyards
Instead of having is own school and kitchen, he sets up classes all around the Champagne region in restaurants or in charming places doted with professional kitchen such as castles or wealthy houses located in the middle of vineyards or in a peaceful and pastoral environment.
Classes lengths range from one and half hour to three hours and everyone is welcome regardless of experience and ability. Dates, locations and durations are listed on Eric Geoffroy’s website where you can register. On request, they can also take place in the comfort of your own kitchen on condition you have the adequate equipment and live in Champagne. Courses bring together from six to twelve persons who, depending on the number of participants, work individually or in pairs and during a three hours long class they learn to prepare a starter, a main course and a dessert.

© T. Joly
 Local and seasonal products
Unlike in some cookery classes where you just throw pre-prepared ingredients into a pan, here you have to do everything. At the beginning, it might seem a bit complicated but Eric Geoffroy makes it easy as he leads you through the dishes step by step and if you have a partner you can help each other. So, you don’t only learn how to make a recipe but also tips to save time, how to get organized and discover different approaches of cooking.
Another characteristic of Eric Geoffroy’s classes is to promote cooking relying on local and seasonal products. He also gives preference to inexpensive and moderately priced ingredients. “Because it’s so easy to make a good meal with ingredients such as truffle or caviar, I am more interested in cooking with products within reach of everybody. Especially as my goal is that participants can recreate the dishes at home”.

© T. Joly
 Out of the ordinary recipes
His recipes are also rather innovative and out of the ordinary. Rethel white pudding with Champagne jelly and grape must mustard, chicken supreme cooked in milk with mushrooms and artichoke puree, Chaource cheese cream with grape chutney on gingerbread, cooked mango with ginger, pink biscuit and whisky,…. Here are some recipes you might learn to do with him.
Then comes the time to taste the dishes you prepared and - if you pay extra - the meal can be accompanied by wines chosen by a sommelier who teach you how to pair food with Champagne and Bouzy, a red wine produced in the region. Don’t be surprised, it indeed does exist Champagne pairing perfectly with all types of dishes, even with cheese. It all depends on their style and characteristics.

May 09, 2012
Thierry Joly