Cooking School with La Peetch

alison kent HOME KITCHEN thyme watercolor border graphic artwork

While I’m not necessarily trying to fill all this ‘free’ time during Quarantine, pressuring myself to use every moment, it has been a great time to do some quality learning in the Kitchen –  especially with all the guinea pigs – I mean kids – stuck here having to try everything I make!

Pretty much every time I travel for the past 10 years, I’ve included some form of local cooking class. I love bringing the techniques and flavours from around the world home with me. Either myself or our whole family have taken classes in Paris, Barcelona, Baja Mexico, Crete, Positano… The list goes on and hopefully will one day include San Sebastian, Chiang Mai, Morocco, Bologna… So, naturally, while planning my big 50th trip next summer, I’ve been hoping to treat myself to some quality culinary learning. I came across a school just north of Cannes, one of my absolute favorite cities on the French Riviera, and was hoping to book it for just me, myself, and I at the start of my potentially 6-week trip. But, with all the unsureness of the present Quarantine, I’m hesitant to book much more than the family villas at this point.

Luckily for me, La Peetch, the school I was hoping to attend, based in Julia Child’s old holiday home, started some free Facebook Live classes! I love their approach to ‘recipe-free’ cooking – just a few simple ratios here and there, then go have fun and be free with your food and flavours. It’s definitely my style and it’s been fun to learn from others who approach food the same way.

The school, like many other businesses, has lost essentially a year of tourism income at this point with the pandemic, and decided to start an online cooking school. Which, I think they were going to do anyhow, but the current world situation has pushed it to – HOWABOUTNOW. I had enjoyed the free classes and was game to pay to learn more. It’s important to me to note that I have not received anything free in exchange for this brag post, or have been paid for it in any way. I’m writing this genuinely. I paid whatever anyone else paid, and it’s been worth every penny so far. I want to always be transparent and authentic, so you can take my word as honest. (If I ever do a paid post, which I doubt I will because how is it possible to be honest about something I got for free but you have to pay money for, but who knows – I’ll be VERY up front about it!).

WELL. What a whirlwind it’s been over the month of May! I think they’re creating content like crazy to officially start up the school on June 1st because there have been up to 5 classes a week, ALL of which I’ve attended via Zoom in real time (6pm France, 9am Vancouver). We have been eating SO.MUCH this month between cooking class food, regular day-to-day food, and special meals the girls were wanting to try, we’re all seriously bursting at the seams! I believe there are 4 more classes for May, then it goes to about 1 class / week after that, which is good because I’m rarely ready for anything but a strong coffee at 9am these quarantine-homeschooling-slow kinda days… 

Anyhow, I thought I’d share just a few of my favorite dishes from the past month in a quick little slide show!

  • Veggie Platter w 3 (I did 4) Dips > Roasted Artichoke, Zucchnini Pancake and Wedge Fries. Perfect for Brunching.
  • Stained Glass Pasta with Chive Flowers, Lemon Rind, Tarragon and Pea Shoots. Beautiful AND delicious!
  • Ratatouille! A revelation with the Ricotta base and the addition of Mushroom slices.
  • Decorative Herbed Focaccia Bread. Worked out so well and PUFFY!
  • Bean and Vegetable Soup was far more delicious and packed FULL of flavor than I’d imagined! Especially with the addition of fresh Pesto.
  • Gazpacho and Caesar Salad, complete with Butter Poached Shrimp just off the fishing boats!

Enjoy – and be sure to let me know which ones YOU would love to try!