Murder On the Orient Express Cooking School at Hamanassett Bed & Breakfast

Murder on the Orient Express was the theme for the cooking school at Hamanassett Bed & Breakfast on March 9, 2018 and it was a sold out event.  The murder mystery was set on a train in Paris in 1940.

Cooking School at Hamanassett Bed & Breakfast featured Dining on the Orient Express

Dining on the Orient Express

 The weekend began with a reception on Friday night when everyone met in the salon car (living room of the bed and breakfast) for  a reception and a chance to meet all the other participants.  Guests were served French 75 Cocktails (a mixture of cognac, simple syrup, lemon juice, and champagne) and tea sandwiches.  They then went into the professional kitchen at Hamanassett where they made Boursin Cheese (recipe at end of this blog). After that they were on their own for dinner.  

Dining on the Orient Express murder mystery cooking school reception.

Reception for murder mystery cooking school.

Above is Barbra Z. Enhussie, a rich, spoiled and beautiful daughter of the late French perfume king.  Below are RAF Group Captain Weyland Awfcorce, a pilot of renown, and Duke Schwazhe B.U.Klare, a royal victim of the German advance.

Receiption for Murder on the Orient Express Cooling School


Below meet Malcolm R. Conntint, a soldier of fortune on the left and Princess Idelle Chattre, a royal refugee driven to Paris by the advancing German troops.

Costumed participants for the Murder on the Orient Express cooking class

Murder Mystery Reception

The following day passengers were served breakfast in the Dining Car (dining room) and had the rest of the morning free to explore the Brandywine Valley or just kick back and relax at the bed and breakfast.  Several of the guests adjourned to the billiard room for a game of pool.  The cooking class began at 2:30 Saturday afternoon in the kitchen.  The class is led by professional chef Melissa Ferraro and innkeeper Glenn.  Each person is assigned a different dish to prepare.  The menu for this class included French Onion soup with baquettes, Blanquette de veau with white rice and Haricots Verts.  The third course was a tomato salad followed by a dessert of Creme Brulee.  Each course was served with an appropriate red or white wine.   Of course, no meal would be complete without home made French bread.   In addition to the cooking class, the weekend included a Murder on the Orient Express event so at 5:30 the class was dismissed to give participants the opportunity to relax and change into their costumes.  And what costumes they were! 

Below is Khover T. Ageante, a well traveled and worldly individual and Mary K. Trairie, a journalist for a large metropolitan U.S. newspaper.

Man about Town during Murder on the Orient Express cooking class at Hamanassett Bed & Breakfast

Guests enjoying the reception at Hamanassett Bed & Breakfast

Prior to the event, participants were emailed their character assignments to give them time to prepare.  And what costumes they were!  (More about that later).  One week prior to the event a packet was mailed to each participant which contained a listing of all the other passengers they would meet on the train, a letter from their mystery host inviting them to join number 9 on the train, a transit pass and an Orient Express luggage tag.  Saturday morning when they all gathered for breakfast (by this time they were all fast friends) they were given their personal dossiers.  No one in the group knows who the murderer is and this includes the murderer himself or herself.  

 The eight participants met again the Salon at 6:30 for another reception.  This time they were served the Boursin cheese on crostini topped with red caviar along with more champagne.   Let the game begin!  At 7:00 pm they were invited into the Dining Car to begin their fabulous dinner.  Play lasted all through the dinner courses and even beyond.  Needless to say it was a wonderful journey for all involved.

Group dines in elegance at Hamanassett Bed & Breakfast murder mystery for Murder on the Orient Express

Dinner at Hamanassett

Sunday morning included another breakfast at Hamanassett Bed & Breakfast and then everyone bid each other adieu.  As the guests left they all promised they would return.

The next cooking class at Hamanasseett is Last Dinner on the Titanic the weekend of April 6-7.  For more information on this class and others  click here.  We need at least 6 participants to go forward with a class and already have several people on our waiting list so select the class you are interested in, check our rooms at Hamanassett and then give us a call.  We’d love to answer any questions you may have or get you signed up for an exciting cooking adventure.

                                                     RECIPE  FROMAGE  BOURSIN


2 garlic cloves

8 ounces butter at room temperature

16 ounces cream cheese at room temperature

3 tbs. grated Parmesan cheese

1 tsp. dried dill weed

1/2 tsp. dried marjoram

1/2 tsp. dried basil

1 tsp. fresh chives

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. dried thyme

2 tbs. minced fresh parsley


Have cheeses and butter at room temperature.  Crush garlic.  Mix cheese, butter and garlic together.  Add remaining ingredients and incorporate well.  Pack mixture tightly into a container and refrigerate overnight.  Serve at room temperature.