L'Atelier - Europea's Culinary Workshop

I've been hearing about Europea's L'Atelier, located downtown on De La Montagne, for a while now so I was quite happy to finally try it out. For anyone passionate about cuisine, it's a chance to learn a few recipes and see a professional at work while enjoying a nice glass of wine and getting to taste each dish.

There are a lot of different classes to choose from on their online booking site, from making small bites to master sauces. The only thing missing for me is the technical part as I love to cook and I find it hard to just watch someone do everything for me!

My session, titled Les Bouchées, began with a choice between red and white wine while the invited chef prepped his cooking table. We were then introduced to the recipes we would be tasting through the hour. A pad with a few blank sheets was then made available to take notes. Only one recipe was given completely on paper as it took more time to prepare.

A lot of people felt like they needed to write down everything that was being said to master each recipe but I thought that it was taking away from the experience of actually watching the chef in action. Maybe a resume of each recipe could have been printed for the guests to make it more enjoyable.

As for the chef, Ugo-Vincent Mariotti from Beaver Hall did a wonderful job explaining each step into making a successful recipe and gave some pretty awesome tips. My favorite one was about canned coconut milk. To really get the best from it, simply leave the can in the fridge for 2-3 hours before using it. The fat automatically separates itself from the liquid turning into a rich cream that can be used on the spot for tartares or hors d'oeuvres.

Here are the bites that I had the pleasure to taste:

Wild Mushroom Risotto Smoked Salmon with Hazelnuts, Honey and Goat Cheese Tuna Tartare with Mango, Avocado, Coriander and Coconut Cream Crispy Wasabi Tuna Panacotta Saint-Germain with Carrot Juice Reduction and Scallops

Once the class was completed, we were given a little thank you gift at the exit - a pack of delicious almond meringues.

Conclusion: L'Atelier from Européa is definitely a place to try in Montreal for the VIP experience of sharing a cooking session with a great chef and leave with professional tips for home.  The session did take more than an hour so plan ahead if you're parked around. Also, don't forget to look out for promotions on their website to get multiple lessons for less.

L'ATELIER - EUROPEA'S CULINARY WORKSHOP ADDRESS: 1227 De La Montagne PHONE: 514-397-9367 HOURS: View schedule ALCOHOL: Yes VEGETARIAN FRIENDLY: Yes CREDIT CARDS: Yes PRICE: 1 session for $45 / 3 sessions for $100