Le Foodist Paris Cooking Class



What Are the Things Learned in Cooking Classes

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Cooking classes are where the art of food creation and presentation are perfected and not just a place where learning of how to patch up the mess of whatever eatables students thought they knew how to make is acquired. In a cooking class, there is usually a total break down and build-up of previous ideas about what cookery really entails. A time well spent in cooking classes wouldn't in anyway be a waste when compared with the knowledge that would, in fact, have been accumulated. However, some set of lessons are easily teachable and understandable than others.

what do you learn in a cooking class

Reading a Recipe

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Recipe books to a layman might just be a book of direction, where a person who had no idea about how to fix up a particular dish goes to and adopts as a guide in other to bring such a dish to reality. A cooking class, however, teaches how to read the book in a way that reflects it is more than just a direction.

The book is considered as just a mere set of guidelines, the following of which might not still result to a most wonderful taste or look of how you want a particular dish to look. Interpreting these instructions work more with the mind of a chef such that through constant practice, he is able to bring to life in his own way the series of instruction locked up in prints. This is essentially the perfect way to interpret recipes and you can’t learn it in your kitchen.

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Confidence

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This comes from loving the thing you do. And when it comes to cookery, you love it when you do it not because it is easy but because by gathering enough knowledge and exposure, you are just certain of the fact that whatever you prepare can’t just be disgusting. Everyone at a point is scared about what the outcome of a particular dish would be especially when you are coking for more than four persons, trying to save the day for someone or trying to fix a general dinner for people other than your family that might understand. A little addition of an extra spice or seasoning might make a whole dish turn out bad. However, by attending these coachings you gather the skills and knowledge that would make you master the art of exhibiting confidence in your cookery.

In your kitchen, you can only learn cooking by trying techniques but by attending culinary school or general cooking classes, you will master the art of knowing by observation which is the foundation of confidence. So you don’t have to doubt your own abilities while trying to fix up something really quickly especially in the cookery world where only the best would survive. There is hardly any room for self-doubt.

Creativity and Art

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This cuts across several angles of dish preparation. From the general search of the best possible ways of turning basic items into something extraordinary to the very difficult task of presentation. It is one thing to prepare a dish and it is another thing to make the dish an appealing dish to all the senses. This requires special skills on its own. No one would resist the urge to taste a well-plated dish even though when it turns out not to be something your taste buds are really familiar with, there is always an urge to eat because the presentation is so well made and very enticing.

Creativity at times in this affair might mean the art of resourcefulness or improvisation. Best chefs around the world don’t let the absence of one thing bring an end to the idea behind their dish. Hence, there isn't an oven, then maybe having to use hot stones wouldn't be so much a bad idea or maybe you have so much salt in a dish, how do you remedy the situation without destroying the flavors of other seasonings and spices or disposing of the whole dish. You begin to understand the fact in dish preparation that the absence of an essential component of a dish wouldn't do much damage. However, you might want to avoid the fake good idea of baking puff pastry in a microwave because it never works.

Organization and its Time Saving Effect

Preparation a good dish is about perfect timing, balancing tastes and flavors is also about to know what to put at a particular time. All these won’t be possible if you have to go to your store to fetch a spice while your onion is already frying in hot oil or you have to leave your steak on a grill for too long than requires because you quickly want to get a red wine from your fridge. Organizing all your items to be together in one place make it easy to improve the general taste of your food and brings about efficiency and time management. You don’t have to be jumping around in search of anything.

The Art of Seasoning

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There is timing for every spice and the appropriate way of applying every seasoning. You cannot just put in everything together and expect the taste to be as good as a meal that had its spices introduced at the right time. And sometimes, for a particular dish, you might have to apply the same set of spices more than once to achieve a more improved taste.

The Super Hero Ingredients

Some certain ingredients would just bring life and flavor to any dish no matter what and they also serve as a general substitute for other items. You can do almost no wrong with a dash of lemon in most dishes because it helps balance flavors as well as keep the food fresh. Eggs could do wonders in almost all dishes by making them fluffy, aromatic or even as a binding agent.

If you are a good cook already but you want to go a step further and become a great cook, then you need to attend culinary classes. In a cooking class, your cookery arsenal will be immensely equipped with useful cooking tips you never knew existed. Do you know the difference between home cuisine tastes?  You will get to learn all these and more when you start attending a cookery class.

For more information, please refer to the following pages:

FAQ

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  1. What skills do you learn from cooking?

Throughout the process of cooking, you learn and refine important life skills that will benefit you beyond the kitchen. First, cooking enhances your ability to plan and prepare for the future. Before you even turn on the stove, you need to make sure that you have all of your ingredients available and ready for use, so you may need to run to the store or thaw an ingredient. By preparing to cook a meal correctly, you enhance your abilities to use foresight and prepare for the future.

Cooking also enhances your creative problem-solving skills and ability to improvise. When you run out of an ingredient or need to accommodate a dietary restriction, then you will need to come up with a workable solution—often on the fly. This helps to hone your overall ability to find solutions and think on your feet. Cooking also teaches you a variety of other skills, such as understanding safety protocols, working with others as a team, and being patient.

  1. How long does it take to learn cooking?

How long it will take you to learn cooking depends on how much you want to learn and how much you want to refine your skills. If you simply want to master the basics to cook for yourself and your loved ones, then you will only need to learn a handful of basic techniques, such as sauteing, roasting, and grilling. Learning to perform these skills competently does not take much time, particularly if you cook at home every day. On the other hand, you will need to devote years to learning how to cook if you wish to make a living from it, and to become a renowned chef, you will need to spend multiple decades mastering cooking techniques. Because there is no limit to what you can learn in the realm of cooking, you can spend your whole life studying it and still not learn everything about it.

  1. What are the benefits of learning to cook?

Even if you never become a master chef, learning to cook can be hugely beneficial to you in many ways. The first and most obvious benefit of learning to cook is that cooking allows you to make good-quality and nutritious food for yourself, which allows you to save money and eat healthier. Learning to cook is also a great way to enhance your creative thinking and problem-solving skills. Because you will often need to amend recipes or cooking techniques on the fly, you will need to come up with creative solutions to make sure that your dish remains delicious. Finally, cooking is also a great way to enhance your social skills and status. Cooking a meal is a great way to impress guests, and in the dating world, the ability to cook is a highly desirable trait in a partner. Overall, cooking is an important life skill that can benefit you in many ways.

  1. Why should we have cooking classes in school?

While many schools have eliminated cooking classes due to budget cuts, teaching cooking in school is important because it allows students to learn essential life skills. First, cooking itself is a skill that helps students become self-sufficient later in life. Being able to cook basic meals allows you to feed yourself inexpensive and healthy food throughout your life, but not all parents teach their children how to cook properly, which hinders them later in life. By teaching cooking in school, all students have the opportunity to learn cooking basics that will allow them to become independent adults. Additionally, cooking also teaches more general life skills such as problem-solving and patience. Students will need to improvise as they make recipes, forcing them to problem-solve and think creatively, and they will need to wait patiently for their dish to be ready. Therefore, cooking should be taught in schools because it teaches students to become independent adults.

  1. What chopping methods will you learn in a cooking class?

Chopping vegetables, fruits, and other ingredients is an essential part of preparing food, so you will naturally learn 10 basic chopping methods in a cooking class. First, you will learn to master slicing - the most basic chopping method used for common ingredients like carrots and cucumbers. You will then learn other simple methods, such as the whistle and peasant methods, which simply require that you chop your vegetables and fruit into even pieces. Then, you may learn brunoise, or dicing, where you cut a vegetable horizontally into thin strips and then chop vertically to dice it. Chopping your vegetables or fruits In Macedonia also entails dicing - but in much larger pieces. Next, you will learn to julienne, which involves cutting vegetables into thin strips, and mirepoix, which entails dicing your julienned strips. Similarly, cutting vegetables in tagliatelle means chopping your vegetables into long, thin ribbons. You can also ball your fruits or vegetables using a specialized tool, or for leafy greens, you may want to use the chiffonade method to cut them at length.

  1. What is the perfect way to cook fish?

In a cooking class, you may also learn various ways to cook fish as well as which cooking method is perfect for different types of fish. In general, the best way to cook fish is in a pan. To do this, you will first prepare your fish with salt and flour, and you will then place it in a hot pan with oil or butter. As you saute your fish, you can add in herbs and spices for flavoring. However, depending on the type of fish you have or your desired result, you can also use other cooking methods to cook fish perfectly. Firm fish like tuna tastes best if it barbecued and prepared with oil and herbs. You can also cook the perfect fish in an oven, using butter or oil and seasoning to enhance the fish’s flavor. You can also fry your fish, coating it in batter or breadcrumbs, or for a healthier alternative, you should steam it with water or fish stock on top of a bed of greens.

  1. How do I choose what type of cooking class to take?

When you first decide to take a cooking class, you may be overwhelmed at your options when deciding on the type of class to take since there are so many options. So, when making your decision, you should first narrow down your options by determining how long you want your class to be. If you’re looking to train to become a culinary professional, you will likely be looking at long-term courses, but if you only wish to learn basic techniques or a specific recipe, then the cooking class you choose will likely only last for a day. Additionally, you should choose a cooking class that suits your interests and skill level. A skilled home cook, for instance, would not learn much from a basic cooking class, but they may benefit from a class on a specific item, such as croissants. On the other hand, new cooks should not overwhelm themselves with a more complex class and should select a class that focuses on the basics.

  1. Should kids take cooking classes?

Provided that the class they attend is kid-friendly, children should absolutely take cooking classes. Cooking is a fundamental skill that children will use throughout their lives, so taking a cooking class can be a great way to spark their interest in learning how to make dishes that are both nutritious and delicious. However, cooking classes teach more than just how to make basic dishes. Cooking involves important life skills, particularly patience, problem-solving, and creativity. As children wait for pasta to boil or for their chicken to cook, they will learn that they need to be patient to achieve the results that they want. Cooking also instils problem-solving skills by forcing kids to think critically about how they use their ingredients and how to deal with unexpected situations that may arise in the kitchen. Additionally, cooking promotes creativity since they will learn to adapt their recipes to their tastes and dietary needs. Taking a cooking class will therefore benefit children by teaching them a variety of important life skills.

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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!

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.

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