Le Foodist Paris Cooking Class

Making Great Homemade Meals For One or Two

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Going out to dinner at that fancy restaurant every now and then is nice. Although there comes a time where it takes too much of a toll on your bank account. When the time comes to preparing delicious dinners for only one or two people, and not an entire family, it can be much more difficult to plan your recipes and make dishes which keep you motivated to stay in the kitchen and out of the restaurant. 

With the right ingredients, careful planning, and a little bit of creativity, the fact of the matter is that you should always be able to cook gourmet cuisines right from the comfort of your home. In fact, if you are open-minded enough to change up your routine and try new methods, this will be easy. However, if you still need some inspiration and tips for accomplishing this easily, here are some ideas for you to consider. 

taste of home cooking for one or two

Tip #1: Scale Your Recipes

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Odds are likely that you are already comfortable working with a recipe in your favorite cookbook. Although, this doesn't necessarily mean that you are willing to use them since they often produce portions which are simply too big for you to handle. Crafting a perfect dish for one or two people can be difficult.

The taste of the recipe can be greatly affected by the slightest change in an ingredient or so. This can make it overwhelming to make a recipe when you only want to prepare a meal for one or two people. Start by calculating how big the portion is in a recipe, then divide it down to produce enough for one or two.

For example, if a recipe which produces enough food for 8 people asks for 8 eggs, cut it down to 1 - 2 eggs. Do this for each ingredient. Then, continue crafting your recipe as normal. 

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Tip #2: Portion & Freeze Semi-Prepared Foods

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Have you ever had the time and motivation to cook one night, and then left without either of these things for an extended period of time? You're not alone. For this reason, one thing you might consider doing is to portion and freeze semi-prepared foods. This will give you plenty of time to quickly make a meal after working hard.

Perhaps you have an excellent go-to plate which is made with chicken. You could start by cutting and portioning our your chicken, and then placing it in a marinade for a while. Once it is ready to be grilled, simply instead freeze it and heat it up a week or so down the line. 

To do this, get some freezer bags, place the semi-prepared food into the bag, squeeze all of the air out, and then make sure to mark down when it needs to be prepared. For best results, thaw your frozen food overnight so that you can make it quickly. 

Tip #3: Take Some Cooking Classes

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Nothing beats the taste of the food from a professional chef. We all know this. Especially when the food is something new and unique. French food, for example, is something which is healthy, tasty, and relatively easy to learn. If you are interested in switching things up, perhaps you might be interested in taking some cooking classes in Paris

Typically, everybody from amateur to professional is still able to learn something new about the art of cookery. Here is an example of what you might learn in a cooking class. In any case, this is a great way to start enjoying your home cuisine a little bit more and to expand our horizons. 

When you learn to broaden your horizons and learn new methods, not only will you feel comfortable trying out new types of food, but you will also constantly be excited to go home and craft out some savory cuisine after a hard day's work. 

Tip #4: Try New Recipes

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Having the same recipe continually will get old. If you do this, it shouldn't be surprising that you would rather go out to eat than enjoy some fresh homemade food. Of course, going out to eat can be rewarding from time to time. However, it is important to learn how to put together a meal for yourself so that you don't have to depend on your favorite local chef when hunger really strikes. 

Your taste buds will generally get sick of having the same food over and over. If you enjoy soup, for example, creating a batch of French Onion Soup with the best cheese possible. People who like making hamburgers and fries should instead make a chicken burger, and put some salad on the side.

Tip #5: Add Some Easily-Made Pastries

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There are few things that beat the taste of some savory desserts fresh from the oven. Whether it's a nice batch of cookies, delightful pastries, or refreshing ice cream. Since it can become redundant to eat the same old desserts every single night, try some new ones. You might be surprised to see how easily made some of the most exquisite-looking desserts you see in the bakeries or on TV are to make. 

Desserts are something which perfects a meal. As a result, careful preparation and knowledge of how they are made is necessary. At least if you want them to come out well. One type of dessert which can be rather esoteric for novice chefs are pastries. From the temperature to bake puff pastry at, the ingredient portions, to the complicated steps.

If you would like to learn more about them, start by learning various recipes and tricks. For example, baking powder is an important part of pastries and should be kept in your pantry. 

Final Tip: Ask Friends and Family

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We all have that relative who we dream of visiting every now and then to have some homemade supper. It is also common to have budding professional chefs in our circle of friends without knowing it. Sometimes the best advice you can receive is from the people who are closest to you. If you need more advice on quickly making wonderful cuisines from home, perhaps you should ask around. 

For more information, please refer to the following pages:

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More About Our Baguettes Classes

Getting a bit technical during our Baguette Class in Paris

The French baguette, actually probably better known as the Parisian baguette has beome a true symbol of French popular gastronomy. A true icon of French life even - look around and you will see the Parisians strolling back home with their baguettes under their arm. But if you are French why would you learn how to do this? You can buy a baguette at any corner of Paris for about one Euro a piece.  But in our Baguette Class in Paris  you will learn how do this from scratch. It is somewhat technical, but also full of tips and tricks. But when you leave, it will have not secret left for you. From the original mix to the famous "scarification" through adding water to your oven through baking, you will see and do it all.

Learning more during your Baguette class in Paris: Croque Monsieur Bread and Brioche

This class is like all our other baking or cooking classes: totally hands-on. So you get to practice from beginning to end - and to taste at the end. But not only will you learn how to make Baguette, but you will also learn to make two more types of bread: the French Croque Monsieur bread. The basis for the classic French bistrot appetizer. And in your Baguette class in Paris you will also learn how to make your own Brioche. Probably the most indulgent bread you will find in France - if not the lightest ...

And you might learn some history during your Baguette Class in Paris

While you will learn the techniques to create - and get to taste - three classic types of French breads, you will also learn some of the stories on the origin of the baguette. Just beware it is still being quite hotly debated. What is for sure though is that the Baguette is absolutely part of today Parisian's life. A classic you will be able to take back home with you.

More About Our Wine and Cheese Lunch in Paris

Cheese and Wine in Paris

The pleasures we can derive from French cuisine can seem endless.  However two of the best known and loved French gastronomic heroes are French cheese and wine. Whether we talk about a Brie which actually comes from very close to Paris, to a creamy Camembert from Normandy, or a Comté from the Alps, French cheese has a delight for all palates. And of course, French wines are even better known whether from Bordeaux great wines or Burgundy sophisticated whites – all of which enthral wine lovers.  Well, at our course on cheese and wine in Paris you will come to appreciate that although each is delicious on its own, properly matched cheese and wine together can make the experience of each even more enjoyable and an absolute delight.

How to pair French cheese and wine

Because not all pairings are actually what people expect, at Le Foodist we have decided to call these experiences 'Daring Pairings'. Maybe because we like to step out of the ordinary to challenge our taste buds, but really all we try to do is give you the perfect match fo cheese and wine in Paris.  So not only will you learn how to select the best wine to go with your cheese, but you will also learn what are the big cheese families in France – there are actually only five, and this is one of the keys to great pairing. In discovering all these pairings of cheese with wine you will be convinced that indeed two things together can be better than the sum of their parts.

It is important to have fun with pairing cheese and wine in Paris

Beyond the tastings though, we have found that the best way to help our clients remember and re-use their experience is to vary the way to approach both wine and cheese.  That is why during our courses on cheese and wine in Paris we share sensory games and many an anecdote to bring the produce to life in your mind as well as on your palate. Overall we will feature four excellent wines, one Champagne and demonstrate to you how best each combines with cheese, letting your taste guide you along with our teaching.

Understanding cheese and wine pairing while in Paris

While for many top Parisian wine stores and restaurant wine lists can be confusing and even intimidating, we believe that after our lunch learning how to pair cheese and wine in Paris, you will feel much more comfortable navigating all of those.  And we sincerely hope your knowledge will help you unlock a door to a whole new world of enjoyment of French wine and cheese pairing.  At every step of the way our sommelier will also share unique tips and tricks to understand wines better and how culture and wine are so related in France; hopefully enriching your own experience as well.

And they do not have to do with what you will find in those markets. They have to do with when you can go shopping there. Open Air markets are only open in the morning. Typically from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm. And they are not open every day. As a matter of fact for the vast majority they are open either open every other day (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday or Wednesday, Friday, Sunday), or sometimes only twice a week. 

This is the case of the Bastille Market (Metro Bastille and Metro Bréguet Sabin )which is open only on Thursday and Sunday morning. We like to send people there because it is a very big market with over one hundred vendors. And it has a nice stand of Crêperie in the middle. Here you get a video of a lady preparing a crêpe there; and you can get that crêpe for only 3 Euros!
There is only one Open Air market open every day of the week, it is called Marché Aligre (Metro Ledru Rollin or Metro Faidherbe Chaligny) which happens on the eponymous street. It is an interesting market because you find all kinds of quality in that market – the good, the bad and the ugly. There is also a nice covered market in the middle of it called Marché Beauveau – sometimes called Marché Beauveau Aligre. On the contrary, Covered Markets are open every day, and not just in the morning, but also in the late afternoon. Typically from 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm.

We are blessed with two markets close to where Le Foodist is located, so we can walk to a market every morning – sometimes it is the Maubert market, and sometimes it is the Monge market. Both nice with their own specififies. Last but not least, none of these markets is open on Monday. Do not sign-up for a Market Tour on Monday, you might never see that money again …

Choosing Ingredients in Paris

While all markets are different, they also have some things in common. First they work on specific schedules as explained before. But also you will find always at a minimum the following vendors: a Maraîcher – this is the name we give to people selling fruits and vegetables, a butcher, a fishmonger, a cheesemonger and a baker. Normally you will find several of each, with different levels of quality, organic or non-organic, local or not local (but mostly not local unfortunately).
And we explain how to recognize each of those of course during our Market Visits and Cooking Classes in Paris. But choosing ingredients can be daunting at first, because of the variety that is on display. A typical fishmonger will carry 20 different types of fishes, and as many shrimp and shelf fish varieties. A good cheese monger will easily carry up to 100 different types of cheese and obviously you could get over 100 different cuts of meat at a butcher (from the type of meat to the cut itself). And a normal Maraicher will carry between 50 and 100 fruits and vegetables as well.
This is what makes these markets so exciting – the variety of products, the beauty of their display, and the exchange you can have with most of the vendors. We give you tips though on how to make sure that exchange with the vendors go well – a few magic words, and everything will be fine!

Cooking in Paris

Obviously going to markets is nice, but actually knowing that you are going to cook what you find there is even more exciting. It is not uncommon for Parisians to buy a little bit too much food because they get so excited at the idea of cooking it all! But as most of us have hardly any space where we live, that can limit the enthusiasm sometimes. Because of the lack of space, Cooking in Paris can be quite different from cooking in the rest of France. And there are also dishes that are typically associated with regions which the Parisian will not cook at home – but taste when they visit friends or families in the various regions of France. However our kitchen has plenty of space, so we can cook traditional French dishes without a problem – whether they come from Paris or any region. And the most important part for us is to ensure that we share techniques much more than just recipes. As a matter of fact, we love to share a bit of the science behind what we do so people can better remember the “what” by understanding the “why”.

Sharing Stories

In November 2010, some experts from the UN cultural organisation, decided tha France’s multi-course gastronomic meal, with its rites and its presentation, fulfilled the conditions for featuring on the “world intangible list” of the UNESCO.
In this list you can find all kinds of cultural practices, including Mexico Day of the Dead festival for example. Importantly this is not suggesting French cuisine is better than other cuisines (even though we the French tend to believe that …). It is only saying that the gastronomic meal and what it entails is a very vivid cultural practice which people in France partake into on a very regular basis. That is why the same experts indicated that the French gastronomic meal is a “social custom aimed at celebrating the most important moments in the lives of individuals and groups”. And in that social custom, there are many parts: the attention we pay to the way we choose ingredients, how we pair wine with food, how many dishes we will present to our guests, how we lay the table, etc… But one big part of the cultural practice is that commensality (the fact of sharing the food) is always accompanied by sharing stories about …. Well, you would have guessed it, Food of course!
To us it is THE perfect example of how Food and Culture come together – actually we decide to share food is a considered a cultural practice. I would argue that it is true of all countries, regions, etc… As the way we relate to Food is such a big part of anybody’s identity. But as a result and to make sure you have the most genuine experience of French culture, after the a coking class in Paris at Le Foodist, you will share a gastronomic meal at a common table with your Chef and fellow participants to the class.

French Wine and Food Pairing

As mentioned above, one of the big cultural practices in France is choosing how to pair Wine and Food in general and Wine and Cheese in particular. We actually have a class which focuses specifically on this. As it is so important though, we always make sure we share white and red wines during our meals, chosen to pair well in our opinion with the food we cook. And being at the table together is a good opportunity to discuss about wine as well, with concepts such as “terroir” (to simplify, terroir means “what you do depends on where you are”) which are essential to grasp the way the French think about Food.
And all this will always go with a cheering “Santé” – which quite simply means, to your good health!

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