Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Cook & Go

One of the deals I bought on Groupon was a gift certificate for a company called Cook-and-Go. The idea being that you go to their store, prepare a meal for yourself, and then bring it home to bake. They have several different ateliers - you can learn about "molecular cuisine" (something I've eaten a lot lately - and Beurk! It just looks like someone spit in my dish!), how to make sushi, different foie gras recipes, etc. Or you can pick one of their formules. Have a big party coming up? They'll help you prepare your appetizers. Want a romantic dinner? Choose their "Tête à Tête Gourmand" offer and walk away with a three course meal for two plus a bottle of wine. They also have lunch deals as well as special sessions for parents & children.

I choose the Tête à Tête Gourmand dinner, thinking it would be a fun activity to do for our anniversary. I got the feeling that Cook-and-Go is a fairly new company though, because there seemed to be quite a few bugs (figuratively, not literally!) throughout the process. First of all, the website was down for quite a few days for a redesign. And once it was back up, I had trouble reserving for October. I exchanged a few emails with the manager, who kept promising it would be up "tomorrow", but to no avail. I did finally manage to reserve for the date I wanted though.

Secondly, I emailed them wondering how long the class lasted, and it took them at least a week to get back to me (it lasts about one hour btw).

Lastly, the evening before our class, I got an email from them canceling due to "technical difficulties". I was a bit upset considering it was our anniversary plans and I didn't want to have to find something else to do at the last minute, so I called to see what was up. Their menu changes every month, and apparently they'd messed up and included October 1 in September and thus couldn't provide the menu I'd chosen (vegetable samossas, stuffed herbed chicken with gnocchi and a sort of vanilla pudding topped w/calvados-soaked apples). The manager was totally unapologetic about it, and really didn't seem interested in helping me find a solution. I persisted though, and he finally suggested that we come in and make something off of September's menu.

Cook-and-Go has four locations in France - one in the 9th, one in the 15th, one in Marseille and one in Lyon. We chose the 15th and the experience kind of reminded me of my experience at the mosque. There really wasn't much instruction at all. We arrived and then kind of just stood around a bit until one of the two men working there came over to help us. They told us to pick a station and then left us alone again for several minutes, while helping all the others. Finally it was our turn, and we started making the salmon & ricotta ravioli:
Ready to be folded:
Next up was the croustillante aux gambas with an orange-mango-basil sauce:Pre-rolling:The finished product, ready to be eaten:
Dessert was a chocolate & hazelnut cupcake with lemon frosting. I didn't take a picture of the finished product because it was more of a cake than a cupcake and the frosting was not anywhere near up to snuff. Here is C making them though - you can get an idea of what the work stations look like too:Once everything has been made, you pack it up in little tinfoil barquettes, and they put a sticker on it with the cooking instructions. Then you choose your bottle of wine, box everything up, and off you go!

Despite all the setbacks, it was still a good experience. We learned some new cooking techniques and ended up with a really nice meal that neither of us ever would've thought to make. So like I mentioned earlier, I'd liken it to our Hammam day at the Paris Mosque - I'd recommend it, but it helps to read about someone else's experience before you go so that you know what to expect.

Last, here are the flowers C brought me - it's a lovely bouquet, but I had to laugh at the cabbage in the middle. You see them so often as decorations in French gardens, and it makes me laugh every time.

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Blogger melinda said...

there are (or were) some of these u cook type of places around here but i dont think they r here anymore....

October 3, 2010 at 2:29 PM  
Blogger Sleepless In KL said...

Hahaha un choux pour son choux :)

October 3, 2010 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger Alisa Tank said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 3, 2010 at 6:30 PM  
Blogger commandrea! said...

love that idea! thanks for sharing--i have an anniversary coming up as well and i've been looking for something special to do with my cheri.

October 3, 2010 at 9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

many happy returns of the day.

October 4, 2010 at 12:00 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

happy anniversary! Sounds interesting. I guess it is an idea that comes from the US. But really, it's not COOK & Go, is it? Really more like Prepare&GoCookItAtHome?

October 4, 2010 at 8:22 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I agree with Megan, it's not really 'cook' and go. Still, I suppose 'Prepare and bugger off' doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

An interesting concept, anyway. Shame they don't have one down here in Montpellier, I could send my dearly beloved to fix dinner!

October 4, 2010 at 11:39 AM  
Blogger Ksam said...

Ha, you guys are hilarious - but you're totally right, I guess "cook and go" probably isn't the most truthful name!

October 5, 2010 at 6:33 PM  
Blogger Jadie said...

congratulations on the anniversary, and how great that c brought you such fun flowers.

did you sit down and feast on your cook 'n go dinner?!

October 8, 2010 at 8:49 PM  
Blogger sfgirl said...

You were literally right around the corner from our place! Congrats on the anniversary. I'm doing my occasional blog catching up :) -phillippa (sfgirlinparis)

October 12, 2010 at 11:33 AM  
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