Le Foodist Paris Cooking Class



What is the Difference Between Culinary and Baking Arts?

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These two terms are often used interchangeably, but they are actually very different from each other. In culinary classes you mainly focus on the main courses of a meal, while in the other you might make sweet treats, like cakes, to end the meals or bread to go alongside them. So, what do you learn in a cooking class? What about a baking one?

If you're interested in discovering more about their many differences, keep reading. You'll find out how they differ and might even discover the one you think you'd like to attempt when searching for cooking classes Paris.

what is the difference between culinary and baking

Culinary Arts

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This type is where a chef works to make appetizers and the main courses for diners to enjoy. This typically involves understanding specific techniques like butchery and involves a little more intense management in the kitchen because you have to be quick so the food doesn't go cold. 

Techniques

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There are a few techniques this type teaches a chef which are essential tools to use in restaurants and a food career. 

  • Seasoning: knowing how to add light or intense flavors to recipes with spices and herbs is essential for chefs.  

  • Sauté: this will help you to quickly cook food and know how to toss it in a hot pan. 

  • Plating: it's not just the taste of the food that needs to be done well, but placing it nicely on a plate is crucial. The plate should have a beautiful aesthetic that tells the story behind the food, something that's important when serving plates in a restaurant. 

  • Preparation: this art requires that you carefully prepare ingredients in a certain way. Many recipes often need certain steps to be followed in order for that meal to turn out well. Cooks need to be careful to follow these to ensure the meal tastes how it's supposed to. 

  • Chopping: chopping vegetables, spices, and meat correctly are critical when making meals. You'll discover how to use certain types of knives to cut various angles and widths with your ingredients. 

What Classes are Required for Culinary School?

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There are a few essential classes necessary for this. Dining room service, food sanitation, and even accounting are necessary to know to ensure you can succeed in the business. 

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Baking Arts

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This is a branch of the culinary field and involves making bread, pastries, pizzas, quiches, cakes, and pies. However, this branch relies mainly on the use of an oven to bake the food. Unlike chefs, bakers can make both sweet and savory dishes and can specialize in certain areas. They can become patissier if they're interested in making pastries and desserts. For instance, a baker might enjoy making a certain pastry, like éclairs, so much that they decide to open a bakery that only sells this treat. 

Techniques

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  • Preparing Pans: you'll need to know how to butter and flour pans so food doesn't stick to it. 

  • Melting Chocolate: melting chocolate might seem easy, but it's a very delicate task. You'll have to know how to melt it without it burning and losing its flavor. 

  • Beating Sugar and Butter: when making desserts like cookies, beating sugar and butter is important. You need to make sure it's fluffy so the dessert turns out well, but at the same not overdoing it. 

  • Zesting: putting a nice touch of color to desserts from the zest of fruits like lemons and limes can be fun. However, you'll need to make sure the zest doesn't give an overpowering taste to the food. 

  • Dusting Sugar: you'll be taught how to dust sugar nicely over desserts so it doesn't clump together. 

  • Kneading Dough: kneading dough can be tricky. You'll discover how you can properly do so to ensure it rises and bakes correctly. 

Studying these arts can be very fulfilling, but it does to consider studying in. Many educational institutions often focus on certain areas so if you have a strong liking for one area, like bread, you can usually find a school to help you grow in your knowledge of it. No matter which one you choose to study in a culinary school, you can be sure your career will help to make a great impact in cuisine. 

For more information, please refer to the following pages:

FAQ

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  1. What is the difference between a cook and a baker?

To understand the difference between a cook and a baker, you must first understand the fundamental differences between cooking and baking. Many seasoned chefs compare the contrast between cooking and baking to the distinction between art and science. In cooking, recipes are generally open to interpretation, and cooks often improvise as they create their dishes. Baking, on the other hand, requires extreme precision, and recipes have to be amended carefully to create a successful dish. These differences are evident when you compare common cooking recipes to common baking recipes. Two recipes for scrambled eggs can look entirely different from one another whereas two recipes for sugar cookies will be quite similar.

Cooks, then, are more like artists in both their training and their practice. Cooks may learn certain fundamentals at first, but to become more advanced, they must hone their creative thinking abilities and learn to improvise. Bakers, on the other hand, are more like scientists since they must learn how each part of the baking process affects the final result, which allows them to precisely create their dishes.

  1. What are the 4 main methods of baking?

To become a skilled baker, you will need to master the four main methods of baking—creaming, whisking, melting, and rubbing in.

The first method, creaming, involves blending butter and sugar until fully mixed. Once you have creamed the butter and sugar, you will then add eggs, and once the eggs are fully mixed, you can add the rest of the dry ingredients. While this method appears simple, you must ensure that the butter and sugar are fully creamed in order to avoid inconsistencies in your batter, and sometimes, the mixture can split when the eggs are added, which could cause the result to be too dry. Creaming is one of the most frequently used baking methods since it forms the basis of common recipes for cakes and cookies.

The whisking method is fairly straightforward—you use a whisk to stir your batter in order to add air to your mixture, which allows baked goods to rise without the use of a leavening agent. Typically, you will whisk together eggs and sugar, and you will then fold in dry ingredients like flour. This method is typically used for lighter baked goods that don’t contain a significant amount of butter, such as sponge cakes.

Third, bakers can use the melting method to make moist, rich goods like gingerbread. In this method, you melt the butter before mixing it with other ingredients. Although this method is fairly easy since it does not involve beating or whisking ingredients, you should make sure that you add a leavening agent like baking powder to ensure your cake rises.

Finally, the rubbing in method is perhaps the most difficult baking method since it involves more skill and work. In this method, you use your fingers to rub your butter (or other fat) into the flour, and once that is fully mixed, you add sugar and then a bit of liquid to bring the mixture together. Once you add the liquid and fully rub it in, you must stop working the dough to avoid creating a tough texture. This method is commonly used for baked goods like scones.

  1. Is a baker considered a chef?

Generally speaking, a baker is not considered a chef. People often use the term “baker” to refer to anyone who bakes, including amateur hobbyists and entry-level professionals. For example, a mother who frequently bakes cookies for her children may be called a baker, or if you have just started to work at a bakery, your job title may include the word baker.

However, even experienced professional bakers are not always considered chefs. In France, a bakery - or boulangerie - is run by a professional artisan baker - or boulanger. While this profession is certainly respected, an artisan baker is not considered a chef since their training is not as extensive as the training required to become a proper pastry chef. Pastry chef - or patissier - training is far more involved, so only those bakers who have completed that training can be considered chefs. Therefore, the only “bakers” that are considered to be chefs are formally trained pastry chefs.

  1. What does each ingredient do in baking?

In baking, you use four main ingredients - eggs, flour, butter, and sugar - that each serve a specific purpose in your recipe. Eggs are often considered to be the backbone of many baked goods since they provide essential components such as moisture, structure, and emulsification. The proteins in eggs help build a baked good’s structure, and the yolk’s emulsifying properties bring together fats and liquids in the recipe, creating a smooth batter. Flour is another important structure-building component in baking, and it forms the primary structure in most recipes. Butter (or other fats) primarily adds flavor to a recipe, and it aids in leavening the final product and adding moisture to a batter. Finally, sugar obviously contributes to the flavor of a baked good, but it also serves a handful of other important purposes. Sugar helps make baked goods soft and moist, and since it caramelizes with heat, it contributes to leavening and structure.

  1. Should you become a chef or a baker?

If you enjoy making food for family and friends, then you may have considered pursuing a career as a chef or a baker. However, people who choose these career paths are often surprised by their intensity. Chefs and bakers often work long hours for low pay in competitive, high-stress environments, so only those who are truly passionate about the culinary arts should attempt to pursue them as a full-time job.

If you do decide to pursue a career in the culinary arts, you will then have to choose whether you want to become a chef or a baker. Deciding which path you wish to take will depend on two things - personal preference and creativity. First, you should consider whether you enjoy cooking or baking more. Given the demands of a culinary career, you should pursue what you’re most passionate about. If you’re torn between the two, you should then consider your own creativity. Cooks must constantly use creative thinking skills to amend recipes on the fly, but bakers typically use specific formulas for their recipes. If you enjoy having creativity and flexibility in your work, then you may want to choose cooking over baking.

  1. What are some gluten-free baking substitutes?

Bakers who want to eliminate gluten from their recipes typically substitute various types of flours for traditional wheat flour. However, many of these flours can impact the taste of baked goods, so you should ensure that your substitution matches the flavor profile of the recipe you are making. Almond flour, for instance, makes an excellent substitute for wheat flower, but you should only use it in recipes that will be enhanced by almond notes. For a more neutral taste, you can use buckwheat flour. Buckwheat flour’s earthy taste makes it an excellent substitution in breads. Likewise, sorghum flour has a mild taste that makes it a good substitute for wheat flour. Oat flour is another option, but if you use it, you should keep in mind that it may make your end product more moist, which may or may not be your desired result. For all gluten-free substitutes, you should check the label to be sure that your non-gluten flour was not cross-contaminated during processing.

  1. Does the term ‘culinary arts’ encompass baking?

At its most basic, the term ‘culinary arts’ refers to the art of making and serving food, and under this broad interpretation, baking is generally included – particularly in the context of creating and serving full meals. In fact, under this type of definition, you could argue that table manners and culinary etiquette also fall under the umbrella of culinary arts. This general definition of culinary arts thus encompasses nearly everything that is related to food. However, most industry professionals tend to use a stricter definition of this term that only includes cooking. This definition is still relatively broad since it includes aspects of cooking that range from specific skills like butchering meat to general knowledge like nutrition and food safety, but it does exclude pastry-making. For instance, most formal training programs have two options for potential chefs to choose from – culinary arts and pastry arts. Therefore, the term ‘culinary arts’ generally does not include baking when used by culinary professionals.

  1. Is it harder to cook or to bake?

Cooking and baking both come with unique sets of challenges, so whether cooking or baking is more difficult depends on your skills and strengths. One of the best-known sayings in the culinary world is that cooking is an art while baking is a science. Although you follow recipes in cooking, you must be able to improvise and exercise creativity while making a dish. Cooking also encompasses a wide variety of skills, and cooks must often multitask while making different parts of a dish. Cooking can therefore be difficult for people who are not naturally creative and struggle to improvise or multitask. Baking, on the other hand, is more scientific, so recipes in baking must often be followed to the letter in order for a dish to be made successfully. Additionally, baking requires plenty of time and patience. Baking is thus more difficult for people who prefer to have more creative freedom or who prefer more active pursuits. Whether it is more difficult to cook or bake thus depends on your individual preferences and skill sets.

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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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