It’s a rare thing to spend the morning in a three Michelin starred kitchen in one of London’s most glamorous hotels without actually having to put in a shift. It was a treat then to be invited to Alain Duccasse at The Dorchester to experience one of their cookery masterclasses.
They host just a couple a year (the next is in November) and as the restaurant is closed on a Monday you have full and free reign of their fabulous kitchen under the direction of Executive Chef, Jean-Philipe Blondet and Pastry Chef, Thibault Hauchard.
Better still, it’s got to be one of the coolest, most air conditioned kitchens in London, so on a muggy day such as this it’s blissful.
We’re making choux buns; chouqettes, chocolate filled choux au craquelin and their signature cheesy gougères, which are served at the beginning of every meal at Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester. They’re quite somethin’.
We spend three hours following instructions and watching the masters do it before having a go ourselves in pairs. I team up with a lovely chap called Edd Kimber who was the winner of the first ever series of Great British Bake Off. It’s handy as he knows exactly what he is doing and I haven’t a clue.
The chouqettes are my favourite as the tiny light and fluffy balls of pastry are topped with giant sugar crystals. They’re crunchy and deliver a serious sweet hit. Best of all: you can take home all your creations (and theirs) to eat at home. I find myself eating choux buns for the next dew days.
A behind the scenes look at a restaurant kitchen which cooks at such a high level is a real treat for anyone interested in food. The other treat is spending time with Jean-Philipe and Thibault who are as sweet as their chouqettes. The perfect morning you could say.
For booking inquiries, contact the reservations team on 0207 629 8866 oremail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Monday 29th October, 2018
Price: £250 pp
Time: 9am – 12noon