I was invited by a friend of mine for a cooking and dining experience at the L’atelier de Cuisine and despite the name of the venue, I didn’t quite know what to expect! Would we be cooking for ourselves? Would we just be watching someone cook and we would take notes and eat the end product? Should I bring some tupperware….You just never know right?!

All became clear when I met Chef Bertrand Duchamps, a French chef with a wealth of experience in cooking and hospitality from all over the world. Most importantly (for me), he is a French chef who speaks English! So the whole experience was made richer by his friendliness and willingness to explain and engage with us. You learn about the freshness and authenticity of products, how to select the freshest strawberries for example.

The atelier is full of unique and wonderful products that you cannot buy anywhere else, from the special ginger syrups to the “secret homemade salt” that contains over 16 ingredients! As soon as Bertrand discovers that somewhere else is stocking one of the products, he will search for something else unique.

  

We were a group of 8 and we were celebrating my friend’s birthday, it was such a lovely evening and such a great way to socialise with new people too. There is something about making a 3-course meal together that really bonds you. Someone is scrubbing your carrots for your dinner, the other is cutting the mango for your dessert, there’s no team building like touching each other’s food eh?! But seriously, it is such a fun experience and everyone makes a different part of the menu so team work is really needed here.

Whether you’re an amateur or an expert in the kitchen, it doesn’t make a difference because we’re all students really in Bertand’s kitchen and he makes sure that everyone gets stuck in. Once everything has been made, take a seat on the large wooden table in the room, sit back, relax and enjoy the fruits of your labour!

I absolutely loved the experience and I think with a friendly chef like Bertrand this is the perfect place for a special birthday treat, for kids and adults! Team building and even just a fun night out. He takes a minimum of 6 per group and a maximum of 20, groups larger than 8 will be split into two groups so don’t worry about not being able to get involved.

More information on the website: www.atelier-de-cuisine.com