Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.

Cooking “Chez Vous’


My friends had a wonderful idea the other day.

“Let’s go to a cooking class!”

“Great! What’s on the menu?”

“Oh, some Italian dishes, but a bit spicier than usual. And you get to eat what you cook.”

“Say no more! I love spice. I love cooking. I love eating. Let’s do it.”

We made our booking at Chez Vous in Black Creek (Vancouver Island), and last Saturday night, we three girls went out to join the fun in the kitchen.

Chef Alain Chabot and his wife Chantal were our hosts.

The ten guests who signed up for this class were divided into small groups to make various dishes:

Fresh pasta – tagliatelle and a sauce to make Spaghetti Putanesca

An eggplant and peppers appetizer – Melanzane

Lamb and Potatoes – Herb Roasted Rack of Lamb and Lemon Roasted Potatoes

Dessert – Tira misu

All photos in this post were taken by Deidre Macdonald, the pretty smiling lady in the photo below. She kindly sent them to me for this blog post. You see how happy she is. That’s how ecstatic we all felt by the time we left for home, after a fantastic evening of fun and cooking and learning.

Here, Chef Alain is checking the pasta he has just shown us how to make. We used attachments on his very old but still functional Kitchen Aid mixer to press the pasta dough and to slice it into long spaghetti strips. It was easy and fun.

Another group prepared the lamb, cutting the membrane on the inside of the ribs so the meat would not curl up in the pan, and then putting salt, pepper, and thyme on it. The chef called the group together for a lesson on the cooking of the meat. A combination of oil and butter sizzled in the pan over medium hot gas flames as he placed two racks in each of two pans.

As the butter started to look like it might burn he tipped the pan so the juices of the lamb combined with the butter and oil. This added enough liquid to prevent burning as the pan roasting continued.

Do you see how the rib bones are intertwined now that the racks have been turned over in the pan? This will help to cook the thickest part of the rack.

After a few more minutes of pan roasting, the lamb racks are sprinkled with chopped parsley and, in the same pan, are put into a 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

Here is the happy result. Tender and tasty!

Dinner was served in four courses with wine pairings for those who elected to have this added pleasure.

The lemon herbed roasted potatoes and some of the other dishes we made are an art all to themselves. Perhaps another blog post needs to be dedicated to them.

If you are on the island and would like to see what’s happening at the chef’s business, check out his webpage here: chezvousfoods.com


Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

35 thoughts on “Cooking “Chez Vous’

  1. Yum! I love spice too, Anneli. What a fun thing to do with friends. Thanks for sharing the class with us.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow! That looks like it was a really fun day! Great food and great friends. It doesn’t get better.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. What a wonderful experience! I am so envious. And hungry. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This looks sooooo delicious!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. That was a delicious opportunity!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Great post πŸ™‚ Thank you !

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It looks and sounds wonderful. A nice way to spend an evening.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. What a cool — and tasty — thing to do.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Looks like a wonderful evening! I would definitely have opted for the wine pairing as well. πŸ™‚ The food looks delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. OMG, I’m sooo hungry now. I would LOVE to do something like this with my girlfriends. I’ll have to see if we have something like that here. We’d rather not have to go into the city, at least not in the winter (with all this snow). You made the Putanesca sauce, which I’ve made and love. My grandma used to put in some kind of fish, usually tuna. Did you know that Putanesca means “whore’s sauce?” Did you also make a dessert?

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Yum! Cooking with friends while learning something new- what fun!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Looks delicious.It’s always fun to try out new delicacies.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What fun! I’m thinking you may be back for more cooking lessons. And delicious food! I’m hungry now – and it’s not 8 in the morning yet!! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  14. This would be so much fun to do with my wife. Thanks for the idea!


  15. Nothing like homemade spaghetti!


  16. Wow! This was a really unique post and it is funny to see a true Chef’s kitchen.
    The menu and dishes look delicious and superb, Anneli. I have to say, you could teach classes, since you are a well versed Chef Anneli. πŸ’—
    My son has been a sous chef but I wasn’t allowed to step into the kitchen! You all weren’t ask to wear those red aprons either! I have a red apron from one of the country restaurants Jamie worked at. . . His daughters like to try it on, along with my collection of about six styles of aprons. . .

    Liked by 1 person

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