Housed in a 17th century building in the center of historic Beaune, France, The Cook’s Atelier is a culinary destination for food and wine lovers and was founded in 2008 by mother-daughter duo, Marjorie Taylor and Kendall Smith Franchini.
Our family-founded French cooking school, culinary boutique, and wine shop highlight the local artisan food producers and winemakers of Burgundy and France. We offer culinary workshops in our Atelier teaching kitchen and host intimate gatherings in our private dining room, with menus inspired by the bountiful markets of Beaune.
Our culinary programs are informative and entertaining, as we believe the process of cooking and dining around the table should be savored and wholeheartedly enjoyed. Guests come from around the world to learn more about Burgundy through cooking in our kitchen, and to experience the relaxed conviviality of sharing a meal together around our table.
Our culinary boutique is a carefully curated selection of beautiful, unique items for the passionate cook's kitchen and home. Encouraged by past clients who were interested in sourcing some of our favorite items for the home and kitchen in their own homes, we have created a collection of practical, well-made classic French and European cook’s kitchen tools and homeware from small artisans that we trust. It’s a shop for cooks, created by cooks. In our wine shop, we carry a carefully curated selection of small production bottles that we love to drink, from France, Italy, and Germany.
If you are not able to visit us in Beaune, our online shop offers a special glimpse of some of our favorite finds from our culinary boutique and wine shop. Some of our favorite items make up our collections in Kitchen, Copper, Vintage Home, and Wine. We personally source, package, and ship each order! We take great care in communicating with each and every client, whether it's for organizing a cooking workshop, private dinner or purchasing an item from our boutique. Each and every item coming from our boutique is lovingly hand-sourced and beautifully packaged. We are thrilled to be able to share a little bit of The Cook’s Atelier with others from around the world.
Our goal at the The Cook’s Atelier is to help guests become more confident cooks. During our cooking classes and workshops, we emphasize the importance of quality ingredients and seasonality, and provide a deeper understanding of the classic French techniques necessary to building a solid culinary foundation. We welcome a wide variety of cooking levels, from total novices to restaurant chefs, in our Atelier kitchen. Our cooking philosophy is simple: it’s all about quality seasonal ingredients, approachable classic French techniques, and developing intuition in the kitchen. Our food focuses on the beauty of the ingredient, is unfussy, yet refined.
As the world is getting more and more homogenized, we feel traditions such as charcuterie, cheese-making, and artisanal baking should be protected. We do our best to help support these crafts by shopping locally, and sharing these traditions with our clients as well. The local market of Beaune, held year-round, is one of the best in the region, and in France. Rain or shine, the square is filled with white tents and tables overflowing with the season’s bounty. Over the years, we’ve forged close relationships with the people - gardeners, farmers, cheese mongers, butchers, bakers, bee keepers - who grow and produce the food we cook. We enjoy teaching guests what to look for when buying artisanal products, and encourage them to support small, local food producers wherever they live.
Having a strong grasp of classic French cooking techniques and basic core principles – from how to hold a knife properly, to mastering classic sauces and stocks, to understanding how to properly sear, sauté, roast, braise, season and so on – is the key to becoming a better cook. We always teach our students how to first make things by hand so they really get a feel for the process. As you practice these techniques and core principles, you will naturally begin to develop your own style of cooking.
As you become a better cook, part of the journey is to let go of just simply following a recipe. We feel it’s important for a good cook to begin with certain fundamental classic techniques and methods and then, with some practice, start to hone in on their own intuition in the kitchen to make a recipe ultimately into their own.
We believe above all that cooking should be an enjoyable process and is one of the very best ways to bring people together.
The Cook’s Atelier was an idea years in the making – one that involved lots of brainstorming and countless glasses of wine. We started with no formal business plan, just a strong gut instinct to create a place that we would love, and hoped that others would, too. As an American expat mother-daughter duo determined to make Burgundy our full-time home, 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. We envisioned taking guests to the market to purchase local produce, artisanal cheeses, meats, and charcuterie, and freshly baked bread from our favourite artisan food producers. We dreamed of conducting hands-on cooking classes, teaching classic French techniques in an approachable way, and continuing the day with a leisurely French lunch around our table. In the evenings, we imagined hosting candlelit gatherings with new and old friends.
After years of research, professional work experience, and study – both in food and wine, independently and together – we found a way to take the things we love about the French lifestyle and to combine it all into a small family business and brand.
The Cook's Atelier has been a true labor of love and has evolved over the years, taking on its own momentum. We knew this journey would have its ups and downs and require just the right amount of grit and determination. We set our sights high and jumped feet first into founding The Cook's Atelier, with the intention of creating a special place that supports the connection between the farmer and the cook, and where people from all over the world could come together, learn to cook, and have a good time.
Ultimately, our story is about family and our unwavering vision to create a small business around what we cherish most - good food, family, and France. Today, we are honored to welcome guests to our Atelier to experience the joys of French cooking and eating at its best!
In the height of the season, you'll find us busy in the kitchen with hands-on cooking workshops, dinner parties, market tours and field trips to artisan food producers. We'll be busy tending our garden (using much of the produce we grow in our Atelier kitchen), making homemade confiture, or driving the tiny vineyard roads in our vintage 2CV (named Madeleine!), headed to flea markets and brocantes in search of something special for our culinary boutique and online shop. Later in the year, when things slow down, we are hard at work on recipe testing and food photography projects. There is always something simmering on the back of the stove while we are busy planning next year's season.