Florence Rebattet’s journey in the culinary world began much before she founded En Cuisine Cooking School. Her love for food was ignited during her summer holidays at her Italian grandma’s house, where the duo indulged in daily cooking sessions. From spaghetti so long it became a playful memory to picking fresh aromatic herbs and strawberries from the garden, Florence’s culinary journey was sprinkled with love and passion.
It wasn’t just her grandma; her grandpa’s love for restaurants and her uncle’s tips from running a Michelin-starred restaurant further deepened her connection to food. These familial bonds and culinary adventures formed the bedrock of her aspiration: to recreate such cherished memories with her son and the students of En Cuisine Cooking School.
When Florence moved to London with her son, she noticed a gap in the market. Parents were feeding their children’s palettes with sugary dishes, overlooking the importance of healthy food. Despite searching, she couldn’t find a club focusing on healthy cooking for children. This observation, combined with her stint teaching healthy cooking at her son’s nursery, solidified her decision. Leaving her HR job behind, she pursued her dream, training as a chef and subsequently establishing En Cuisine Cooking School.
While the market for children’s cookery classes may be niche, Florence’s love for challenges and her affinity for children made it the perfect choice. Working with children, for her, is an unfiltered experience. They are candid in their feedback, and impressing them requires being an excellent chef and a captivating entertainer.
En Cuisine Cooking School offers a diverse range of classes, from holiday “camps” tailored according to age groups to bespoke parties like MasterChef competitions and afternoon tea sessions. Additionally, they provide private classes, allowing a more customised experience. Their extensive involvement in schools with lunch cooking clubs and after-school programmes ensures they touch various facets of children’s culinary education.
Florence believes in persistence when it comes to introducing children to different foods. Drawing from her personal experience with her son’s aversion to avocado, she stresses the importance of experimenting with various preparations of the same ingredient. She also advises parents to avoid transferring their kitchen apprehensions to their children. Instead, she encourages them to educate kids about safety measures, ensuring they become confident and independent in the kitchen.
One of Florence’s most touching moments came in the form of an email from the therapist of an autistic child. The therapist praised Florence’s positive impact on the child’s therapy, highlighting his newfound independence and willingness to try diverse foods.
With a vision to help not just children but also young adults, Florence has expanded her classes to cater to teenagers. She aims to equip them with the skills to cook fresh, healthy, and seasonal food, ensuring they don’t solely rely on takeaways and processed foods when they venture out on their own.
In 2014, Florence took the bold step of founding En Cuisine Cooking School, focusing on teaching children and teenagers the joys of cooking from scratch using seasonal ingredients. Her achievements were further recognised in 2023 when she became a Disciple d’Escoffier in London and also reached the semi-finals of “Gordon Ramsay’s Future Food Stars” on BBC1.