Le Foodist Paris Cooking Class



The World-Famous Cuisine of Paris, France

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You cannot truly experience Paris without fully indulging in the gourmet foods that it has to offer. From simple baguettes to exotic escargot, the City of Light offers diverse fare for foodies to enjoy. Once you've sampled Parisian delicacies, you'll quickly see why it's earned the reputation for having the best food in France - if not the whole planet!

The best way to ensure a well-rounded culinary experience is a gourmet food walking tour lets you indulge while walking to burn off the calories from everything you sample.

what food is Paris france famous for

The Wonders of Parisian Food

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People from across the globe travel to Paris solely to sample its renowned delicacies, which are arguably the gold standard for the rest of the globe.

Pastries and Desserts

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Most local breakfasts consist of a delectable pastry. A local patisserie will provide a wide selection of baked goods from a simple buttery croissant to a Paris-Brest, a wheel-shaped pastry garnished with almonds and praline buttercream. These bakeries also offer a number of delightful desserts, such as the macaron. These distinctly Parisian delights feature two almond meringue shells glued together with ganache or buttercream. Chefs also craft signature desserts like crème brûlée, chocolate mousse, or Mont-blancs, and France is well-known for its chocolates and caramels.

Main Courses

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For lunch and dinner, which are traditionally heavier meals, your options range from simple street stands to exquisite fine dining. Nosh on classic staples like steak-frites, or splurge on sophisticated fare like duck confit. No matter where you dine, however, your meal will be prepared with pride and care.

Wines

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Parisian foods often pair best with fine French wines. Try a rich Cabernet Sauvignon from the Bordeaux region with your main course or sip sparkling wine from Champagne while nibbling on macarons. 

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Are Meals in Paris Expensive?

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Although Paname has a reputation for being an expensive destination, you can enjoy the best eats that France has to offer on any budgetThe cost will naturally vary based on where you eat. A fancy restaurant will cost a pretty penny, but you can order crepes on the street for just €5. Another rule of thumb is to dine where the locals eat. You'll find the most authentic and delicious fare outside of touristy districts while saving a few Euro.

Even if you're backpacking on a shoestring, you should certainly leave room to splurge on a gourmet dish or two. Pick a meal or place you've always dreamed of, and treat yourself! A fancy French dinner may cost a bit of money, but it's an experience that you won't soon forget.

For more information, please refer to the following pages:

FAQ

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  1. Where to buy the best baguette and croissant in Paris?

Finding the best baguette and croissant in Paris can be a difficult task—especially considering that few shops will sell both baguettes and croissants. Baguettes are a type of bread, so they will most likely be found in a boulangerie—an artisan bread shop. Croissants, on the other hand, are considered a pastry, so you will typically find them at a patisserie, or pastry shop. To find the best baguette in Paris, you should head to boulangeries such as Boulangerie 2M, Boulangerie Thierry Meunier, or Maison Decorde, which are all among the top baguette-makers in the city. For a perfect croissant, head to Des Gateaux et du Pain, Du Pain et des Idées, or La Maison d’Isabelle. Although these specialty shops are among the best of the best in Paris, you will likely find delicious baguettes and croissants throughout the city. For local options, always ask your concierge or Airbnb host for their favorite boulangeries and patisseries.

  1. What are the best chocolate shops in Paris?

No culinary tour of Paris is complete without a visit to some of Paris’s finest chocolate shops. Debauve & Gallais is a classic Paris staple. In fact, it’s the oldest chocolate shop in the city, and when it first opened in the early 1800s, it supplied chocolate to Napoleon and his court. Pierre Hermé is another well-known Parisian chocolatier, and his shops are so popular among Parisians that you may need to wait quite a while before entering his stores. Jean-Charles Rochoux is another must-see chocolate shop. In the shop, Rochoux displays his stunning works of edible art that look more like bronze sculptures than chocolate treats. For chocolates that are more daring, head to Patrick Roger in Saint Germain, which offers adventurous options that feature flavors like ginger and Sichuan spices along with classic favorites for the less adventurous chocolate taster. Finally, head to Chocolats Richart for delicious, hand-decorated treats that make the perfect souvenirs to bring back home.

  1. Where to find the best cheese in Paris?

If you’re looking to find the best cheese in Paris, then you should check out the city’s plentiful markets and cheese shops. At markets such as Marché des Enfants Rouges and Le Marché Bastille, you’ll find plenty of locally-made cheeses to buy and sample. In Marché Beauvau, for instance, you’ll find Fromagerie Hardouin-Langlet, where you can buy some of the best cheeses and other dairy products in Paris. However, to find a more extensive selection of cheeses, you should visit one of Paris’s fine specialty cheese stores, or fromageries. Androuët is one of the oldest and best-known cheese shops in Paris - and for good reason. With over 10 locations, this fromagerie features a variety of cheeses from small high-end producers throughout France. Laurent Dubois in Saint-Germain is another excellent cheese shop, and the shop even produces some of its own cheeses, such as mascarpone-stuffed Camambert. Finally, Chez Virginie offers seasonal cheeses made from raw milk, making it one of the most interesting fromageries in Paris.

  1. What are some weird foods and delicacies in Paris?

While most people enjoy French cuisine, certain foods and delicacies might be considered strange by US or UK standards. Escargot, an appetizer made of snails, is perhaps the best-known oddity in French cuisine, and snails have been a staple in French cooking for centuries. Likewise, frog legs - or cuisses de grenouilles - are another common French appetizer, and eating rabbit is also fairly typical in France. In addition to these unconventional meats, the French also eat unconventional parts of conventional animals such as cows and pigs. Pigs’ feet, called pieds de porc, are a traditional French dish, and langue de boeuf, which literally translates to beef’s tongue, is another common meal. Vegetarians and vegans aren’t totally immune from odd French dishes, either. Farci poitevin is a mixture of cabbage, greens, beets, and seasonings, and to make the dish veggie-friendly, some restaurants forego bacon and eggs in the dish. This odd mixture looks somewhat repulsive, but many French people will eat it plain or spread it on a baguette.

  1. Is millefeuille a parisian creation?

Millefeuille literally translates to “one thousand sheets,” and it is a traditional French pastry made from delicate layers of puff pastry and cream filling. A classic millefeuille is comprised of three layers of puff pastry with cream in between, and it is decorated with fondant and chocolate drizzle. It is quite similar to a Napoleon, which replaces traditional cream with almond cream. Because of the delicate layers of puff pastry, millefeuille can be difficult to make even for experienced bakers.

Although millefeuille is a popular pastry in Paris, its origins may not be Parisian. The pastry’s true roots remain unknown, but it first appeared in 1651 in a cookbook written by François Pierre La Varenne. La Varenne was born in Burgundy but spent a substantial amount of time studying culinary arts in Paris, and he did not disclose whether his millefeuille recipe came from his Burgundian roots or his time in Paris.

  1. Is Opera a parisian dessert?

Opera is a traditional French cake that is made of almond sponge cake that is soaked in coffee syrup, layered in flavored ganache or buttercream, and topped with a chocolate glaze. Typically, this cake is decorated with musical notes, instruments, or the word “opera,” and it is served in many pastry shops throughout Paris. Although this confection is distinctly French, its exact origins have been the subject of debate among the culinary community. Some culinary historians have been able to trace Opera cake back to the late 1800s, but others believe that the cake was originally invented by Dalloyau, a Parisian pastry shop, in the 1980s. Other culinary experts contend that the cake was first made by Louis Clichy in 1903, contending that his gateau cake was the basis for modern Opera cake. Although the cake’s exact origins are unknown, Dalloyau’s popularization of Opera cake has rendered it a uniquely Parisian delicacy.

  1. Are falafels or kebabs more popular in Paris?

As Paris has become increasingly diverse, Middle Eastern foods have become more common throughout the city. In fact, most Parisians regularly eat popular dishes like falafel and kebabs. However, there is some debate over which of these dishes is most popular among French people. On one hand, falafel appears to be extremely popular among French people. Locals and visitors alike often post pictures of Instagram-ready falafels on social media, and even US newspapers like the LA Times have covered the French ‘falafel craze.’ And, if the lines at L’As du Fallafel are any indication, falafel has become one of the most favored foods in the city. However, in reality, kebabs are actually more popular among French people. French people tend to enjoy eating meat over vegetarian dishes, and unlike falafel, which is trendy and expensive, kebabs are a relatively economical meal, making them popular among locals, young people, and the Muslim community. So, while you may see more pictures of falafel on Parisian Instagram accounts, kebabs are actually the more popular dish.

  1. Is Vietnamese food popular in Paris?

First-time visitors to Paris might be surprised by the number of Vietnamese-influenced restaurants throughout the city, but given the two countries’ long history together, it is no surprise that this Asian cuisine is one of the more popular foreign foods in the city. Additionally, Vietnamese food in Paris is often well-made and inexpensive, making it popular among locals and students living on a budget. Vietnamese restaurants in Paris range from high-end fusion eateries to small holes in the wall, indicating this cuisine’s popularity among all types of Parisians. Le Drapeau de la Fidélité, for instance, is a tiny, cheap eatery in the 15th Arrondissement that offers a beer and a full meal for less than 10 Euros. While most Vietnamese restaurants are relatively cheap and unpretentious, some – like Atelier Annam – require a reservation to get in. Overall, Vietnamese food is relatively popular in Paris thanks to its high quality and low price.

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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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