Promenades Gourmandes, run by Paule Caillat, offers cooking classes in Paris that combine the pleasures of shopping for quality ingredients, creating an authentic French meal, and most importantly savoring the
Where do the classes take place?
The classes take place in Paule's home, ideally located in the Marais district of Paris. The apartment is easily accessible and near several great markets. Flooded with light, it overlooks the charming courtyard of an
elegant 18th-century hôtel particulier.
The fully equipped kitchen features a Lacanche stove and a large granite high table for prepping. It opens up on the dining room/salon which is furnished with a mix of antiques, family treasures from Paule and her husband Olivier, and
a contemporary table and sofa.
Who teaches the classes?
Paule teaches the classes herself. Twelve years ago, she switched from a career in fashion to full time cooking and exploring the world of food in Paris and wherever her travels take her. Paule, a native Parisian, has been
entertaining her friends since the age of twenty one, when she married and had her first child, three decades ago.
Perfectly bilingual (she went to college in the US), Paule shares more than cooking during the classes. Conversation
often moves from food, restaurants, and cooking to lifestyle in France and current issues in many fields.
What cuisine and cooking techniques are emphasized in the classes?
A detailed questionnaire is sent to students when they sign up. Paule then plans a full seasonal menu, taking into consideration preferences, likes, dislikes, and allergies. She manages to accomodate diverse tastes in the same class,
within limits of course.
The menus at Promenades Gourmandes are always seasonal, "contemporary bourgeoise cuisine". Not too simple, not too complicated, they can be recreated anywhere. The handouts, which students receive with their recipes, help identify and
locate comparable ingredients abroad.
Many students have returned, some several times, for more menus. The Caillat family tart crust, totally unorthodox, is a major attraction.
When do classes take place?
There is no preset schedule. The classes take place any day except Mondays, of course, depending on the visitors' availability. There is a summer interruption in August.
The class meets at 9 am near the market, often on rue Montorgueil. After a one hour market tour, including a stop at the cheese shop (each class includes a comprehensive cheese tasting), we return to the kitchen to prepare,
hands on, the meal, which is enjoyed with wine. The lunch ends around 3 pm.
The space is also available for private parties, lunch, dinner, cocktails, tastings and corporate events. Up to 15 people can be accommodated, with either Paule or your own chef in charge.