On your stoves, get set, ready?

M.O.T. for Mouthful Of Treats

A few months back, I wrote an article about a splendid restaurant in London called l'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, literally Joel Robuchon's Workshop, named after the Michelin Star chef. This is a fantastic place where you eat seated on stools around the kitchen so you can appreciate your courses being prepared under your bemused eyes. A symphony of pans and knives, and trust me, not a single quote from UK favourite kitchen philosopher, Gordon Ramsay!
Nice, tidy, prestigious, quiet, delicious... And my latest encounter with the restaurant chain, back in Tokyo, did not undermine the reputation. I had had my lot of noodles, rice and noodles with rice, so for my last night in the Country of The Rising Sun, I decided to treat myself when I bumped into the local venture by accident (or chance my stomach might argue). Just to give you a flair of the menu, I shot this picture of the dessert: foamed and caramelised pear with bergamote ice cream on chocolate cookie. Delightful.

Hands on.

Well, as it happens, beyond Robuchon's, there is another French "Atelier" in London, and it is also a culinary workshop. This is called L'Atelier des Chefs. The France-originated concept is related to the above-mentioned, in the sense that it shifts cuisine from the secluded circles of French inns. But it goes one step further. You are no longer a close-up spectator, this time you are an active participant.

At L'Atelier des Chefs, Charly might make the cook, but then it's your turn to cook along. The resident chef demonstrates the recipe of the day, shares with you some tricks from the trade, showcases some of the kitchen utensils which happen to be for sale in the front of the shop... And off you go. Your turn to put your hands in the dough, to scramble the eggs, to scalp the radishes, etc. And guess what, you'd better get it right as you end up the session by eating what you baked minutes before. All that in less than an hour if you opt for the lunchtime "Cook, eat & run" session or a little more if you come later in the day.

Fight of the Chefs.

Now you may think that you don't need the classes, that your spaghetti à la Tesco Sauce are the best ever. And you may be right. However, the best way to verify your talent is to test it against other wannabe cooks... That's what L'Atelier des Chefs is offering you to materialise by organising Cuisine Cup, the European Cup of amateur cooks. You simply have to register on their site by sending one of your favourite recipe, based around salmon this year, and if you are shortlisted, you will be invited to cook your recipe on premise to be evaluated against the other London contenders. At the same time, in Paris, Lyon, Brussels, Bordeaux, the qualification round are also taking place for a place in the semi in Paris. Fancy the challenge? Hurry up as the sign-up was due to close soon...
Cuisine Cup - Atelier des Chefs London
Alternatively you can always follow the competition online or pay a visit to the shop in Wigmore Street if you happen to be around on November 23rd. On your mark, get set, tuck in!!!

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