Rum Babas, brûlées and tarts – oh my! Pinch me hard, I’ve been to dessert heaven but I’m back to tell the tale. On the drive over to Wanaka to Bistro Gentil my body was already shaking with the the anticipation that sugar was going to be buzzing through my veins in mere short moments. Kiwi-anthem’s Crowded House ‘Chocolate Cake’ was playing on repeat and I was ready to go.
Arriving at Bistro Gentil you are immediately greeted with it’s provincial French feeling of perfectly situated restaurant, landscaped gardens, sculptures and beautiful fresh produce from their huge back garden. I was here for their Masterclass entitled ‘Desserts and Sweets – saving the best for last’. With an alluring title such as this they had already won me over but nothing prepared me for sweet delights ahead.
We were lucky enough to have the man himself James Stapley take the class who is the Executive Chef at Bistro Gentil. Over the next few hours we were treated to James’s inside knowledge on how to make a quick ciabatta, lemon tart, passionfruit crème brûlée, rum baba, and chocolate cremeux. The experience was fun, friendly, and easy with James happy to answer any questions on where to buy specialty items, how to do things on the cheap, and how to generally make your home cooking experience as enjoyable as possible.
Dessert Boss James delivered his impressive melody of sticky sensations and we were presented with drinks and food galore throughout. Not to send us entirely home purely on a high of glorious glucose we also received cheeseboards (with the ciabatta James prepared earlier) and a lunch dish of salmon and kale. My personal favourite of the day was the classic and rustic rum baba. James’s recipe makes everything about this seemingly plain dish explode with spices, flavours and textures. Like I said, DESSERT HEAVEN. Jealous yet my fellow sugar-addicts?
Bistro Gentil is the most perfect setting for all things about learning, eating, sipping, relaxing, eating and eating. Did I mention eating?
Get in touch about further classes here
76a Golf Course Road
We loved Bistro Gentil so much we wrote about it. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t