Le Foodist Paris Cooking Class



Top 10 Foods You Have to Try in Paris

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If you want to visit the City of Light, half of the fun is the food. Although you will undoubtedly spend some time at the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and Versailles, the cuisine you get to try will be where a good portion of your memories are made. Of course, another great thing is to talk and learn from the locals. Everybody has a story and worldview from which you can learn from.

10 foods you have to try in Paris

10 Best Food Products in Paris

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As a foreigner, it can be overwhelming to learn where to buy food. Unless you plan to spend over a month here, it will be difficult to fully experience the diverse cuisine and culture that this capital and the surrounding country of France provides. For this reason, this list was created to help you narrow down the countless choices available.

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Parisian Wine

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Although wine doesn’t quite qualify as food, it is a great addition to any meal. Here is a great page that provides plenty of information on how a wine tasting event works before attending and getting lost in the language. Unless, of course, you speak French.

10 Best Foods in Paris

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Putting all this aside, let’s go ahead and break down the top 10 cuisine options. Each of the following was handpicked carefully and selected from the diverse range of cuisine options in this wonderful country. This list should be followed by anybody who is in Mollière's country for a short time and wants to get the most out of their time here. 

10. Pastries

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Pastries are one of the best delicacies available here. They can be eaten for breakfast, goûter, and dessert. They can come with a wide variety of ingredients, satisfying anybody's appetite. One of our favorites is the pain au chocolat (chocolate bread). Although this is an excellent pastry, many people might prefer one with less sugar like the classic croissant recipe with plenty of butter. 

For breakfast, make sure to try a pain aux raisins. However, keep in mind that there are countless other pastries that you need to try. If you only have a day or so to explore them, the viennoiseries include other wonderful options in addition to the others above: brioche, chausson aux pommes, chouquettes (usually eaten by 10), palmier, pain au lait... These wonderful breakfast snacks are made with sugar, cream, milk, eggs, and butter all mixed together and baked perfectly. 

9. Crêpes

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Crêpes are one of the products that you simply cannot miss when you come here. Coming to Paris and not eating a crêpe is like visiting New York City and missing the Statue of Liberty. Okay, maybe this is a bad comparison, but the idea is probably still clear. If you come here, you need to eat a crêpe. Since they are so cheap and widely available, they will be difficult to miss. 

Although this is a pastry product, it is unique and should be tried in particular. There are many different crêpes for you to sample. For starters, any fan of Nutella needs to eat a Nutella Crêpe. These can be found in many different locations and are a wonderful dessert recipe. Another crêpe you might like to try is the au beurre-sucre (with butter and sugar). 

8. Chariot de Fromage

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Technically cheese is supposed to be eaten after the main course here. In fact, many people will choose to have it instead of dessert. As we all know, dessert is the part of the meal where we really fill our stomachs up and leave the dinner table stuffed and ready to take a nap. If you are a dessert connoisseur, you need to try a chariot de fromage.

The chariot de fromage is a trolley full of different cheeses that are presented to you in most restaurants after your meal. If you like the idea of eating several varieties, this is a must-have. This is a great way to sample the many different kinds that are available here.  

7. Macarons

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Macarons are one of the premier sweet treats that you will find in France. Made with egg whites, sugar, almonds, and cream in the middle, this is France's equivalent of the Oreo. However, since macarons are typically handmade and served fresh, these two types of snacks simply cannot be adequately compared. You can find macarons in many pastry shops.

There are many different flavors that these treats can come in: blueberry, caramel, chocolate, coconut, lemon, orange, pistachio, vanilla, you name it. The plethora of different possible ingredients and varieties truly make them a delicacy, but the original base is made with crushed almonds. You simply cannot come here without trying these out. They can be purchased in packages which allow you to sample the ones that you wish to try. One good idea is to purchase them in bulk and store them in a refrigerator.

6. Brandade de Morue

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This dish is a specialty here that combines cod and olive oil, mixed with either bread or potatoes served in a dish to mix everything together. This recipe is so good that it has caught the attention of the world, with many different variations of it appearing throughout Spain, Italy, and many other countries. However, this is definitely the best place to try this dish if you want the original dish prepared in a classic manner.

Brandade de Morue is a common dish that you will find is many different restaurants here. It can typically be served with pepper, garlic, and your choice of extra seasoning. It is one of the dishes that everybody needs to try if they wish to immerse into the wonderful cuisine here.

5. Couscous

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This North African dish became adopted and perfected to the point where it is now a traditional dish here. Perhaps it is because of the past history in places like Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, resulting in a mix of both cultures in France.

Although this dish is most predominant in these countries, local chefs can make a mean dish of couscous. If you want to have our rendition of a classic African dish, this is arguably one of the best places to do so.

4. French Onion Soup

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Everybody has probably heard of this one since it can be found in most countries and continents. The history of this classic dish dates all the way back to the Roman Empire and is still just as alive and popular today as it has ever been. This soup is truly a classic which everybody needs to eat in its place of origin.

This is a delicious starter entrée which can also be served in a large bowl if you prefer to eat plenty. It is typically served with beef broth, onions, and cheese melted into the broth for added flavor. For some extra crunch, people might also choose to add croutons. Others might instead place a larger piece of bread into the broth.

3. Steak Frites

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Sometimes a simple dish with steak and fries sounds much more appetizing than an elaborate recipe with plenty of different ingredients and seasonings. Steak frites is one of the most popular dishes served here, coming with beef shredded meat cooked to your liking, with French fries on the side.

Although you might choose to skip this one since you can find a similar dish in your home country, the rendition cooked by local chefs with succulent local varieties of meat is definitely worth trying if you have the extra time.

2. Escargots

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This is a unique starter that needs to be tried by everyone who comes here. The appetizer is so old that it has at least been eaten since ancient Roman times. However, since it can be very difficult to harvest enough land snails to fill your stomach, this dish was classically reserved for royalty. Thankfully, the common people now have free access to escargots as long as they are willing to pay the money.

The sauce that comes with this starter appetizer is cooked with butter and served with a savory garlic cream which is low in fat and calories. As a result, this is a reasonably healthy dish which is also very tasty and great as a starter dish. If you want to live like ancient royalty, even if it’s for a few minutes, this is the appetizer to try.

1. Baguette

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We simply couldn’t list the top 10 delicacies without mentioning baguettes. Although this bread product might seem simple, the local bakeries and chefs make this product with such expertise and creativity that tourists are often impressed by the quality and number of varieties in cereals and seeds that are used. 

Baguettes can be eaten by themselves or can be made into a sandwich. In fact, they can be served with just about any sort of dish successfully. Due to the long history of baguettes connecting to France, and the plethora of different ways to eat them, this is arguably the top food that everybody needs to try at least once when they visit.

For more information, please refer to the following pages:

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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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