The last time I was in Paris, I went the Atelier des Chefs cooking school for a lesson. There are actually six locations around the city where you can take a class that lasts anywhere from an hour to 3 hours. I chose to go the school itself on Rue Penthievre which is right behind the Place de la Madelaine. It was a great class, all in French, and all female with one glaring exception…L’homme Americain. I had the good fortune to have been born in Montreal where you learn French from a very early age and it's stood me in good stead all these years. So I was very at home at the school. Included among the students was a beautiful young girl and her equally elegant “Grandmere”. Apparently it was the “Grandmere” who had received the classes as a Christmas gift and not, as I’d imagined, the pretty young bride! I guess you really are never too old to learn.
I was told they had sessions in English and in fact, I was asked by my instructor if I’d help her with some phrases for a class she was giving that night. But on their website, http://www.atelierdeschefs.fr , I can’t find any reference to them. But if you are familiar with what used to be called “Montreal Kitchen French”, you’ll get along just fine. It’s all about watching and mimicking which doesn’t exactly require a LaRousse to do. This is all a very roundabout way of getting to my purchase from their kitchen shop. There was sale on stainless steel rings, the ones that make perfect rounds on the plate and make everything look remarkably professional. Needless to say, I had to immediately buy 6 of them. When I got home to Bridgehampton, they went into a drawer and hadn’t emerged ever until I found the perfect way to use them…in this wonderful salad! And if you happen to be without your Matfer Bourgeat rings, you can still make it.