So, I rounded my friends up and enrolled all of us in a one-hour Express lunch cooking course at L'Atelier des Chefs. Located in a clean, well-organized atelier in the center of town, the professional but kind chef let us in onto the secrets of French cooking. Did you know the difference of cooking potatoes starting with a pan of cold water vs hot water?
Maria was forced to peel potatoes with an "économe", Belen got to chop "les châtaignes" and Arantxa was happy to spice up the salmon with some chili-peppered salt! I was busy taking photos while our Germanic friend was diligently mashing the pumpkin/potatoe mix.
The dirty cutting boards and dishes were miraculously cleaned away the minute we looked away. Can I have that kitchen fairy in my house, please? Within 30 minutes flat we had a delicous rosmary-steamed salmon accompanied by a exquisite pumpkin mousse covered with a splitter of chestnuts. Only the French manage to convert fish & chips into an utterly sophisitcated sounding dish... but ... delicious it was ... and it will impress our hubbies to no end!