Review from Florida!
There is a place where time stands still, as the aromas waft from the kitchen, laughter is heard and the sounds of dishes resonate as the cooking class is preparing for meal service. It is a scratch kitchen with all fresh ingredients from neighboring farms and local town markets, that students will learn from a Danish chef with a gentle spirit and a creative edge that modern times seem to have long since forgotten.
Poul Jensen & Niall O’Reilly have created this warm and ‘door is always open’ environment, welcoming students from all different continents and of varied ages, for a week of culinary immersion. Together, they are a symphony, having created a French cooking school that is an unparalleled experience for travelers seeking culinary adventures.
Our group of eight students gather for our first evening of introductions, libations and a glimpse of what is to come. Niall welcomed our group with a huge smile, deliriously funny anecdotes and aperitifs while Poul set our goals for the coming week, outlining the food and recipes that we will be preparing for our collective learning of French cuisine.
For our first meal, Poul served us a piping hot butternut soup drizzled with basil oil, an incredibly tasting pork tenderloin gently smoked with a turf peat accompanied with Pommes Dauphinoise and Sauce Morels . The dessert, homemade ice cream with an almond cake. The outcome is simply mouthwatering and delish. All meals are paired with white and red wines in abundance. Friendships are made.
Throughout the week we learned how to butcher and prepare different cuts of meat, poultry and seafood. . . Roast saddle of Lamb, Stuffed Chicken leg, Duck breast and master the art of Lobster Therimdor and Beef Wellington. We created homemade vegetarian Ravioli, Scallops carpaccio, Artichoke in citrus sauce, Mussels in Blue Cheese which delight our palates. Too many soups, sauces, salads to list individually and a plethora of desserts including homemade ice creams and sorbets, tiramisu, a clafoutis of fresh fruit just to name a few. All created and taught by Poul with accompanying recipes and techniques employed by some of the best culinary masters in French cuisine. Poul knows his art, cooking, and happily shared his extensive knowledge while keeping total strangers, now friends, on track to prepare four course meals for lunch and dinner daily. We are all engaged, happy and quite full.
This will not be a once in a lifetime experience for me. I will return yearly, as most students do, to this magical hamlet called Kerrouet, in the heart of Brittany, France to see my new dear friends, Poul & Niall.
Class of September 18, 2023