Yesterday, I was teaching a Macaroon Class at The Biltmore Culinary Academy.
A bit tired by all the upcoming events of the new Year I was still very happy to go there and meet a new team and new students.
First of all, I have to say that location and setting definitely make the difference…. The Biltmore is an amazing Palace in one of the most attractive part of Coral Gables, the golf course is beautiful and the whole place really makes you feel in a Palace.
The team at the Culinary Academy is very professional and welcoming at the same time. There is no pressure, the set-up goes smoothly but effectively. I just need to ask once for an ingredient/utensil and it appears right in front of me as if by magic!
The room is great and the decoration is just like I love it. All white, stainless steel and chalkboard. It feels clean but not cold, serious but not intimidating.
Olivier, the French pastry chef working a couple of doors further also pop-up at some point and chat with me while measuring my ingredients. It’s casual and professional at the same time, he brings me his Kitchen Aid and tells me about the tricky ovens and also talk about France, Miami and his family. It’s good to feel like part of the team when it’s only your first time in a place!
At 6.30, only one student…. of course, we are in Miami and on top of that, a big accident happened right in front of the Hotel…..! Anyway, it gives us time to talk about the class while they arrive one by one and enjoy a piece of cheese, some nuts or a fresh drink.
Once everybody’s arrived, we start the class and everything run smoothly, after the demo, the students have to work by themselves and usually, this part gets a bit crazy…. not this time. I am just wondering whether they really need to learn how to make macaroons…. they get the perfect consistency, do not struggle with the piping bag, layer the macaroons so easily…. I am just very impressed!
As we have extra time while waiting for the shells to bake and the ganache to set, we quickly make some Nougatine and keep on chatting about recipes, Paris, London, restaurants…. Indeed, it is very entertaining and I feel rather like a guest than a teacher in here.
9.20….. Time flies and we assemble the macaroons before leaving. Everybody respect my piece of advice…. they’ll try the macaroons the next day, once the shells will be flavored by the ganache!
Only one bad point….. it’s freezing out there but pastry classes should always be as it’s the best way to create perfect pastry! Even the students where sneezing all class long and I came back home with feet as cold as I am used to have them when I am in France and it is -10°C outside…. Then if you wish to come, bring socks and hoodies to make sure the whole experience is fantastic….!
Look, even when you are leaving, the place is magic. See you on the 30th of January!
Also…. here is the link for the macaroons we did:
and just have a look at the Index of the Recipes for a greater range of flavor.