Le Foodist Paris Cooking Class

Paris and The Wonders of Cooking Classes

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Paris holds many wonders within the French Culture. From their wonderful architecture to the amazingly rich history, it’s no wonder that Paris turns heads whenever one starts to mention France and where to visit. But, what many don’t consider is the variety and in-depth art of cuisine in French cooking.

Sure, most of us are aware of their exquisite wine selection, considered one of the best in the world. Within the French Culinary scene, chefs work tirelessly in restaurants to bring about some of the most intricate dishes for many far and wide to enjoy.

Take a Trip of Authentic Pleasures

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For many, just tasting French food is good enough, but some want to take it further. They want to fully understand and experience the food and wine of Paris, France every day, not just when visiting. For those people, culinary classes are offered throughout Paris to anyone that wishes to learn. With cooking classes offered for everyone and classes offered by renowned chefs and heads of staff, it is a treat that can’t be seen every day.

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Difference Between Online vs. In Person

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So, many people may be wondering, “Why not just look up recipes online?” Although this may be a very calm question asked in this day and age, there are just some things that you just don’t figure out from reading a recipe online. Although you can get the main gist of a recipe from an online website, you don’t get the full understanding that may be needed than when you're standing in the same room. It is so important to have a cooking class from a school because you get to acquire insight into the little details that make the dish splendid. Primarily, the things taught by a chef that many people can’t pick up on just by watching are specific techniques that are used for different dishes. French culinary schools even have classes meant specifically for teaching certain techniques to integrate ingredients a specific way.

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Classes Help Teach Attention to Detail

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In essence, the importance of a class comes from being given information that may not be readily available in the open world, as some of the knowledge cannot be so simply taught by word of mouth. It must be shown and taught by hand, especially when in Paris, as the techniques within France can be extremely intricate at points. From cooking with a wide variety of special wine to the actual preparation time some dishes take. Paris is known for having some of the most detailed oriented plates ever, as food is typically presented and position in a very eye-catching manner. A real French dish is not as simple as one or two ingredients. A culinary school in Paris is one of the most effective ways many English chefs incorporate French cuisine into their menus.

The final difference between learning online versus in person is the time it takes to get a question answered. If you are to learn how to cook a certain way, such as a French technique, questions will come up. Attempting to get these questions can be difficult while looking for the answer online, as it can take time to find out what is true and what is false. But, if you were to attend a class, you could talk to a chef, on the spot, and get an answer that you might need. An answer given quickly helps more than searching all over the place.

What Exactly will Happen in a Paris Cooking Class?

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Many people don’t know what to expect when getting the opportunity to join a cooking class. Most cooking classes are held in specific schools that deal with different types of cooking styles. Depending on the style and way that the class is taught, you can expect the class to be pretty large. Many schools tend to have easy classes that are geared specifically towards beginners, as well as travelers just looking for new skills to pick up. These classes will usually be taught in English, but won’t be focused on English techniques. Instead, they will have variations and integrated techniques that you can learn along the way. Although there will be other people in the classes, they will have periods where you can gain firsthand knowledge, one on one from the chef, allowing you to have personal coaching from an experienced person in the kitchen.

Techniques will not be the primary lessons, though. Culinary classes in Paris schools will be a more generalized course. Although there might be specialized classes for different production methods at the school, the generalized classes will usually cover such things like how to cook a few select dishes, and the methods to make them. They will help to give a variety of information and knowledge to people so that they feel like they are getting their money’s worth.

Think You're Ready for Advanced Classes?

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More advanced classes take much longer periods of time. These classes that are in the advanced courses of schools tend to take a much longer time commitment and cover multiple different areas, as well as being taught by several different chefs. In Paris, France, you would be learning from some of the top of the top in the culinary world, as well as seeing what Paris has to offer.

Something to expect is that the cooking classes in Paris, or anywhere else for that matter, will not be primarily sitting in a seat while someone lectures. These classes will be more hands-on, meaning you will be doing a lot of moving around and using your hands, while being on your feet. As such, dressing appropriately for the occasion is good. No open-toed shoes are a smart way to go, as a golden rule of thumb.

What will I gain from taking a Cooking Class?

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Although we have already touched on this subject to an extent already, it is worth going over once again. Culinary classes around the world all offer different things, but a French culinary school in Paris, as well as most of France, focus on true French cuisine dishes, and how to prepare them in the proper ways. The wealth of knowledge that you will learn from culinary classes is indispensable. They will teach everything from regular cooking and techniques to presentation and styling the dishes for serving.

They will also teach proper etiquette when dealing with certain developments while attempting to work in the kitchen. From problems like not having a certain ingredient to accidentally over-adding a certain ingredient and how to remedy the problem without scrapping the entire meal, these questions can be answered by someone that has most likely gone through the exact same problem. Another great thing that can be learned from culinary sessions is how to pair different foods to different wines.

Within the French cuisine, many foods tend to work with different wine. But, they all have their individual pairings. As such, knowing which dishes go with which wines can help to enhance a delicious arrangement further. For instance, red wines tend to go well with different meat dishes. White wines tend to go easier with more vegetable and softer dishes. Complementing dishes allow for an enhanced experience, which you can gain from the classes.

Can You Read Instructions Correctly?

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One of the most important skills that will be taught in classes is how to read a recipe that is given to you. You also develop an understanding that the recipe given is not always the one thing you have to go off of. Recipes will always be more like guidelines to get you started as they are just the culmination of information at that given time. As such, having a recipe is considered to be a good baseline to work off of, but it is not absolute. As talked about previously, always being able to adapt is something that is essential as a chef. When attempting to cook and make cuisine, accidents occur, and sometimes the recipe cannot be completed directly. As such, many classes will teach you how to compensate and change up a recipe to still produce the outcome of a proper dish.

Never Assume You Know Better than Your Instructor

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Lastly, one thing to remember is to go into the classes with a clear mind. No matter how good you may think your skills are, one of the unspoken rules within a culinary class is to not go against the teacher. This is for one of two reasons: one, you are the student, and they are the teacher. Two, you are there to take away valuable lessons about something that you do not have as much knowledge in. Sometimes, the new information clashes with the old.

As such, do not go in with a full bowl already. Instead, the best way to take a class is to always go in ready to be educated and experience new things. This way, you can integrate the new techniques, dishes, and stylizations into your own cooking at your own pace. Cooking isn’t perfected in a day but is perfected over multiple years of hard work, research, and innovation. With that in mind, take everything with a grain of salt, and be ready to enjoy food from Paris and grow your mind.

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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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