L'atelier des Chefs, London

Text by Pei-Ru Keh

In these hectic times where takeaways, ready meals and eating out have become default for urbanites, cooking is something of an indulgence. Add to this a dearth of inspiring cookery schools (most have staid repertoires and unrealistic schedules) and the ability to whip up a culinary feast is fast becoming a lost art.

Enter L'atelier des Chefs, an innovative, international franchise of cookery schools that has us eager to ditch the ready meal and roll up our sleeves. Promising a relaxed environment for culinary learning (think glowing kitchens fitted with Miele stovetops and Krups appliances,) L’atelier des Chefs offers patrons a chance to learn some modern cooking, without a lengthy lecture.

The school’s varied class schedule takes into account both seasonal and culinary trends; few schools can offer guidance on how to prepare a three course Norwegian meal, how to make four kinds of delectable macarrons, or to create a simple lunchtime meal in the same venue. For convenience, the energetic classes are available from a half hour ‘cook and go’ session to a more extensive two-hour masterclass (despite its name, no prior experience is necessary.)

Established in Paris by the Bergault brothers (Nicolas and François,) L’atelier des Chefs boasts 11 different branches – with London and Dubai being the most recent, and the only two locations outside of its Gallic home turf. Classes are taught by professional chefs, and can be booked using a foolproof online booking system.

If, like us, you thrive on instant gratification, then the best part of the class is taking home the fruits of your labor upon departure. What's more, while other schools might load participants up with recipes in folders or on loose paper, L’atelier des Chefs will send all the directions via email to your inbox - a neat tactic ensuring there’s no getting away from them.

What's not eaten after the class gets taken home for later

The magic ingredients

Bake the macaroon dollops for 20 minutes at 160 degrees celsius

Pipe the mixture into macaroon-sized dollops onto a greaseproof tray

Macaroons, souffle and a cup of tea - a perfect end to the class

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