Chefs and new business partners Blandine Mazéran and Julien Renaut.
2019 Best Of gold winner
in the category of Cooking Class, The French Kitchen
(who also won a bronze nod for Best French), just announced a new collaboration and partnership.
TFK owner and chef Blandine Mazéran will now host cooking classes from owner and executive pastry chef Julien Renaut of Denver's La Belle French Bakery
. Renaut has also begun providing dessert pastries for TFK's retail market and cafe. To begin, he'll regularly teach Monday croissant classes, which Mazéran says have been requested by clients ever since she opened, though this is the first time TFK is offering: The first is Nov. 25, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., for $159, at TFK's instruction kitchen attached to the two-and-a-half-year-old cafe.
"His food is quality — and I'm very picky," says Mazéran. "He brought me some sample cakes a while ago and I was like, 'Holy cow!' ... His design is simple, but modern; not everything has to be fancy pulled sugar."
Renaut has 15 years experience in the industry, beginning with obtaining his pastry and chocolate master degree and doing culinary competitions in France; he's from the northern city of Lille. He spent several years in the high-end hotel arena, also working closely with another chef who trained under three-star Michelin-star chef Paul Bocuse. He has also consulted and done product development for other businesses and done event-center work prior to launching La Belle three-and-a-half years ago. (La Belle doesn't have a retail front; it's a wholesale outfit that provides for coffee shops and other restaurants.)
"It's exciting to be working in the same industry as Blandine but in a different area," says Renaut. "The drive for both our businesses is the same quality, authentic French culinary experience. This partnership makes sense. I love to teach. This is the perfect setup."
Mazéran says that adding a new chef to her team and cooking class roster benefits clients because it offers more class variety. Her current lineup of teachers also includes Kristi Tutt and Anne Doan in addition to Renaut and herself. Sebastien Mullebrouck is still TFK's resident baker and pastry chef, making items like the true-to-French-style baguettes and other flaky pastries.
From Renaut's kitchen, look for items in the retail market now that include and an array of cakes like a triple chocolate mousse, yule logs, and the "Le Crunchy," made with milk chocolate mousse atop a crunch layer, coated in more chocolate with nuts and a whipped cream cap. It, and a few more items are pictured below:
Dave + Sonya Photography
The Le Crunchy dessert.