Saturday, 12 July 2014

Cider House rules in St Goueno

Our local cider producer, Cidre Fermier has just gained a gold standard award for his cider. He has a little organic orchard and a tiny bottling plant and shop but is open every day in the summer for our students to visit. Just knock on his door and you will have to practice your French.  If you are lucky bring your car so that you can take a few boxes of the cider home with you. All our students get the opportunity to taste the cider during their time with us. Without doubt it has exceeded all expectations and so long may Cidre Fermier rule in St Goueno.

Latest Review on Trip Adviser

If you're looking to learn to cook wonderful food in France then look no further. I have just returned from a delightful week learning to cook delicious food under the expert tutelage of Poul.

When researching my trip I wanted a school where I would learn a variety of dishes (including starters, mains, sides and desserts), would be taught in a relaxed environment and most importantly would be able to get 'hands-on' in the cooking experience. French Dining School delivered on all of these points, meeting and far exceeding my expectations.

Expect to cook a two course lunch and three course dinner every day (apart from Thursday where lunch is free for exploring!), as well as lots of other little treats along the way (think cheesy biscuits and tasty cookies!). Poul made sure we were always learning something new but still had time to taste, experiment and learn new techniques. I cooked many things that were new to me, and picked up some extra tips and tricks gleaned from Poul's many years working in restaurants.

Meals are enjoyed with the other students in Poul's lovely home, where the wine is free flowing and the conversation even more so. Poul also arranged lovely accommodation for me in Gaynor and Ray's local B and B which I also highly recommend.

100% recommended, amazing experience.

Molly P July 2014

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

A Visitor to our garden

What a surprise our cooking students got last week when this little fellow came up our garden and looked into our kitchen! We had just been planning the Friday dinner and how we would prepare a Beef Wellington for the main main dish! I guess this guy heard our conversation and took off fast when he saw Poul in his chef outfit! So unlike the little tame deer who approached Poul on holiday in Spain  which we could not get rid - he was afraid of the dogs in the area and felt safe with Poul. It took us hours to find his owner and even when we did, Tinto (his name) was still reluctant to leave our company. I wonder how long this little fellow will remain in our woods?!Venison anyone? No he is far too cute!

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Rhubarb soup with mint

You will need:

4 sticks of rhubarb
1/2 a stick of vanilla
1 pt of water
6oz sugar
5 sprigs of mint
1 lemon


Take the leaves of the mint sprigs. Peel the rhubarb and cut it into thin slices. Put the rhubarb peel in a saucepan with the water, sugar stick of vanilla, the juice of the lemon and the by now leafless mint sprigs, let it simmer for 10minutes. Sieve the liquid and add the rhubarb slices. Bring it to the boil, take off the heat and leave to cool. Cut the mint leaves into thin strips. Serve the soup ice cold with the chopped mint leaves on top.
Serves 8 people

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Celeriac Burger with beetroot and horseradish

Ingredients (makes 4 burgers)

1 medium sized celeriac, peeled and grated
1 medium size onion peeled and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 eggs
1 small bunch of parsley, chopped
150 grams of gluten free flour or buckwheat flour (put an extra 50 grams aside in case mixture is too wet)
1 chili
1 lemon
Salt and pepper
Dash of olive/coconut oil
Serve with beetroot and horseradish.


1. Steam the celeriac for 5 minutes.
2. Beat the eggs in a bowl and add the flour, garlic, salt and pepper and parsley.
3. Chop up the chili and onion place into the mixture.
4. Heat a large frying pan over moderate heat and add a dash of oil.
5. Scoop 1 large tablespoon of mixture into the frying pan, then flatten it slightly with a spatula. The mixture should make around 4 burgers. Cook the burgers for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until golden.
6. Place burgers onto a paper towel to soak up any excess oil.
7. Drizzle with lemon juice before serving with beetroot and fresh horseradish sauce.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Asparagus Royale with Smoked Salmon

Serving  asparagus royale is always a sure winner. It is a simple starter dish which when prepared and served properly is a gourmet delight! You will need:

75g asparagus tips
50g smoked salmon
2 tablespoons of béchamel sauce
2 tablespoons consommé
4 egg yokes

Cook the asparagus tips in boiling water for two minutes then drain and set aside. Add the béchamel sauce and consomme and press through a sieve. Bind the mixture with the egg yokes and pour into buttered ramekins. Cook in a bain marie in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from ramekins  and serve with salmon.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

The Gourmet Vegetarian

Cèpes from the forest
One of the delights of being a professional chef is that you get to appreciate the extraordinary variety of food provided by Mother Nature. This is often best demonstrated by the gourmet vegetarian who using a combination of skills and knowledge can turn a simple product (or combination of products) into a sophisticated and extraordinary culinary dish. The menu below is a sample of our new five day gourmet vegetarian cooking course. In most cases remember the secret is often in the sauce!!

Starter: Creme Ninon, a classic French green pea soup
Main: Mozzarella in carrozza
Cheese: Selection of French cheeses
Starter: Artichoke in a citrus soup
Main: Potato Gnocchi with salvia butter and Parmesan
Cheese: Selection of French cheeses
Dessert: Panna Cotta with fresh fruits

Starter: Bruschetta
Main: Parmesan Omelette
Cheese: Selection of French cheeses
Starter: Rosemary baked carrots with a curry Sauternes sauce
Main: Farci Nicois
Cheese: Selection of French cheeses
Dessert: Chocolate Fondant with Vanilla ice cream & orange jam

Starter: Small tomato pizza Provençale
Main:  Grilled goats cheese with peppers and toast on a salad
Cheese: Selection of French cheeses
Starter: Asparagus with poached egg and Hollandaise Sauce
Main: Homemade Pasta with pesto
Cheese: Selection of French cheeses
Dessert: Caramelized strawberries with cinnamon & poppy seed ice cream

Visit to Dinan Food Market or visit Mont St. Michel
Starter: Provençale Courgette Tart
Main: Mushroom risotto
Cheese: Selection of French cheeses
Dessert: Apple Gratin with Cinnamon ice cream

Starter: Beet & caramelised onion tart
Main: Caesar Salad
Cheese: Selection of French cheeses
Starter: Gazpacho
Main: Polenta Lasagne
Cheese: Selection of French cheeses

Dessert: Tiramisu