Le Foodist Paris Cooking Class

The Best French Chefs Around

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France is widely believed to be the birthplace of contemporary food service, and with its mesmerizing haute cuisine and significant contribution in Gastro-tourism, that belief is difficult to argue against.

French cuisiniers basically built the foundation for the organized, systematic way that the modern western cookery system works. This involves people who, throughout the last two or three decades, have spearheaded new approaches for cookery, established foundational bistros that forever altered the feasting landscape, and trained many upcoming cooks.

Starting from Alain Ducasse to the founder of the Cronut, the following are the best French chefs who have taken this game to a whole new level.

who are the best french chefs

Alain Ducasse

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A Monegasque-born culinary master, Alain Ducasse, is the most loved among the top chefs that the country has ever produced. He has also worked at different bistros such as Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester that holds three stars in the Michelin Guide. He held his first position as one of the chief cooks in 1980 at the kitchen at L'amandier in Mougins. The following year, he took up the position of the executive specialist at La Terrasse in Juan-les-Pins. Ducasse has a CV full of high-class hotels where he has worked. He also boasts many awards to his name. Owing to his glorious working experience, he stands as the most prominent chef the country has ever produced.

Dominique Ansel

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Dominique Ansel is pretty known for creating the Cronut. Regardless of whether you've not heard about Dominique Ansel before, you've certainly heard about his famous doughnut-croissant hybrid, the Cronut—which inspired scalpers, tears, violence, and brazen copycats. In any case, Ansel is about something beyond that. Following a 12-year service at Fauchon in the capital and a 6-year stint as Daniel’s pastry chef, he is a pâtissier who’s on a mission, conveying obscure joys to American shorelines and doing insane things to macarons.

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Paul Bocuse

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Living in Lyon, Paul Bocuse is respected for his high standards and many commitments to French food throughout the course of his career. He boasts an illustrious history in gastronomy and is regarded as one of the innovators of Nouvelle Cuisine, which is commended for its healthy use of fresh ingredients. He has mentored a lot of cooks, most of which are well-known today, and he is also the creator of the Bocuse d'Or, broadly viewed as the most esteemed honor achievable with regards to gastronomy. Today his prevalent restaurant is the deluxe Auberge du Pont de Collonges, which serves traditional food and wine.

Alain Passard

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Alain Passard is a food expert and founder of the 3-star restaurant L'Arpège in Paris. The fountain of his perfect vegetables—in excess of 500 varieties—is a direct honor to Passard. In 2002, Alain acquired a property 138 miles away from the love city and conferred himself to discovering cultivation of food product, as an organic biological system. After massive success, he bought additional two plots in France. He uses healthy and fresh vegetable from his land for food preparation at his kitchen. His stuff never requires refrigeration; this means he serves healthy and fresh menu.

Anne-Sophie Pic

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Anne-Sophie Pic is a daughter of a renowned cook Jacques Pic. She grew up in a family that has much affinity for food making, where she’s living over the family-run eatery Maison Pic in Valence. In spite of the fact that she had no formal catering training, she sees cookery as a part of her life. She couldn’t ignore her passion for gastronomy, so she was tutored by her father when she was 23 years old. In the realm of gastronomy led by men, she’s the fourth lady to accomplish three Michelin stars and has been bestowed with the award for the best female chef in the world.

Hélène Darroze

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Hélène Darroze, formally trained under Alain Ducasse in the wake of leaving college in 1990, owns restaurants in Paris and London. She’s originally from the Aquitaine in the southwestern part of the country, Hélène going back four generations, is from a family of cookery experts. Her blood overflows with the enthusiasm for catering, and her food is known for its rustic, rich, and healthy attributes.

Hubert Keller

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Hubert Keller is known to be one of the first food experts to take the humble burger to an elevated status. It's not regularly you discover a French food expert whose most prevalent skill is an American burger. However, Hubert Keller is definitely not regular; even his vastly acclaimed modern catering is highlighted with Brazilian and Mediterranean flavors.

With his accommodating way and sprightly aura on top of his profession, and his own special Secrets of a Chef TV show, Huber welcomes the role of a celebrity chef. He has cooked for Bill Clinton and his family at the White House, and sometimes, he swaps his apron for a mean show at a certain club. It does not get more rock star than that. He serves the Fleur Burger 5000 in Vegas, a $5,000 high roller burger that includes black truffles and Chateau Petrus 1990.

Michel Guérard

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After completing his training at Mantes-La-Jolie, Michel worked around the capital city for a while in different eateries, in the long run opening Le Pot-au-Feu in Paris. He is recognized for his introduction of the Minceur cooking style, which sets itself as a much lighter and healthier version than the Nouvelle. Moreover, this health-focus style is believed to have been enlivened by his wife Christine Barthelemy as well as her spa in Eugénie-le-Bains. Michel proceeds to effectively promote this new healthy way of food preparation and it has been adopted in various baking classes and other places across the country.


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All the above-mentioned chefs are in one or two ways unique in their ways and have been appreciated all over the universe. These professionals have wonderful cooking experiences and a fountain of incredible inspiration for those who are just coming up in this profession.

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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