By Maisie Silver on March 24, 2018 in

InsiderSouth of Francecôte d’azurle candillefoodFrench Rivieraeasterchocolate

As a little girl growing up on the Côte d’Azur, Easter (Pâques, in French) was always a time of celebration, chocolate, and Easter egg hunts (la chasse aux oeufs). In my house, after stocking up with both French delights and the mandatory cream eggs, mini eggs, and so much more from the local English shop, we would spend the afternoon painting and decorating hard-boiled eggs before  rushing out to roll them down a hill. It was undoubtedly the highlight of Easter for everyone, especially the dogs, seeing as they would get to eat all the muddy hard-boiled eggs they could find!

As you may know, food is a large part of French culture. At any time of the year, events take place that in some way revolve around food, such as Gastronomy festivals like Les Étoiles de Mougins, seasonal cooking classes, or simply pot-luck dinners. While the importance of food in France might not stand out from other countries, the food itself does. The French boulangerie and patisserie are practically iconic: popping down to the local one to buy your daily baguette isn’t an exaggerated stereotype of your typical Frenchman: it’s exactly right! I would often walk down to the boulangerie with my parents and siblings on the weekends to grab a couple of baguettes for lunch, and it never hurt to throw an éclair or two in there as well

Cooking classes were one of the highlights of my school years. When I was in middle school, (college), we had the option of signing up for a cooking class once a week. My mum was the cooking teacher/chef, and so, knowing exactly how good everything we were making would be, I think I was one of the first to sign up. We spent the trimester learning to make cakes, cupcakes, bread, and so much more, and even better was that we could bring it all home to eat afterwards (if it even made it that far)!

This was the age when I was convinced that I was going to become a chef and so, as a gift, my parents bought me a few cooking classes at Lenôtre. These classes were exclusively for kids and were, hands-down, some of the best experiences I’ve had! Not only were we given a puffy white chef’s hat to wear, but we were taught to make incredible concoctions such as ice-cream, madeleines, macaroons and much more. Lenôtre is still offering these classes, so if you are looking for an excellent Easter weekend idea for your kids, I would recommend these whole-heartedly. Just follow the link here for more information.

However at Easter, chocolate recipes come out on top! According to this article from OuestFrance, almost 15,000 tons of chocolate were sold in France for Easter last year! 15,000 tons is a lot of Easter egg hunts! When I was younger, I was completely obsessed with Kinder’s “Maxi Surprise” egg, an enormous version of their normal one. For the eggs hunts, my friends and I would group ourselves into teams so we could cover ground as fast as possible and retrieve all of the “good eggs”. When it’s that good, you put the effort in!

Having grown up just a tad now, I’m a lot more fascinated by the beautiful chocolate egg sculptures that many chefs in the region excel at. These can be any size and design, and many shops, restaurants and hotels display such eggs during the Easter celebrations. To be honest, it’s quite frustrating to see so many of them and not be able to eat them, but most of them are so beautiful I almost want to look at them more than I want to taste them (…almost)Le Mas Candille patisserie chefs, Oliver Roth and Fred Benvenuti, are the undisputed experts in this category. Some of their previous designs include:

…and yes, these are ALL edible!

But of course, even better than seeing pictures of these eggs would be making them yourselves! Thankfully, Le Mas Candille has the perfect solution to this dilemma. For an Easter celebration you’ll never forget, sign up for an Easter masterclass with Chef Olivier Roth and create your own masterpiece! This specialized cooking class accommodates up to four people in the afternoons and two in the mornings. Simply follow the link HERE for more details and don’t forget to share the photos of your chef-d’oeuvre with Le Mas Candille on any of its social media platforms using #LeMasCandille.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkdFYfe7gBo

Le Mas Candille also offers another patisserie masterclass for those who can’t make it in the next few weeks, and is available throughout the year. This one, also taught by Chefs Olivier Roth and Fred Benvenuti, gives you the choice between making macaroons, French desserts, and chocolate bonbons. In other words, it gives you the ability to make macaroons whenever you feel like it! For more details, click here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=vgbsSoeu5UA

I highly recommend either of these two masterclasses as the chefs teaching them are not only incredibly talented but also kind, friendly and fun. Whichever one you choose, you’re guaranteed to have an enjoyable experience. These classes are an excellent way to get up close and personal with the intricacies of French cuisine… and taste everything along the way.