Cooking classes by French chefs!

Today I am happy to tell you about a French start-up that I like very much: OPN KITCHEN.

Created in September 2015, OPN Kitchen is the brainchild of Marine de la Bretèche and Marc Verwaerde who wanted to gather different people around the same table, teach them how to cook in a laid-back, fun, and spontaneous way.

If there is one word that’s mandatory here, that will be sharing: sharing time, sharing knowledge, sharing great food, sharing laughs, stories and experiences the time of a cooking class.

As you may know it already, I only speak about the places I go to and the people that I meet; in this case I had the chance to attend one atelier by OPN Kitchen and fell in love with both the project and the people who organised it.

The atelier was at Green Rainbow, a vegan restaurant in Paris that has also a nice choice of gluten free foods.

I felt immediately at ease and also welcomed in the group.

We cooked the food together; each one of us contributing with his/her own task to the process, the owner and cook of Green Rainbow taught us how to do things and supervised everything with a smile.

I had a great time and besides, it was good: I will never forget “that” vegan dark chocolate mousse…!

If you are curious to get to know more about this project I told you about, here it is an interview I made to Marine, co-founder, and Laura, her office manager and atelier coordinator in a lovely Parisian restaurant sharing…stories and food, what else 😉

opn kitchen

Chiara: What’s Opn Kitchen?

Marine: First of all it’s about trust: with the chefs that open their kitchen to us and with the customers who choose to attend our ateliers.

Food is about generosity: at OPN Kitchen we share everything and it’s transparent: we want that people make a real experience of what’s cooking like in a French restaurant, how a chef creates a dish, what has inspired him, why and how he does what he does.

We literarily step into his world and we stay there for a while; we learn from him both professionally and humanly.

Very often we participate to creating the service, and this is great especially for people who are transitioning from one job to another, as they can have a preview of how a restaurant works for example.

Chiara : Can you tell us about your team?

Marine : There are Marc and I, then we have a web developer who does a great job with our internet platform, Laura and Manon who arrived lately and who take care about the ateliers, they work with the chefs to fine-tune the experiences and also they attend the classes to talk to our customers, supervise how everything works and get feedbacks. Feedbacks are very important to us. They help improve our service and move forward.

Chiara: How did you start Opn Kitchen?

Marine: At the beginning Marc and I, we started cooking in private homes. We used to prepare 5 dishes that might be used for the whole week. We could deliver them in Paris and we made it also in other cities in France. After a while we stopped this service because in Paris homes are small and there weren’t enough people willing to open them to strangers.

By that time, we told ourselves that we could organise cooking classes in restaurants instead; we asked several chefs we knew and over 20 liked the idea and decide to join us in the project.

OPN Kitchen was born.

Chiara: What’s your main objective?

Marine: Our objective is to create bonds via food, great tasting food; we would love that people could get closer and get to know each other thanks to our ateliers.

Chiara: What’s your next challenge?

Marine: Our next challenge is to develop OPN Kitchen all over France but also to create experiences with local farmers and artisans; we would love to make people become more conscious of the food they eat and look at it differently after having attended our ateliers.

We would also love to propose cooking classes in private home again, as we did at the beginning: we imagine a part of our website dedicated to that; where people can subscribe in a free way and join us in this adventure. We care about this project a lot.

Chiara: Do you have a cooking class experience that you particularly loved?

Laura: The one I recently did at Le Potager de Charlotte, what a special moment of sharing and bond!

Marine: To me, it would be Stéphane Jégo of the restaurant L’Ami Jean.

Stéphane is a very intuitive person, when he animates a cooking class, he always says “tirer des ficelles” like pulling off the strings of a speech more than teaching a recipe in a more conventional, traditional way. He is very spontaneous, honest, and creative. He is an artist and he was the first one to propose an “open” kitchen in his restaurant.

Before leaving Marine and Laura told me that in 2017 they are going to have more gluten free ateliers available and also surprises in the pipe line … let’s stay tuned!

And for now, we can book these 😉

green rainbow paris
chocolate mousse
opn kitchen cooking class
opn kitchen atelier

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