When we received our itinerary for our trip to Burgundy I almost wept with excitement. We had been booked in for a family cooking lesson, making macarons at the Jeanne D’Arc Cookery School.
The Jeanne D’Arc Cookery School is the brainchild of Noemi Brunet. In fact Jeanne D’Arc is more than a cooking school, it is also an ever so stylish guesthouse situated in the very beautiful Saint-Fargeau, close to all the shops, château and restaurants. For more about the stunning guesthouse, and wow it is beautiful, check out the lovely Ting’s post.
We all love cooking and I have always wanted to learn how to bake macarons. But we had no idea just how incredible it would be. And that is down to Noemi.
The whole trip was a holiday of a lifetime; we experienced so many one-off experiences. Met so many wonderful people. It is hard to quantify exactly what our favourite experience of the week was. Yet we were all in awe of Noemi, she is the most humble, natural person I have ever met. And incredibly she lives in a château! But you would have never have known. She has that French air of elegance and beauty about her that made us all feel so at ease.
This was not any cooking lesson, Noemi had learnt to make macarons from a master, Pierre Hermé. As we arrived we all chatted over coffee, whilst Noemi explained how the afternoon would work and split us into 2 teams. Noemi had translated the recipes into English for us, and explained each part of the process.
Chris and Jack made ganache whilst Joe and I made the macarons. One day I will recreate the recipe, but for those that just can’t get macarons right, it is all in the temperatures and proving time. It has to be exact, and you must have a thermometer to get the temperature perfect.
There is something incredible about Jeanne D’Arc Cookery School. It is not necessarily the first thing you would think to book when on holiday in Burgundy. But if you are planning a trip to the region, where better to learn to make macarons than in a beautiful Gite in France, in the kitchen of the house where Jeanne Of Arc once lived? It gives me goose bumps just thinking of it.
We spent the most wonderful afternoon baking. The boys concentrating harder than I though possible, both so committed to getting the recipe right. We chatted about life living in one of the most beautiful villages in France, and also living in a Chateau.
Whilst the macarons were proving Noemi gave us a private tour of Chateau de Saint Fargeau, where we got to see a little of life behind the scenes, before returning to bake, finish and then devour the delicious macarons. We then packaged up the remaining macarons to take for desert and said our goodbyes to Noemi.
If you have stumbled across my page wondering whether to book a cooking lesson at Jeanne D’Arc Cookery School? Then all I can tell you is this is one of the memorable things I have ever done. It was almost overwhelming. Yes, it was a simple afternoon, maybe it was the historical weight behind the location, the fact we all felt so at ease with Noemi, seeing the Chateau through her eyes? I can’t put my finger on exactly what it was, all I can say is it is a day I will never ever forget. And sometimes the simple things in life are the most precious.