So, here’s one pretty foolproof secret for finding exceptional meals anywhere in the world:
Take a cooking class with a local.
Even if you don’t cook at home. Even if you hate cooking. The end result of a cooking class with an Italian mama or a Bosnian home cook or, in this case, a French family, is going to be an incredible meal.
In fact, I’m trying to think of a cooking class that didn’t wow me with its end meal and I can only think of one – and it was with a large tour company instead of a small company or a passionate home cook.
With all that said, it won’t surprise you to learn that when we spent the early summer in Brittany, I scoured the internet for a local cooking class in Rennes and found a four-hour market visit + cooking class in a French home with a French food writer named Virginie at the helm of the stove.
The class began with colorful croissants and coffee, proceeded to the famous fresh market where we collected fresh, local ingredients, and then circled back to the food writer’s kitchen where we prepared famous Breton galettes, mayonnaise from scratch (with fresh herbs), strawberry rhubarb tarts, and a handful of other delicious treats, including crab and lobster the family had just fished themselves from the nearby Breton coast.
Virginie has recently changed things up. To find out if she’s running classes/what kind of offerings she’s got these days, visit her website.
What (else) to do in Rennes
The cooking class includes a visit to Rennes farmers market, but it’s worth going on your own, as well, to explore and shop.
For pastries while in town, make your way to Boulangerie Pâtisserie Coupel and don’t miss the traditional kouign-amann pastries.
For a very pretty day trip, head to Dinan (where you’ll find an excellent lunch here).