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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.