Marcel's Culinary Experience is a GREAT store. It is a candy store for cooks. I stumbled upon it a few months ago while shopping in Glen Ellyn. It is just a short walk from the Metra train. (Less-than-a-block short.) I love all of the gadgets and kitchen items they sell, but what I was most interested in was the cooking classes that they offer in the back. It has a fully stocked teaching kitchen! Since I am always up for a class, I asked my mom to join me for the Mother/Daughter lunch to celebrate Mother's Day this weekend.
There was space for about 16 students. The class was a demonstration as opposed to one of their hands-on classes. Katie Wojchiechowski, the chef, cooked and lectured and her helpful assistants worked nearby. Marcel's has a punch card system to reward frequent students. (On a side note: I hope Katie's new baby, due in 6 weeks, is a good speller.)
We were all given a clipboard and take-home packet to take notes and to have all of the recipes. Our menu consisted of a Stacked Cobb Salad, Popovers with a Fresh Berry Compote, and Crème Brûlée Cupcakes.
Katie gave us some basics about cooking and baking. It was not too in depth as to be over your head, but also entertaining enough and relaxed that anyone could feel free to ask questions. The salad was just a little fancier than a typical Cobb Salad, it was stacked in a tube so that when the tube was removed it was layered. AND delicious. I loved the homemade salad dressing and am grateful to have the recipe!
The popovers were delicious as well and the homemade berry sauce was perfect drizzled over the top.
Jill Foucré, the owner of Marcel's, came by before we finished and thanked everyone for taking the class and gave us each a fresh peony. It is always nice to feel appreciated as a customer. This was a perfect touch.
Dessert was a crème brûlée cupcake with a pastry creme-filled center torched on the top for the famously browned finish.
The store, which opened last October, is stocked with fabulous tools and unique gifts. You could roam for hours.
It was a great day for mothers and daughters to get together and have someone cook for them while learning a little along the way. This family of beautiful Batterman women enjoyed the day with their mother, and I was lucky enough to spend the day with mine, as well. Happy Mother's Day, Mom! ♥
Marcel's calendar is packed with classes for adults, teens, and young children. The adult evening classes offer adult beverages as well. (Tip of the day: Marcel's @ Midday is such a great price for the class.) They will also gladly schedule private parties for showers, gatherings, or events. This would be a great way for a new couple to start off their kitchen skills or for us old folks to rekindle the cooking fire.
Take the Metra to Glen Ellyn and shop, learn, and eat!