Ateliers des Chefs
19 Wigmore St London W1U 1PH
Eight years ago a pair of Parisian brothers had an idea: wouldn't it be great to set up a cookery store where the products were demonstrated by trained chefs? They quickly realised that their demos drew people into the shop, and started to formalise the sessions with regular classes, and now Atelier des Chefs is something of a name in France – not just for cookware, but as a chain of schools that teach (mainly) the basics of French cooking. Their two London branches have imported the same high regard for quality and tradition, but have branched out to encompass cuisines beyond French, and now their central London school and smaller City branch teach a range of courses to hard-pressed professionals and keen amateur cooks. It's worth dropping by just to browse the sumptuous high-end cookware they sell, but the other thing that makes Atelier des Chefs unique is their short half-hour courses, run at lunch and dinner, which teach you how to make a single dish and then eat it afterwards (and for £15 must be one of the best bargains going in central London). If you want to get serious they do a host of other, more involved courses, ranging from half an hour to four hours, and costing from £15 to £144.