The legendary Ritz Hotel Paris has closed it’s doors for two years for a major renovation. This Parisian landmark, located in the stunning Place Vendome, is not only an extraordinary 5 star hotel but also the home to the Ritz Escoffier Cooking School, which will reopen in 2014. I was able to catch one last class just a few weeks before the closing…the preparation for construction already evident with entrances blocked and scaffolding in place. And yet, beautiful things were happening in the kitchens below…
Milles Feuilles, translated literally as 1000 leaves, is a masterpiece of French pastry….. three layers of caramelized puff pastry with vanilla pastry cream piped between. It doesn’t get any better than this.
This was a combination observation/hands on class. The chef spoke only french but there was an assistant who would translate if needed. As the only native-english speaking participant in the class, I was intent on completing this class in French and was pleased to find that I only had to ask for a couple of quick translations….mostly unfamiliar cooking terms.
It was fascinating to watch the chef work so quickly and confidently with such delicate ingredients. And then it was very exciting and just a little bit nerve-racking to roll up my sleeves and get to work.
Please check back next week to see if I am able to recreate this pastry in my own home kitchen at which time I will pass along the recipe.
And as if the evening wasn’t wonderful enough, here is a quick and somewhat fuzzy snapshot of the view as I popped into the Metro at Concorde for my short trip back to the left bank, reminding me that, as Audrey Hepburn once said, “Paris is always a good idea.”