Tips from the Ari­zo­nan mother-daugh­ter team be­hind Bur­gundy’s Cook’s Ate­lier culi­nary school

How an Ari­zo­nan mother and daugh­ter re­lo­cated to Bur­gundy to open, of all things, a French cook­ery school. By Amy Bryant. Pho­to­graphs by An­son Smart

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - Contents -

‘WE STILL PINCH our­selves,’ ad­mits Mar­jorie Tay­lor as she de­scribes the cook­ery school and cook­ware and wine shop she runs with her daugh­ter, Ken­dall Smith Fran­chini. They re­main in­cred­u­lous, even nine years after first open­ing in the pretty Bur­gun­dian town of Beaune, be­cause The Cook’s Ate­lier is their dream – and they are liv­ing it more than 5,500 miles from their home town of Phoenix, Ari­zona. Both are pas­sion­ate Fran­cophiles: Smith Fran­chini ever since French lessons at school, which led her to study and then work in Paris; Tay­lor thanks to culi­nary in­spi­ra­tion from Ju­lia Child, Alice Wa­ters and Madeleine Kam­man.

How, then, did the lo­cals of Beaune re­act to a pair of Amer­i­cans in­struct­ing stu­dents how to per­fect a con­sommé or hol­landaise on their own doorstep? Tay­lor chuck­les. ‘They would see us fly­ing through the mar­ket with 10 peo­ple in tow, and at first had no idea what was go­ing on.’ Ever since their in­cep­tion, classes at The Cook’s Ate­lier have in­cluded a guided tour of the mar­ket – and Beaune’s pro­duc­ers of bio­dy­namic veg­eta­bles, wood-fired sour­dough boules and pre­mier cru pinot noir soon came to ap­pre­ci­ate these vis­its.

Many grow­ers, farm­ers and fro­mage mak­ers are cel­e­brated in the pair’s first cook­book, from which the fol­low­ing recipes come. It de­liv­ers their favourite dishes – as well as an ar­moury of French tech­niques, from ba­sic butch­ery to the in­tri­ca­cies of pâte feuil­letée (puff pas­try).

Baby-leek galettes with goat’s cheese and wild gar­lic

Serves 6

You can also make this as one large galette and serve it along­side a leafy green salad. Search your farm­ers’ mar­ket for wild-gar­lic leaves or fresh ramp leaves. If you can’t find any, gar­lic chives are a good al­ter­na­tive.

For the short­crust pas­try (pâte brisée)

— 190g plain flour, plus more for dust­ing

— ½ tsp fleur de sel (French sea salt)

— 170g cold un­salted but­ter, cut into small pieces

— 30ml iced wa­ter, strained

— ½ tsp dis­tilled white vine­gar

For the fill­ing

— 12-14 baby leeks, white and light-green parts only

— 3 tbsp un­salted but­ter

— leaves from 6 thyme sprigs — 120ml dry white wine

— 120ml crème fraîche

— 1 large egg, beaten, plus one large egg yolk

— 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf pars­ley

— 115g crum­bled fresh goat’s cheese

— hand­ful of wild-gar­lic leaves or ramp leaves, coarsely chopped

— 3 tbsp dou­ble cream

In a large bowl, whisk to­gether the flour and fleur de sel. Add the but­ter. Us­ing your hands, gen­tly toss to coat the but­ter in the flour mix­ture. Scoop the mix­ture in your hands and gen­tly press the flour and but­ter between your fin­ger­tips un­til the mix­ture looks grainy, with some small pieces of but­ter still vis­i­ble. Work quickly to en­sure the but­ter stays cold.

In a small bowl, whisk to­gether the iced wa­ter and vine­gar. Driz­zle over the dough and use a fork to gen­tly toss un­til in­cor­po­rated. Con­tinue work­ing the dough, gen­tly squeez­ing it between your fin­ger­tips un­til it comes to­gether and there is no dry flour vis­i­ble. Be care­ful not to over­work it. It’s ready as soon as you can squish the dough in one hand and it stays to­gether.

Shape into a disc. Wrap in cling film and re­frig­er­ate for at least one hour, or prefer­ably overnight.the pas­try can be wrapped in a dou­ble layer of cling film and re­frig­er­ated for up to two days or frozen for up to two months.

Pre­heat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Line a bak­ing sheet with parch­ment pa­per.

Halve each leek length­wise, then cut cross­wise into thin slices. Rinse the leeks in a large bowl of cold wa­ter, swish­ing to re­move any sand. Us­ing your hands, trans­fer them to a colan­der to drain, leav­ing the sand in the bot­tom of the bowl.

In a large sauté pan, melt the but­ter over medium heat. Add the leeks, thyme and 120ml wa­ter and sauté un­til the leeks are tender – 10-12 min­utes. Add the wine and cook un­til the liq­uid has re­duced – 10-15 min­utes more. Add the crème fraîche and stir to coat the leeks. Sea­son with salt and pep­per. Re­move from the heat and leave to cool for 10 min­utes. Add the beaten whole egg and pars­ley and stir to in­cor­po­rate. Set aside.

Di­vide the pas­try into six equal pieces. On a lightly floured sur­face, with a floured rolling pin, roll each piece into a round about 15cm in di­am­e­ter and 6mm thick. Brush off any ex­cess flour with a pas­try brush. Ar­range the rounds on the lined bak­ing sheet. Di­vide the leek mix­ture among the galettes, spread­ing it in the cen­tre and leav­ing a 4cm bor­der. Sprin­kle with the goat’s cheese and wildgar­lic or ramp leaves.

Gen­tly fold the bor­der over the leek mix­ture, over­lap­ping it as you go.

In a small bowl, whisk to­gether the egg yolk and cream. Use a pas­try brush to lightly brush the egg wash over the dough. Bake un­til the pas­try is golden and the cheese is just start­ing to brown – 25-30 min­utes. Serve warm.

White as­para­gus with hol­landaise and chervil

Serves 6

For the as­para­gus

— 680g white as­para­gus

— 1 tbsp un­salted but­ter

— small hand­ful of fresh chervil leaves, to gar­nish

For the hol­landaise

— 225g un­salted but­ter, cut into pieces, plus 55g, cold and cut into small pieces — 3 large egg yolks

— 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice — pinch of pi­ment d’es­pelette (Es­pelette chilli pow­der – op­tional)

Peel the as­para­gus, then use your hands to snap off the tough ends. Us­ing a par­ing knife, cut the bot­toms on an an­gle, mak­ing a clean edge.

Bring a large pan of salted wa­ter to a boil and fill a bowl with ice and wa­ter. Add the as­para­gus to the boil­ing wa­ter and blanch un­til tender – 6-10 min­utes, de­pend­ing on the size. The as­para­gus is done when you can put the tip of a par­ing knife into a spear and it’s tender through­out. Im­me­di­ately plunge the as­para­gus into the ice wa­ter to stop it cook­ing. Once the as­para­gus is cool, set the spears on a clean kitchen towel to drain.

Mean­while, to make the clar­i­fied but­ter for the hol­landaise, melt 225g of but­ter in a small saucepan over low heat. Re­move from the heat and let it stand for three to four min­utes to set­tle. Us­ing a small spoon, re­move the white foam from the sur­face. Gen­tly pour off the clear, yel­low but­ter into a glass jar, leav­ing the white solids in the bot­tom of the pan. If not us­ing im­me­di­ately, let the yel­low clar­i­fied but­ter cool, then store in an air­tight con­tainer in the fridge; it will keep for at least one month.

In a small heavy saucepan, com­bine the egg yolks with three ta­ble­spoons of wa­ter and whisk un­til light in colour and foamy. Add half the cold but­ter, place the saucepan over a low heat, and cook, whisk­ing con­tin­u­ously, un­til the mix­ture thick­ens, for 2-3 min­utes.

Re­move from the heat, add the re­main­ing cold but­ter and whisk un­til fully in­cor­po­rated. Add the warm clar­i­fied but­ter in a slow, steady stream, whisk­ing con­tin­u­ously, un­til the sauce is vel­vety. Be care­ful not to add the but­ter too quickly or the sauce will separate.

Add the lemon juice and whisk to in­cor­po­rate, then sea­son with salt and white pep­per and sprin­kle with the pi­ment d’es­pelette, if us­ing. Hol­landaise can be kept warm for a few min­utes by plac­ing it

over a pot of hot wa­ter. If it looks as though it’s get­ting too hot, re­move it from the heat and whisk in a ta­ble­spoon of cold but­ter.

Mean­while, in a medium sauté pan, melt the but­ter for the as­para­gus over a medium heat. Add the as­para­gus and sauté un­til the spears are warmed through and the but­ter is nutty brown – about five min­utes. Sea­son with salt and freshly ground white pep­per. Place the as­para­gus on warm plates, driz­zle with the warm hol­landaise, and gar­nish with the chervil.

Roasted leg of lamb with broad beans, rose­mary, sage and lemon

Serves 8-10

For the lamb

— 1 x 2.7kg whole bone-in leg of lamb

— 10 rose­mary sprigs, plus more to gar­nish

— fleur de sel

— ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil, prefer­ably French

— 1 tbsp un­salted but­ter

— 8 gar­lic cloves, smashed — 1 lemon, thinly sliced, to serve

— small hand­ful of fresh sage, to serve

For the broad beans

— 2.7kg broad beans, shelled

(pre-pre­pared weight) — fruity ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil, prefer­ably French

Re­move the leg of lamb from the re­frig­er­a­tor and let it reach room tem­per­a­ture be­fore roast­ing. Re­move the pa­pery mem­brane cov­er­ing the leg of lamb (if there is any), plus any thick sec­tions of fat. Be sure to leave a thin layer of the fat, so the lamb doesn’t dry out while roast­ing. Pat the lamb dry.

Pre­heat the oven to 200C/ gas mark 6.

Us­ing kitchen twine, tie the leg of lamb, loop­ing it around the meat, to se­cure it for even roast­ing. Place the sprigs of rose­mary un­der the twine. Sea­son with the fleur de sel and freshly ground black pep­per.

In a large roast­ing pan, heat a driz­zle of olive oil over a medium-high heat un­til hot but not smok­ing. Add the lamb and sear, turn­ing, un­til browned and caramelised on all sides – 6-8 min­utes. Add the but­ter and gar­lic and, as soon as the but­ter melts, use a spoon to baste the lamb for a few min­utes.

Place the pan in the oven and roast un­til a meat ther­mome­ter in­serted in the thick­est part of the meat reaches 55C for medium-rare – about one hour. The in­ter­nal tem­per­a­ture will rise to 63C upon stand­ing. Let the leg of lamb rest on a warm cut­ting board for about 20 min­utes be­fore carv­ing.

For the beans, bring a large pan of salted wa­ter to the boil and fill a bowl with ice and wa­ter. Add the beans to the boil­ing wa­ter and blanch un­til just tender – 3-5 min­utes. Then im­me­di­ately plunge them into the iced wa­ter to stop the cook­ing and pre­serve their colour. Once the broad beans are cool enough to han­dle, re­move them, then pop off their pale-green skins to re­lease the bright-green beans. Dis­card the skins.

Place the beans in a large bowl, driz­zle with the oil and sea­son with salt and pep­per.

Serve the lamb whole on a large plat­ter sur­rounded by the broad beans, lemon slices and sage. Gar­nish with rose­mary. Con­tin­ued on page 64

‘Our busi­ness has evolved or­gan­i­cally; we sim­ply wanted to cre­ate a place peo­ple would en­joy com­ing to,’ says Tay­lor, who, after run­ning a restau­rant and cook­ery school in Phoenix, packed ev­ery­thing in to move to France in 2008. ‘Ken­dall and I have al­ways been close. I knew she be­longed here, so I took a leap of faith and jumped.’

Now, they host vis­i­tors from all over the world, teach­ing, cook­ing, hold­ing wine tast­ings and start­ing long lunches with cham­pagne and char­cu­terie. Smith Fran­chini’s French hus­band, Lau­rent, has be­come part of their story as the shop’s man­ager, as have the cou­ple’s chil­dren, Luc, seven, and Manon, five. And at the end of the day’s classes? ‘We of­ten have a nice glass of wine to­gether be­fore clear­ing up,’ says Ken­dall. ‘But you’re more likely to find us stay­ing on late with our guests.’ They, too, ‘have be­come part of the fam­ily’. The Cook’s Ate­lier by Mar­jorie Tay­lor and Ken­dall Smith Fran­chini (Abrams, £35) is avail­able for £30 with free p&p from Tele­graph Book­shop (0844-871 1514; books.tele­graph.co.uk)

‘I knew Ken­dall be­longed here, so I took a leap of faith and jumped’

Rus­tic apri­cot tart

Makes one 23cm tart or three 10cm tartlets

At the mar­ket in Beaune, we have the most beau­ti­ful rose­c­oloured Bergeron apri­cots in the late spring and early sum­mer. If you can’t find the Bergeron va­ri­ety, feel free to use any type of small apri­cot. Be sure to work quickly after adding the sugar and lemon mix­ture to the fruit, so it doesn’t lose too much of its juice.

For the sweet short­crust pas­try (pâte su­crée)

— 190g plain flour, plus more for dust­ing

— 50g sugar

— ¼ tsp fleur de sel

— 115g cold un­salted but­ter, cut into small pieces

— 1 large egg yolk

— 40ml dou­ble cream

For the fill­ing

— 1 large egg yolk

— 3 tbsp dou­ble cream

— 100g sugar, plus more for sprin­kling

— seeds of ½ vanilla pod

— ¼ tsp fleur de sel

— 910g Bergeron apri­cots — ic­ing sugar, for dust­ing

— crème fraîche or whipped cream, to serve

In a large bowl, whisk to­gether the flour, sugar and fleur de sel. Add the but­ter. Us­ing your hands, gen­tly toss to coat the but­ter in the flour mix­ture. Scoop the mix­ture in your hands and gen­tly press the flour mix­ture and but­ter between your fin­ger­tips un­til the mix­ture looks grainy, with some small pieces of but­ter still vis­i­ble. Work quickly to en­sure the but­ter stays cold.

In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolk and cream. Driz­zle over the dough and use a fork to gen­tly toss un­til in­cor­po­rated. Con­tinue work­ing the dough, squeez­ing it between your fin­ger­tips un­til it comes to­gether and there is no dry flour vis­i­ble. Be care­ful not to over­work it. It’s ready as soon as you can squish the dough in one hand and it stays to­gether.

Shape into a disc. Wrap in cling film and re­frig­er­ate for at least one hour, or prefer­ably overnight. The pas­try can be wrapped in a dou­ble layer of cling film and re­frig­er­ated for up to two days or frozen for up to two months.

Re­move from the fridge 10-15 min­utes be­fore rolling to en­sure it is slightly soft and ready to roll. Place the dough on a lightly floured sur­face, and lightly flour a rolling pin. Be­gin rolling the dough, turn­ing it as you roll to make an even cir­cle. Roll into a 6mm-thick, 28cm­di­am­e­ter round.

Gen­tly roll it around the rolling pin, brush­ing off any ex­cess flour with a pas­try brush as you go. Un­roll it over a 23cm tart tin, be­ing care­ful not to stretch it as you ease it into the bot­tom and up the sides. Be­gin trim­ming the edges by push­ing up your thumb against the edges of the tin. Peel away the ex­tra dough. Be care­ful to make the dough the same thick­ness all the way around to cre­ate a uni­form edge. Freeze for 15-20 min­utes be­fore bak­ing.

Pre­heat the oven to 190C/ gas mark 5.

Place the tart case on a bak­ing sheet. Cut a cir­cle of parch­ment pa­per slightly larger than the tart, place it on the dough and fill with bak­ing beans or dried beans. Bake for 15-20 min­utes or un­til the edges are set and be­gin­ning to turn golden. Re­move the pa­per and beans. In a small bowl, whisk to­gether the egg yolk and heavy cream. Lightly brush the egg wash over the dough. Re­turn the tart to the oven and bake just un­til the egg wash is set – about five min­utes.

Raise the oven tem­per­a­ture to 200C/gas mark 6.

In a small bowl, com­bine the sugar, vanilla seeds and fleur de sel. Set aside.

Cut the apri­cots in half and re­move the stones. If the apri­cots are small, cut them into quar­ters; if they’re large, cut them into eighths. Place the apri­cots in a large bowl, sprin­kle with the sugar mix­ture and gen­tly toss un­til evenly coated.

Work­ing quickly, ar­range the apri­cot slices, tightly over­lap­ping, on the bot­tom of the tart shell, form­ing a com­pact cir­cle. The apri­cots will shrink as they cook, so try to fit as much fruit in the tart shell as pos­si­ble. Scrape any re­main­ing sugar mix­ture left in the bowl over the apri­cots, then lightly sprin­kle them with more sugar. Bake un­til the pas­try is golden and the fruit is cooked through and slightly caramelised – 40-45 min­utes. The fin­ished tart should have a jam-like con­sis­tency, with a golden flaky crust. The liq­uid will be bub­bling. Let the tart cool to room tem­per­a­ture be­fore serv­ing and then dust with ic­ing sugar. Serve with a dol­lop of crème fraîche or whipped cream. The tart is best eaten on the day it is made.

From top Mar­jorie Tay­lor and Ken­dall Smith Fran­chini shop lo­cally for in­gre­di­ents; out­side their shop with Smith Fran­chini’s hus­band and chil­dren

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