“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” - Mark Twain
by Gina Biber
- The Capitol Hill Times -
“I actually studied marketing,” says Muriel-Marguerite Foucher, “but my passion for cuisine won.”
Foucher, a petite French woman with an infectious smile, gained an affection for cuisine from her grandmother, and then opened a school, instructing cooking classes in Paris, but transitioned to Seattle four years ago when her husband’s job offered an opportunity to work abroad. Paris Eastside, the new French cooking atelier and boutique on Broadway and Pike, is her dream come true.
Sitting in the center of the shop is a large island that Foucher uses for a variety of cooking classes. Surrounding the perimeter of the room is a collection of contemporary French products, from hand-embroidered tissues to duck pâté and modern art made by local French artists, that Foucher either wasn’t able to find while settling into Seattle, or wanted to introduce to the city.
“Most of the French-inspired shops already here are filled with items that we used 100 years ago. I wanted people to see France’s contemporary side,” she says.
Paris Eastside’s large draw is the variety of classes that are offered each week for adults and children alike. Adults can register for one or four classes at a time, and master classic, seasonal French dishes, like soup à l’oignon and crozifilette, or attend wine pairings that teach you which drinks best compliment desserts and cheeses. These classes are also a great arena for teambuilding, and are offered during lunch, as well as in the evening. Those who register should come hungry and bring Tupperware to take home leftovers.
Children’s classes are divided between food and crafts. “French Marmitons,” which means “little French chefs,” offers two series of classes, where kids can choose between learning sweet or savory recipes over the course of four Wednesdays or Saturdays. Do-it-yourself crafts are available one Saturday each month. Foucher teaches a new French craft, like making a pencil pouch (which, truly, every child in France uses).
Though the atelier is a magnet for French expatriates, Foucher says that her goal is to build a place for community. Count me in.
More information can be found at pariseastside.com