Meet our amazing team!
Who is this French Lady? You may have heard of her through “Chez Blandine”, personal chef specializing in French food or through “Wholly Crêpe”, owner and chef. These are now in the past as she decided in 2012 to go back to her own kitchen, her second house! 5 years later, she chose to give her home kitchen back to her family and open a culinary center. This big move will enable her to answer the increasing demands but it will also allow her to let her creativity be infinite as there will not be anymore home restrictions!
Blandine Brutel moved to Colorado Springs from France in 2008. As a Mother of 3, she cannot spend hours in the kitchen. She loves fast recipes, doable in large quantities so she can freeze them or put them in her husband and daughters’ lunch boxes for the next day. She is a perfectionist who will only validate a recipe once the taste of it suits her palate, her husband’s and her children’s. She will also gladly share organization tips with you as she just has an innate sense for organization!
She wants to teach you French traditional home cooking your whole family will enjoy. You may wonder what she prefers to cook…….. well, desserts!
Her promise to you:
- I will give you detailed recipes so you have everything you need when you want to try them on your own.
- I will give you all my tricks to cook fast and save time when cooking.
- I will teach you in a residential kitchen with equipment and utensils you can find in your own kitchen.
- If I use fancy utensils, I will offer alternatives with what you have in your own kitchen or I will have them available in my boutique!
- I will not use fancy techniques that you can never reproduce because it’s too complicated and long (except for the Gourmet cakes… but if you never want to remake them, I will have them in the bakery!)
- I will not use fancy ingredients you cannot find in stores (except for the Gourmet cakes… but I carry those in my boutique).
- If you are looking for professional chefs’ techniques, credentials or professional material, this is not the place. There are some good schools for that out there. I’m “just” self taught!
- If I can cook in my kitchen, you can too! I’m “just” a Mom… a very busy Mom!
Blandine Brutel is looking forward to meeting French Food Fans!
Sébastien moved to Colorado Springs in 2000 from a small village near Valence, France. His passion began from when he was a baking apprentice at the age of 15 at Boulangerie Dufour. Beginning with artisan bread and working towards the perfect croissant, he worked for 2 years under head baker Dufour. Eager about expanding his skillset, Sébastien started his pastry chef apprenticeship at Patisserie Dagand. There he worked in a fast paced, driven environment where he could hone in his art of decorating and baking cakes.
After a year of work, he moved to the States to pursue an opportunity to work here in Colorado Springs. Sébastien worked at an upscale restaurant and a few bakeries in town trying to find one that fit. He finally found that at The French Kitchen.
He is excited to showcase his experience and skills he’s learned over a lifetime. Sébastien’s specialty is back to his roots with artisan bread and croissants.
When not in the kitchen, Sébastien can be found out on the trail with his pups alongside his mountain bike. He also enjoys rock climbing the beautiful Colorado landscape and being out on the river with his friends.
Grateful for this new opportunity, Sébastien wants to share the art of French baking with his customers.
Born and raised in Louisiana, Kristi is no novice to delicious food. She loved to use her parents as test subjects for whatever concoctions she created after spending nights watching Iron Chef (the Japanese version with subtitles and dubbed voices). She fell even more in love with food and traveling after spending a month in France with her best friend’s family in high school.
Kristi graduated from Louisiana State University with a B.S. in Nutrition in 2010 and from the Art Institute of Colorado with an A.A. in Culinary Arts in 2011. In culinary school, she was able to explore international cuisines and cooking techniques while exploring her renewed interest in baking and pastry.
Since graduating culinary school, Kristi has worked in a variety of food businesses…from a late night sports bar to a high-end hotel. In the most recent years, she gained valuable experience as a kitchen manager at NoNo’s Café and the chef at Espressolé Caffe in Denver.
Since starting with The French Kitchen in June 2016, Kristi feels like she finally found a place in this industry. She enjoys learning about French cuisine and techniques from Blandine and loves testing out new recipes that can be used for future classes. Kristi enjoys teaching kids’ classes because “they get even more excited about food than me!”. She also appreciates the challenge of introducing new flavor to young palates.
She compliments Blandine’s passion in the most amazing way in all aspects of The French Kitchen and brings laughter, energy, smiles and fun.
Kristi brings an international professional chef’s perspective to Blandine’s French cuisine. Come and try her food, you will be hooked!