The Story of The Cook’s Atelier

France, Williams-Sonoma Open Kitchen

When Marjorie and Kendall, an American mother and daughter duo, moved to a small town in Burgundy, France, they wanted to create something that combined everything they loved about France—food, wine and culture. So, in 2008 they opened The Cook’s Atelier, a cooking school, epicurean center and wine shop where they built an extended family of cooks, wine lovers and food artisans. Here is their story.

 

Monsieur Vossot's Côte de Boeuf Kitchen Prep + A151106 WSOK + The Cooks Atelier + Beaune France

Kendall (left) and Marjorie (right) opened The Cook’s Atelier together.

 

KENDALL

I fell in love with France at a very early age and decided to move here in my early twenties. I began studying art history and I embraced everything about French culture. Then I got into wine and decided to come to Beaune in 2008 to study viniculture and work with local wine makers.

 

MARJORIE

At the time I had a little restaurant and cooking school in the U.S. and I’d travel back and forth to visit Kendall. I saw how much she loved France and eventually it dawned on me that maybe she wasn’t going to come home! We’re a very close mother-daughter team and so I decided that I was going to move to Beaune. We combined our passions of food and wine and opened up The Cook’s Atelier.

 

A150602 Food & Wine Handbook & Gastronaut Sept 2015

The town of Beaune at sunset.

 

The Cook’s Atelier focuses on cooking in Burgundy, the region where Beaune is located. Happily, Beaune is known as “the wine capital of Burgundy” and the beautiful Hospices de Beaune, built in 1443, is now the site of world-famous wine auctions.

 

MARJORIE

Living in Beaune is very different from living in the United States. It’s quite the experience. Beaune is a very small town, about 25,000 people, but it’s very focused on international visitors because of the wine business. We chose Beaune specifically because we fell in love with it the minute we saw it. It’s very small but very authentic — it still feels like real France.

 

From the very beginning, Kendall and Marjorie wanted to keep The Cook’s Atelier a family affair. Laurent, Kendall’s husband and a native of France, has the official title of “Go-to Frenchman” on staff and Kendall’s children have a dedicated kid’s table in the back of the wine shop where they can eat, color and play.

 

After Dinner Pics + Dessert: Chocolate Pear Tartelette + A151106 WSOK + The Cooks Atelier + Beaune France

 

KENDALL

Family is really at the forefront of The Cook’s Atelier. Obviously as a mother-daughter duo we have our share of time together. But also my children come home from lunch every day. We experience the long French lunch together. My husband also runs our culinary boutique and wine shop. So family is very much an important part of what we do every day.

 

So, it’s no surprise that attending a cooking class or workshops at The Cook’s Atelier feels like being part of a wonderful French family. From shopping at the local market and prepping veggies, to sitting down together around a simple yet elegant table to enjoy the meal with plenty of wine, Majorie and Kendall focus on giving every guest an authentic and transformative experience.

 

MARJORIE

The Cook’s Atelier is a very magical place. When we decided to create the epicurean center we wanted to create a place where home cooks could come from all over the world to learn about Burgundy through a cook’s view. The training and techniques are all French, of course, and it’s very market inspired.

 

KENDALL

We’re very lucky also to be able to share our vision with people who come visit us. The whole idea is to get everyone and involved and really loving the process of shopping and cooking so they will be inspired to take that feeling home with them.

 

Lunchtime Party with Guests + A151106 WSOK + The Cooks Atelier + Beaune France

 

See more of our day spent with The Cook’s Atelier below.

 

32 comments about “The Story of The Cook’s Atelier

  1. Cindy Lee Forbes

    Thank you to Williams-Sonoma and The Cooks’s Atelier for inspiration and support for my future desires of spending more time in the kitchen, exploring and creating delicious dishes and baked goods!

    Reply
  2. Lisa McDonnell

    Awesome!! There is nothing better than a mother/daughter duo doing what they love together. Best wishes for a successful and prosperous business together!

    Reply
  3. Meg Osman

    What a beautiful concept! I look forward to the opportunity of visiting you in Beaune for classes in the future!

    Reply
  4. John

    What a wonderful testimony to living life with those you love and doing what you love. Wishing you continued success in all you do. Hoping to return to France to pay you a visit.

    Reply
  5. Amy

    I love that the children have a table in the kitchen, the coveted chefs table, they can immerse themselves in this wonderful environment. It’s vital for children to get into the kitchen early on, so later in life they can truly appreciate the beauty of cooking. The little munckins gets to see where food comes from, something that everyone should know. Unfortunately, it isn’t so common for kids to know where food comes from in the states, the food culture is getting better here slowly, but surely. These kids will definitely appreciate their mom, dad and grandma showing them this early on.

    Reply
  6. Linda G

    What a beautiful photo with the family and store front. Looks so inviting! Hope I can come, learn about French cooking and culture. Best wishes in the New Year!

    Reply
  7. Marshall Rothman

    I am so jealous of the fabulous life you chose by moving to Beaune. I have always loved France and Europe, and there is no better life on Earth! People in Europe, and especially in France, live to enjoy “life” itself — to enjoy the basics of life, family, and friends, and best of all, with food at its best! I applaud you both for your decisions!

    I wish you a VERY HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR, NOW AND ALWAYS! TO LIFE, FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND GOOD FOOD!

    Reply
  8. Selma Duchene

    I just passed by Beaune in these Holidays but, unfortunately, I didn’t know about The Cook’s Atelier. I will try to visit it next time. It seems a very interesting place for food lovers ( like me ).

    Reply
  9. Janet

    Thank you for the enjoyable video.
    I loved your story and the market and your receipes are outstanding
    My mother and her family are from Burgundy and I look do forward to coming over and meeting you both.
    I am going to italy hopefully in May and will do my very best to stop in
    Enjoy the fabulous family times!!!

    Reply
    1. The Cook's Atelier

      Merci, Janet. Be sure to come and see us! Thank you for your sweet words. We really appreciate it. Wishing you a very Happy New Year and we hope to see you in May.

      Reply
  10. Cheryl Lindblad

    Wonderful to read the story of your family. I see that you sell some products from the Swedsih company Iris Hantverk! Wonderfull products from a wonderfull company. I am american living in Sweden – work as a professional baker writing books and also as an agent for Nordic Ware. I am often in Stockholm at Iris Hantverk demonstrating baking pans and offering samples of cakes along with recipes. Absolutely love to bake with the best ingredients!

    Reply
  11. Karen Houser

    What a lovely concept. I love everything about your story. How magical. Combining great loves: family, cooking and wine. Thank you so much for sharing. I wish you continued success.

    Reply
  12. Donna Carpentier

    As a HUGE francophile I appreciate your story and fully intend to take a class on our next trip over! My son and I have dreamed of doing this very thing for so, so long! And, Bourgogne is my fave place on earth–good friends live near Auxerre, and I studied briefly at the Université de Bourgogne. I am a big fan of Bernard Loiseau and his family’s commitment to their enterprise, of the wines of Bourgogne (especially Chablis), of the region’s beauty, art, and iconic dishes. I yearn to learn more! Bref, your life sings to me! Bonne année et à bientôt j’espère!

    Reply
    1. The Cook's Atelier

      Merci beaucoup, Donna! Burgundy truly is magical, Beaune especially. We still pinch ourselves that we are able to call it home. Be sure to come and see us whenever you are in the area. Thank you for your sweet comment.
      A très bientôt!

      Reply
  13. Millette

    Dear Williams Sonoma and Cooks Atelier,

    Thank you for providing the blog on Cooks Atelier, I have bern fond of their company for so many years, the warmth, simplicity and genuineness they share is so beautiful. I am not sure when I can visit, howevver, I did experience 2 weeks in France in 2015 ( Provence, Lyon and Paris ) and my life has never been the same. Truly one of the greatest countries.

    Best regards,
    Millette

    Reply
  14. Susan Weaks

    Happy New Year Marjorie and Kendall!!
    I was so excited to open the new Williams Sonoma catalog and see you !
    I often think of the fabulous day in 2012 my husband and I spent with you at the
    Cook’s Atelier shopping,cooking,learning and best of all eating. It was my best birthday ever and one of my most treasured memories. I dream of returning and cooking with you again.
    Thank you for the memories and inspirations,
    Susan Weaks

    Reply
  15. Holly

    Your story inspires me and gives me new hope and determination to live a life of beauty with those you love. I look forward to meeting you someday soon. Bon Appetite!

    Love, Holly

    Reply

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