Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chef Marthe Class

 Last Friday I took a cooking class in a French chef's home.

 And what a gracious home it is, like walking into a Matisse painting.
 Chef Marthe Brohan, used to teach in her bistro kitchen in the 11th. Now she opens her home to share bistro trade secrets. First we went off to the marche Raspail for ingredients.
 Chef Marthe shares her favorite purveyors for olive oil and olives of Nylons/Provence. Irresistable.
 Back in her apartment, it's all hands on deck to make the 3-course menu:
Mediterranean zucchini
Chicken with two vinegars
Citron Madeleines
 I fell in love with these special herb cutting shears
 I found them on Saturday at the Bio marche on Raspail as directed.
 On to our main course - the chicken with two vinegars + a touch of honey and rosemary.
 While the chicken is cooking we move on to dessert - lemony madeleines. Marthe makes it easy as pie.
 And shares her favorite cookbooks...
 Who knew the American Embassy had such a terrific cookbook? Marthe has marked up many pages for reference. I must get this book.
 You can find it on Amazon in English:
Elegant Entertaining, Seasonal Recipes from the American Ambassador's Residence in Paris.
 Another favorite book.
 And just out in the US,
 French Bistro, with recipes from Bistro Paul Bert and L'Ami Jean. It looks gorge.
 Enfin a table!
The poulet is fragrant and delicious - so simple
 Is anything better than eating madeleines right out of the oven? It will spoil you forever. And so easy using Marthe's methods. She explains a French expression to us -
'it is the 'Madeleine de Proust'
meaning this is something I ate as a child. Nostalgia for dishes of one's childhood is so much a part of French taste/gout.
Truly the highlight of my Paris trip was cooking at Chef Marthe's.


  1. Bon jour, Paris! :-)

    What a wonderful visit with "The French", such delightful pictures (your photos are grand!) and food to get hungry at first sight! I think I can smell the perfume of the Madeleines. *heaven*

  2. That is the perfect way to enjoy a true French culinary class. Shop, talk, cook and eat real fresh French food with a master. How wonderful for you. Love her cookbooks... added a couple to my wish list.

  3. I bought Elegant Entertaining a while back when another blogger posted that she'd visited the Ambassador's residence! Have to check out the new book too.

  4. In a word - 'AMAZING'! What a fabulous thing to do. Your pictures are great too - I will certainly be checking out those cookery books, and I may even try my hand at making Madeleines - they look scrumptious!

  5. That looks such a wonderful day. I did a Meet the French event in 2010. We went to a bakery and learnt how they make baguettes and croissants. It was fabulous, and happened to be on my birthday. I remember it very fondly, and would love to do another outing with them next trip too.

  6. .. how fun, for you and us ... love the pictures .... saw a review of La Palette in the art district, good place for coffee, 43 Rue de Seine ... food not the draw but major links to historical artists .. the "go to" place in St Germain des Pres ... must stop on my next visit .. have fun!

  7. Geri, NJ9:02 AM

    What a wonderful experience you're having! Madeleines are my favorite thing to bake ~ easy and delish.

  8. Chef Marthe Brohan9:21 AM


    Merci, Merci pour toutes ces belles photos et commentaires.

    A bientôt Carol

  9. What fun for you, Carol And also us, via your delicious posts from abroad.
    I did the same in Provence two summers ago, at the beautiful old stone farmhouse owned by the chef, in the hills above town. Happily,Got it all on video.

  10. This sounds like the only way I would like to cook these days!

  11. What a heavenly experience! Such simple dishes, but so lovingly planned and beautifully prepared. YUMMY!

    And those herb-shredding shears. Genius. Wow. Next time I'm in Paris...

  12. audrey9:57 AM

    Beautiful photos! And you must have meant olives from Nyons (without the l) - they're wonderful indeed :)

  13. I love how the madeleines pop up with little mountains in the middle! And they are best right out of the oven, aren't they? Thanks for the post. I'm looking for a cooking class to take when I go in July. I'll look into Marthe's site.

  14. what a wonder post, thank you so much, love the madeleines and the french shopping markets, your photos are the best,

  15. Is that a La Cornue stove in the last photo? What a perfect instrument to cook and bake all those fresh ingredients purchased at the market!

    Every time I read your blog, I miss France more and more... But I can't help but keep reading! (Oh the divine torture!)

    1. Yes it is hamlet,
      Chef Marthe was very proud of her La Cornue. I imagine once you've worked with proper resturant equipment it's hard to do without.

  16. Enjoyed this so much, Carol, and those shears are such a good idea. I felt such a sense of adventure and travel while reading this!

  17. You have the most yummy fun life!!

  18. What a fun opportunity! The olives look so divine- what a pleasant change in comparison to our grocery store displays!

    Eat Cake

  19. I did a similar thing in Florence last month with Sharon Oddson Gargani. We shopped in the Central Market, and then walked back to her flat to cook a wonderful, easy, delicious meal: artichokes with parmigiano and pistachios, fettuccine with citrus sauce, grilled chicken with a brick, and chocolate cake with rosemary, olive oil, and sea salt. It was a wonderful day!

  20. Sounds like lots of fun, Carol. I remember reading Proust and being able to smell the madeleines when he described his memories of them...it all looks great!

  21. Fantastic idea!
    If I go to Paris it is of utmost importance for me to take a cooking course. Looks like a lovely meal and so healthy!

    The Wanderfull Traveler

  22. Boy, that food looks so good :) I could eat a couple of plates of that, I think!

  23. What a fantastic experience! I love everything about this - her home (that first shot is just stunning), Marthe (understated French style) and the food - OMG. I can just about smell those warm madeleines. (And like another commenter, in love with her oven). Thanks for the post and the link - definitely saving this idea for my next trip xo

  24. FABULOUS POST!! One of your Top Five Ever!! Terrific ideas for what to do (can't wait to try her cooking class), what Farmer's Market to go to, what books to buy, and madeleines from THAT stove--two of my all-time faves!! Mille mercis!

  25. I was just blogging about my cooking class with Marthe, but you did such a wonderful job, that I will refer to yours. I signed up through Viator, and had the best time shopping and cooking almost the same menu with Marthe. I had a chance to cook it for friends a week later, and even without her guidance and kitchen, it came out delicious. I bought those scissors, too!

  26. Ladelle5:48 AM

    I am back home in LA (Manhattan Beach). Just wanted to send a picture of Chef Marthe, ME (to the right of Marthe in blue) and my sis Cristine at the market. It was a wonderful time! I enjoyed our class with her very much. She gave me a business card you had done for her too.

    I never made it to tea at Hotel Shangri-La unfortunately, but maybe when you move to Paris and I am there- we can go together!
    Have a good weekend. Thanks again for all the wonderful things you share!


  27. I have followed your blog for 2 years, thanks for all the beuty you shares. You must to be a person with a special sensibility and a good taste for Art and life.
    Best wishes,

  28. Anonymous4:49 AM

    We had an appt, we thought, at 10;00 on Saturday June 4, but sadly there was some confusion and we never connected w Chef Marthe.. so sorry to miss this experience.
    A few grouchy! Neighbors in the building were no help.


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