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Follow Laura on tour: Learning a new recipe

May 05, 2015 by Laura Barber

As far as cooking goes, I am by no means a gourmet chef—I’ve always been more of a baker than a cook. That said, some of my specialties include cereal, salad from a bag, spaghetti and sometimes, if I’m feeling ambitious, chicken. So when it comes to meal prep, I need all the help I can get, which is why I was both anticipating and slightly apprehensive about last night’s cooking class on my tour of France.

Making goat cheese and endive appetizers at a cooking class in Tours, France

We arrived at Tours a Table, a culinary school and restaurant in the city of Tours, ready to slice, dice and most importantly, eat! After donning our aprons, we split into two groups, one to make the appetizer and the other dessert. In the spirit of trying new things, I decided to branch out and put myself on appetizer duty.

Cooking class in Tours, France

We were making endive and goat cheese tarts, so the first step—making and rolling out the crust—wasn’t foreign to me as I’ve made my fair share of pies. I also got recruited to cut up the goat cheese, which wasn’t too difficult either. I was starting to feel pretty confident, so when it was time to caramelize the endives, I eagerly volunteered. Everything was going great until the pan started smoking from some of the left over caramelization from the batch cooked just before.

Cooking endive in Tours, France

Don’t worry, I didn’t burn down the place, but the room did get pretty smoky! After that, everything went smoothly.

Chopping vegetables at cooking class in Tours, France

For the main course, everyone stayed in their groups but prepared the same thing, so it was as if we were cooking together. We peeled and diced a colorful selection of vegetables and fresh tarragon, sliced up some chicken and cooked it all in a large cast iron pot with broth, white wine and cream. The smell in that room as everything simmered was wonderful.

Cooking class in Tours, France

After a little over an hour, it was time to eat. From the endive tarts to the dessert (a delicious chocolate lava cake), everything was quite tasty. While I still don’t think I’m head chef material, I can at least say I learned a few new recipes and techniques from one!

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About the author | Laura Barber
It all began on a school trip to London in 7th grade. Since that first jaunt across the pond, Laura has been hooked on all things travel (and British for that matter). When she's not at work using her words to help people find their own adventures, she can be found running 5ks, refining her cribbage game, or rewatching The Office for the 100th time.