My mom taught me to cook as soon as I could see over the top of our stove. I had solid abilities by the time I was a teenager and had no trouble whipping up one of my signature meals for our family of six.
But cooking for two–more specifically, cooking a romantic meal for your loved one– well, that’s out of my wheelhouse. As GirlAT readers have seen, my husband and I let professional chefs take the reigns when it comes to meals for special occasions.
Then I learned about the variety of cooking classes at The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories in The Market at the newly revamped Santa Monica Place which are perfect for couples. The 3-hour classes are an activity as well as a meal. Sure, you’re doing the physical cooking, but someone with culinary know-how has done the menu planning, grocery shopping and even the measuring of every item you’ll need for the four course meal. Did I mention they do the dishes too? And there’s booze? Now you’re with me!
Our culinary date, shared with five other couples, was themed French Bistro night. The mouth-watering menu including Roasted Beet and Haricot Verts Salad, Prince Edward Island Mussels in a White Wine and Garlic Sauce, Pomme Frites (aka French Fries) and Profiteroles with Chocolate Sauce. Our self-serve cocktail for the evening was a Champagne Woo-Woo made with bubbly, cranberry juice, peach schnapps and house-made simple syrup. The first bottle was popped as soon as we arrived, then we dove into cheese and fresh baked bread as we put on our aprons and got cooking!
While each dish sounds fancy, there were minimal ingredients and only basic pieces of equipment used. Midway through the class we had enough champagne in our system to realize – we could also do this in our own kitchen! As Chef Chris promised us, all recipes were emailed to us before we got home so we could recreate the meal. And the best part was that there were extra profiterole fixings to take home so the culinary fun could continue without any additional effort!
If French food isn’t your style other classes include Beer, Cheese and Pizza, Couples Night: Fiesta! or Raw Mediterranean. There’s really something for everyone – and I haven’t even touched on the school’s vast selection of baking classes if you’re looking for sweet treats or gluten free bread. And if you’re not sure about spending dough on the classes, follow The Gourmandise School on Twitter @gourmandisela to get weekly recipes which you can try at home. Bon appetit!
Oh, by the way: I’m signed up for one of the school’s impossible-to-get-into Intro to French Macarons class where I’ll learn, not only how to make those delectable Parisian cookies, but also salted caramel which I’m obsessed with lately. Can’t wait!
Let’s be honest: The Market was conceived as a mini version of the San Franciscan culinary mecca The Ferry Building Marketplace, but it hasn’t yet reached those grand proportions. And while the culinary school is the main draw to The Market, you may definitely want to check it out, if for the ice cream purveyor and chocolatier alone!
Accessorize: …with some fun for your kitchen!
Grab your ingredients at the local Farmer’s Market in style with a trio of bags each representing a different city including Paris, New York and Sydney.
Travel Pouch by Envirosax (Set of 3 bags)
Make prepping and chopping your meal more organized and brings color to your prep station.
LE CREUSET Silicone 1/4-Cup Pinch Bowls, Set of 4, Multi-colored
…And add a little more oh-la-la to the kitchen with:
THE DOMESTIC DAME Once Apron a Time Apron