During our recent weekend with The Cook’s Atelier in Beaune, France, the visit culminated with a French feast hosted by Majorie Taylor and Kendall Smith Francini, a mother and daughter duo and co-owners of the epicurean center, cooking school and wine shop known as The Cook’s Atelier.
After a glorious day shopping for fresh produce from the local farmers’ market, they returned to their kitchen to put together an elegant winter feast using some of Burgundy’s finest local ingredients. Take a look at what they came up with, and re-create the meal with our recipes below.
As a wine shop located in the Beaune—nicknamed “the wine capital of Burgundy”—wine is an essential part of lunch and dinner. “During our traditional ‘long French lunch,’ each course is accompanied by a specific wine pairing,” Marjorie explained. The family’s favorites include chilled Champagne to start a long meal, and, once the cheese course arrives, a great bottle of Burgundy to close out the meal.
Majorie and Kendall love to start off a meal with gougères, a classic French savory puff pastry. To add even more zip to each bite, they like to add a teaspoon of freshly ground mustard seeds or freshly picked herbs, like thyme or chives, into the dough before baking.
Côte de Boeuf
The main event at dinner was a gorgeously-presented standing rib roast, or Côte de Boeuf, plated over a bed of roasted vegetables. Using only a few seasonings—salt, pepper, garlic, and thyme—allows the flavor of the meat to truly shine.
Braised Baby Root Vegetables
Kendall and Marjorie found such perfect baby root vegetables at their local farmers’ market that there was no point to making anything overly elaborate or fussy. Instead, they braised carrots, turnips and radishes simply in butter, garnishing with sprigs of chervil and a sprinkling of fleur de sel.
Radicchio Salad with Roquefort, Apples and Hazelnuts
During the colder months, The Cook’s Atelier often serves a simple winter salad like this one with radicchio, Roquefort, apples and hazelnuts. Apple slices add sweetness to counterbalance radicchio’s slight bitterness, while Roquefort cheese lends a salty, sharp and creamy quality to the salad.
Roasted Red Kuri Squash Soup
Red kuri squash isn’t nearly as well-known in America as it is in France, where it’s known as potimarron, because it bears the nutty quality of a chestnut (marron, in French). Marjorie and Kendall like to roast it to bring out its sweetness before puréeing it into a velvety cold soup.
Chocolate Pear Tartlets
These chocolate pear tartlets were as delicious as they are beautiful to look at. Kendall and Marjorie used a dozen three-inch tartlet pans to make them into individual portions.
“Cheese is very much a part of everyday life in France,” Marjorie said. She and Kendall served it at the end of the meal, after dessert, which is the French way. She added: “You would never serve cheese as an appetizer [here], as the French consider it much too heavy to begin the meal.” Learn more about assembling a cheese platter the French way.
Enjoying great food, fine wine and lots of laughter with family and friends is something both Kendall and Marjorie not only prioritize in their lives, but hope to spread to guests who visit The Cook’s Atelier. As Kendall added: “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.”
See more of our day spent with The Cook’s Atelier in our video: