Market shopping, cooking and eating are three of my favorite pastimes, so I was particularly interested in taking part in one of Eliane’s cookery classes in Cannes.
I met up with her and the other 3 participants at the entrance to Marché Forville.
I’d been to this market several times before and regularly recommend it to Friend in France clients, but it was especially lovely to explore it with a professional. Markets are the heart of any Mediterranean town and I feel this is particularly true of Cannes, where, after my initial curiosity….. the luxury boutiques, expensive restaurants and mega yachts can make me feel a little like a fish out of water.
Forville market is down to earth, authentic and local. It is a place where tourists can mingle with old French grandmothers, prestigious chefs from mega yachts and people taking part in a cookery class :-)….. all of them browsing the stalls to find culinary inspiration from the beautiful local produce. Eliane shops at this market almost daily. Her knowledge about cooking and her familiarity with the market made wandering round the stalls feel special.
Before we started to shop she ran a couple of recipe suggestions by us. For a starter the choice between scallops or foie gras and for the main course either roast rack of lamb or duck breast. We decided on foie gras followed by lamb and then set off to find seasonal vegetables to complete the menu. We were spoilt for choice! Eliane spotted a beautiful bunch of white turnips and sold them to us by describing how tender and tasty they would be once seared in butter and braised with vegetable stock. We then came across some huge bundles of chard which, although commonly used by locals, have always seemed a bit too daunting for me to prepare so I jumped at the chance to have an expert alongside.
After a few more stops at the butcher, the baker and the foie gras specialist, we all headed back home with Eliane to get our aprons on. She lives in an elegant apartment in the heart of Cannes (lucky lady!) and although her kitchen is not particularly spacious, she is very well organized….. our little work stations were already prepared for us to start cooking. We were allocated different tasks; peeling turnips, preparing garlic & Provençal herbs, new potatoes, etc… mine was of course, preparing the chard which I’m happy to say was not nearly as tricky as I had imagined.
Eliane was good at getting us all individually involved as well as bringing the whole group together. We shared the making and tasting of gravy, the management of the cooking time for the meat and the braising of the turnips. It took a couple of hours to prepare our meal before sitting down around Eliane’s beautiful dinning table to enjoy the food. It was a fun day and a relaxing, tasty experience.
The recipes were all authentically French and simple enough to reproduce at home. I felt excited about spoiling my French husband with my new recipes, so I can imagine that for anyone visiting the Riviera it would be especially nice to bring back the flavor of fond holiday memories by taking the ‘taste of France’ home.
If you too would like to experience Eliane’s market shop & cookery class you can reserve your special day HERE