French cooking school: Not exactly Julia Child

I don’t know what it is. Everything I touch in the kitchen turns out burned or half-baked. Hey, I do read the directions. I swear. It must have something to do with the cook. So I usually leave it up to Colonel Sanders, Ronald McDonald or Ramen Noodle. Just kidding. Sort of.

So what was I doing at L’Ecole de la Maison, the French cooking school at the tony Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin? Hoping to learn something. Anything.

Our assignment, should we choose to accept.

The nice chef from the Culinary Institute of America could barely hide a grimace as he watched me hack an onion to bits. “Not that way; ju-lee-enne,” he said, guiding my shaking hand. I tried to approximate what he was doing; these onions were the best I could do.Then, time to grate the Gruyere. Managed to do that without losing any fingers. Barely.

Hey — can anybody tell me how this works?

Uh, I sure could use a hit right about now.

Then it was on to the salad mixer. Amazingly, I managed not to get the goods all over the floor.

Taking time to smell the herbs …

I have no earthly idea what I’m doing with these cheese puffs.

But the end result was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. Seriously.

My compliments to the chefs. Why, thank you!

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