The Cook’s Atelier, a French culinary boutique, cooking school and wine shop in Beaune, France, started out as a dream shared by a mother and daughter with a passion for food and wine.
“We wanted to create a convivial gathering place where we could share our love of food and wine with other home cooks from around the world,” says Marjorie Taylor, who co-founded The Cook’s Atelier, along with daughter, Kendall Smith Franchini.
Combining their years of cooking, viticulture and oenology expertise, they’ve turned their knowledge of the foods and wines of France into a family business and brand (Kendall’s husband, Laurent, is the shopkeeper).
“We envisioned taking guests to the market to purchase local produce, artisanal cheeses, meats, charcuterie, and freshly baked bread from our favorite artisan food producers,” explains Marjorie. “We dreamed of teaching hands-on cooking classes and workshops, using classic French techniques, followed by long, leisurely French lunches around our table. In the evenings, we imagined hosting candlelit dinner parties with new and old friends.”
The American expats now living in France set up shop in a 17th-century building in the center of historic Beaune. The Cook’s Atelier highlights local artisan food producers and winemakers from Burgundy and throughout France. Guests come to their culinary workshops in their “teaching kitchen” and intimate gatherings to learn about Burgundy, one bite and cooking lesson at a time. Their menus are “inspired by the bountiful markets of Beaune.”
The Cook’s Atelier culinary boutique has a curated selection of unique items for the kitchen and home. Their online shop ships internationally. “Everything is hand-sourced,” says Marjorie. “We’ve been collecting our vintage items for over three generations. We enjoy using the things we love daily rather than saving them only for special occasions. We are particularly drawn to natural and white linens, copper and zinc elements, French vintage finds, marble, shades of white and gray, and plenty of patina.”
This year, they will be launching their own line of provisions, which will include organic first-pressed French olive oil, local Burgundian honey and spices. “We feel that people are drawn to the act of returning to the table and sharing a meal with family and friends,” Marjorie says. “It’s about much more than just the cooking. It is the overall experience of cooking and gathering.”