31 Before 31: French Baking Class with Chop, Wok & Talk!

31 Before 31: French Baking Class with Chop, Wok & Talk!

Butter. Sugar. Butter. More butter. What’s not to love about French baked goods? When I added “Take a Cooking Class” to my 31 before 31 list, I didn’t have a particular cuisine in mind. There are a few options when it comes to cooking classes in Pittsburgh. I was browsing here and there, and then I saw it. French baking with Chop Wok & Talk. I HAD TO DO THE FRENCH BAKING.  My friend, Christine, chef extraordinaire, was more than happy to join me.

Starting off with Croissants from La Gourmandine

The class started off with friendly introductions and a snack of delicious croissants from La Gourmandine. I assumed that “French Baking Class” would obviously mean baking croissants. It turns out we weren’t baking croissants at all. The reason is because the dough has to be folded and chilled and folded and chilled, and the whole process takes at least a night for the dough to be prepared. So since croissants are the quintessential French baked good, at least we shared this snack before getting to work.

Tarte Tartin

Tarte Tartin prepared in the cast iron skillet.

Whole Wheat Tomato Tart

Whole Wheat Tomato Tart

Buckwheat Ham & Cheese Crepe with Tomato Tart and Salad

Our tasty lunch: Buckwheat ham & cheese crepe with tomato tart and salad.

 Chop Wok & Talk is in, what appears to be, a converted apartment. I always imagined a cooking class to look something like Kitchen Stadium, with multiple large stainless-steel cooking stations.  Chop Wok & Talk’s kitchen is basically a home kitchen with a large stainless-steel island in the middle. Students work together and take turns.  There isn’t space for us to work independently. But this collaboration fosters conversation and fun.

Making the Chocolate Caramel Lava Cake

We made something like 7 different recipes, some sweet, some savory. We started off with the croissants, then had our hearty lunch, and then savored decadent salted caramel lava cakes for dessert, and were even sent home with more pastries.


Salted Caramel Lava Cake

Tarte Tartin

Napoleon (Dynamite)

All the food turned out delicious, and we were so stuffed.  Classes cost about $60 and upwards, but classes are several hours log, are full of tons of food, very fun and education, and I think on the whole a great activity.  Chop Wok & Talk’s options are incredibly diverse. They offer Indian cooking classes, Thai food, Date night themed classes, all kinds of things.  Christine and I had so much fun that we’ll be returning in December to learn to cook the Feast of the Seven Fishes.  This was an incredibly fun time, and I’m thrilled I had it on my 31 before 31 list.

The Wall of Death

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