Dinner with Chef Jean Pierre

by Her Happy Balance on November 27, 2013

It is no secret that I really love to eat. Today I want to share with you some of the best food I have ever had…yeah, this is big people. The food was prepared by Chef Jean Pierre. Just to give you a little bio on the chef:

Chef Jean Pierre Tardy is a Maitre Cuisiniere de France. Only 250 chefs world wide are recognized by the French government for their culinary skills. In France, Jean Pierre had worked in restaurants since he was a young boy of 13, moving on to the next level of dining expertise as the opportunity arose. He gained prestige from working at Maxims, Le Grand Vefour and L’oustau de Baumaniere. In 2011 Chef Jean Pierre was awarded his second medal from L’Academie Culinaire de France. –source

So yeah, the chef is pretty much amazing. He used to work at Le Bec Fin, a very esteemed restaurant in Philadelphia, until he decided to go out on his own. And did I mention he has cooked for presidents? I would essentially give my left foot to be his wife and eat his cooking everyday. Anyway…


I was introduced to Chef Jean Pierre through my mother (smart lady) about five years ago when I attended my first class focused on cooking lobster. An entire class devoted to different lobster dishes = heaven. I also had my 21st family dinner at one of his cooking classes that focused on cooking from the Normandy region of France. Every single time I attend his classes I want to lick my plates clean. I was very excited to attend a class this past Wednesday titled “Quack, Quack, Quack!” where, you guessed it, we focused on learning to cook different duck dishes. I think this may have been my favorite class to date!


When I arrived, I found my assigned seat and settled in for the show. All the seats are arranged around a U-shaped bar. At every place setting is a notepad and pen on which you can take notes about the chef’s recipes. Jean Pierre has a cooking table in the middle of the bar where he demonstrates how to cook each menu item. There are also cameras situated over top of his pots and cooking station so that you can watch on TV screens (located in the corners of the room) as he stirs and chops things from a birdseye view. I usually just focus on the center table and listen to what the chef says.

Me at Jean Pierre's

Jean Pierre has a very heavy French accent. Sometimes it can be quite difficult to understand what he is saying, but if anyone ever has any questions, he gladly slows down to clear any misunderstandings up. Mostly I just sit there mesmerized by how easy he makes cooking look. After each dish is cooked, everyone is served and gets to taste the creation. Btw “everyone” is 18-20 people, a nice small group.

Course 1: Smoked Duck “Tower” Salad, Duck Rillette, Pear Curry Dressing

Smoked Duck Tower Salad

A tower of veggies and smoked duck, topped with a flatbread of duck and a pickle. This was fantastic. I loved the smoky flavor of the duck paired with the light and flavorful pear curry dressing. The dressing also had lots of cilantro and dill in it. If you guys are interested, I wrote down the recipe and could share it with you in the future.

Course 2: Armangnac Duck Sausage, Wild Mushrooms, Spiral Pasta

Duck Sausage over spiral pasta with fried leeks

Spiral Pasta with a parmesan cheese and wild mushroom sauce, a juicy duck sausage cooked in duck fat, and topped with fried leeks. This was my absolute favorite creation that I have EVER had by chef Jean Pierre. The sausage was so succulent that when I cut into it, the juices just poured out. And the leeks gave it just the right amount of an oniony taste.

Course 3: Breast of Magret Duck Slices, Cranberry Red Wine Sauce

Breast of Duck Slices

A cauliflower mousse seasoned with ginger, nutmeg, and white pepper topped with a mixture of cabbage and brussel sprouts and slices of duck, then finished with a cranberry and red wine sauce. Um, wow. The combination of flavors went perfectly! It was very timely too, it felt like I was eating a really fancy French version of Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner all in one plate.

Course 4: Apple Tartlette, Pumpkin Creme Anglaise

Apple Tartlette with Pumpkin Creme

By this time, I had finished off a bottle of red wine, and was feeling no pain ๐Ÿ˜‰ Unfortunately though, I wasn’t paying quite as much attention to this course as the others and missed the exact description. My version: a freakin’ delicious apple dumpling thing surrounded by a sauce that had a slight hint of pumpkin but mostly tasted like liquid creme brรปlรฉe. I really have quite a way with words, this is probably why my career as a world-renowned cook hasn’t quite taken off yet.

Chef Jean Pierre

The overall experience was phenomenal, I cannot stress that enough. You all need to come to Philadelphia and visit me so I can have an excuse to go back and eat more decadent food. The chef is very friendly, and will come around and drink wine with you while you’re eating, and talk with you about his family and yours. This is a BYOB dinner class. I brought a bottle of Pinot Noir and my little heart went to sommelier heaven when I was told that my choice was “perfect for duck.” I think I swooned on the inside a little bit. I know very little about wine besides the fact that I like to drink it. I got lucky with my choice I guess, this one tasted delicious!

Francis Coppola Pinot Noir

If you would rather go to a cooking class that is more hands-on, one where you actually cook alongside the chef, he does offer that too. I just much prefer pretending I’m in the audience of a cooking show on the Food Network…which is pretty much exactly what it is, minus the commercial breaks. Visit here for a full list of the classes he offers.

Jim and I

We were very happy customers.

Have you ever taken a cooking class?
What is your favorite protein?
If duck is on the menu, I almost always order it.
Want to come visit me and we can go stuff our faces together?

Comments on this entry are closed.

Caitlin November 27, 2013 at 10:16 am

Omg Joe would have loved this class. Duck is his favorite, but he doean’t have the chance to eat it often. I would have enjoyed sitting there, watching, tasting, and drinking wine ๐Ÿ˜‰ if we move back east next year, count us in to join you in these classes ๐Ÿ™‚

Maureen November 27, 2013 at 10:34 am

Tis looks 1,000,000 different kinds of amazing! I’m actually taking a cooking class today – making pies for Thanksgiving! I did it last year too and it was a lot of fun!

Meghan @ fitnesscrEATures November 27, 2013 at 10:35 am

Ok before I go into how cute this whole entire post is, I have to spend a very important moment telling you one thing several different ways:
Option 1: You look ABSOLUTELY smashing in that color and with your hair like that.
Option 2: Everything about your gorgeous self was on point with this gorgeous outfit.
Option 3: I love your hair, your makeup, and your dress/top SO much. Teach me.

Also, Jim, you look cute too!
I digress. What an awesome date night! And so fancy! And I would die too if I actually brought the right wine for something. If you know nothing about wine, I’m like in the negatives. That’s definitely something I’ve NEVER educated myself on. I should work on it.
I myself do not like duck, though I’ve never had it. Should I ever turn back into a meat eater, I’ll be sure to try it. ๐Ÿ™‚
I am so glad you had fun and enjoyed all that food!! I can imagine it was amazinggggg. LOVE YOU! Have a SUPER awesome and happy Thanksgiving you adorable panda poo.

Erin @ The Almond Eater November 27, 2013 at 10:36 am

OMGGGG I’m dying over here. Everything looks so delicious! I’ve actually never taken a cooking class but always wanted to. It’d be extra awesome to get to take one with such a famous chef!

Chelsea @ A Fit LittleOne November 27, 2013 at 11:11 am

I love watching people cook!! Probably because I grew up doing that with my mom haha I’m not creepy. So that’s probably the main reason I love the FoodNetwork channel. I’ve never had a cooking class, I’m super stubborn, so I could see myself pissing off the person helping, and I just like figuring things out on my own :).

Alex @ Cookie Dough Katzen November 27, 2013 at 12:13 pm

This sounds so fun! I’ve never taken a cooking class but would love to try one. I’m not a big fan of duck, but these dishes look amazing. Oh and that dessert…yum! Have an awesome Thanksgiving!

Kristina @ Damn Ten Pounds November 27, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Absolutely loved this post. Your night with the chef sounds amazing. I’ve always wanted to take a cooking class, but haven’t made it a priority. You convinced me to get on it. Although this might be better since all you had to do was drink wine while decadent meals were prepared for you. I like your style! I was trying to pick a favorite protein, but your lobster class heavily influenced my decision. If money were no object, that’s all I would cook with ๐Ÿ™‚

Taryn November 27, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Ahh, this sounds so awesome! If you ever need someone to go with, you just let me know, and I’m there ๐Ÿ™‚

Stephanie@nowiun.com November 28, 2013 at 9:24 pm

I’ve never had duck! Those dishes looked yummy but the dessert looked even better!
Glad you had a good time ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve never attended a cooking class.

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