My first virtual day in Paris was spent making chouquettes via an Airbnb Online Experience hosted by Carlos of Aten-Te Aute. I signed up for “Bake French Pastries in Paris” even though I’m not skilled at waking up early on weekends. The class started at 9:00 AM Philadelphia time (2:00 PM in Paris). Not only was I awake and presentable when logging in to the Zoom meeting, but I also had all of my ingredients measured before the start of class…mise en place, as they say in the culinary world.
Aten-Te Aute offers several online cooking classes, but I couldn’t have been more pleased with the one that I purchased. It was my friend B. who suggested that we attend the experience together (which we did). She’s been meaning to perfect her pâte à choux technique. The third guest also joined us from Philadelphia. Carlos was a welcoming host. His backdrop, a colorful depiction of a lively, but intimate, café scene, created a cosy ambience. He checked our progress after each step; no one was left behind. On account of his knowledge and anecdotes of Parisian life, I’d like to take another cooking class with him. Carlos’s composed teaching demeanor made me feel calm and confident in the task at hand. I wouldn’t say that I’ve had as much French culinary training as Sabrina (played by Audrey Hepburn) in the 1954 movie of the same name, but I left the class with a newly acquired skill and a plate full of savory chouquettes to show for my hard work.