Le Foodist Paris Cooking Class



Taste of Food on an Electric Grill

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One reason why flavors of products are different in other countries is due to the equipment that people use to make their meals. In fact, the flavors of meat and other products can quickly be changed by the type of grill that they use. 

how does food taste on an electric grill

Short Description

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In short, this is not the best way to experience the most authentic flavor in your meals. Grilled products can be easily recognized by the look of the finished product. However, the type of grill you use can affect the eating experience. The absence of flame makes this type of device produce something a bit different than what you might traditionally expect with one of the other types of grills. 

Learn New Techniques

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A great way to learn more about how flavors change and vary depending on the equipment you use is to take cooking classes. This art can be very difficult to comprehend when it comes to factors such as the type of equipment you use to prepare meals. 

For more information on an event like this, here is what you should expect in a class like this. This is a great way to experience some of these differences first-hand with the help of an expert. 

For instance, you can improve the taste using an electric grill, even though you cannot have the smoke and charcoal aromas:

  • Marinate your meats. Well spiced and marinated meat will enhance the flavors you are looking for in grilled edibles. 
  • Heat up your surface for about 5 minutes and make sure it is completely dry. This way the food will produce a sizzling sound as well as some smoke when you place it on the contact surface. 
  • Pour just a little amount of oil, after 5 minutes into the process, but not directly on the grill, especially if it's made of olives. This will allow you to flip whatever you are cooking easier. 
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A quick Comparison of Grills

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  • Benefits of Electric:

This type of grilling is easy to heat up as long as you have a reliable power source. This type of grill is great if you want to cook from your kitchen without the risk of starting a fire. It can also be easily turn on and get to the optimum temperature within a short waiting period

  • Benefits of Charcoal:

Although these types of grills are typically a tad harder to get warmed up, they don't require any sort of outside resource. This grill is typically placed in an outdoor setting, on camping, or anywhere where you are far away from civilization. These also produce one of the most traditional smoky flavors for your meals. 

  • Benefits of Gas:

Gas grilling is a common preparation method you will see at local barbeques and festivals. It is easy to spark up these products and have them ready in about 10 minutes or less, producing quite traditional flavors. 

Additional Information About Flavoring

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In reality, eating isn't the same for everyone. This is what causes controversy in the first place about the different methods for preparation and ingredients we use for the best results. The day that we all get along about which products are the best, the healthiest, and the tastiest may never come.

One aspect in particular which can be particularly controversial is adding peppers to our meals. If you live with someone who loves spicy peppers, you might be constantly be asking them to tone down on the spice. If this is you, here is how you can eliminate the spiciness in your meal.

For more information, please refer to the following pages:

FAQ

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  1. Which is better, charcoal or electric grill?

Whether you should use an electric or charcoal grill will depend on your grilling needs. Electric grills are best for those who do not wish to go through the laborious process of setting up a charcoal grill. If you live in an apartment with limited outdoor space, then an electric grill is preferable since it can be safely used indoors. Additionally, most electric grills take just minutes to heat up, so you will not need to wait long to cook your meal. However, electric grills do not provide the same grilling experience as charcoal grills, and you do not get the same flavor from electric grills as you do with charcoal ones. Charcoal grills, on the other hand, give a distinct smoked flavor to the foods that you grill on them, which makes them the preferred grill for most cooks. Although your food may take longer to cook on a charcoal grill, most people prefer them to get a more authentic flavor.

  1. Is it healthier to grill with gas or charcoal?

Gas grills are generally healthier than charcoal grills due to the carcinogens that charcoal grills produce. First, many people use petroleum-based lighter fluid to light their charcoal grills, which leaves petroleum residue on your food and in the air you breathe. Second, charcoal produces more smoke than gas, so when you are around a charcoal grill, you inhale more carcinogenic smoke. Finally, charcoal grills are also known to produce a handful of other carcinogens, particularly if you are cooking at a very high temperature. Because gas grills do not need to be lit, do not produce smoke, and have temperature controls to avoid producing carcinogens, they are often considered healthier than charcoal grills. However, if you prefer to use charcoal, then you can reduce negative health impacts by using alternative lighter fluids, cooking in an open space, marinating your ingredients, and adequately trimming fatty meats before grilling.

  1. How does an electric barbecue work?

Electric barbeques cook food by using heat generated by electricity instead of gas or charcoal. Because electric grills do not generate fumes or smoke, they are the only type of grill that can be safely used indoors, and they are also considered more environmentally friendly than gas or charcoal grills since they use less energy and pollute less than other grill types. When you turn on an electric grill, you activate heating elements embedded in or below heat-conductive material, such as ceramic or metal, and once the grill has fully pre-heated, you place your food on the grill and cook using the heated plates. From there, you will cook your food on an electric grill much like you would on any other grill. Most electric grills will also have drip pans to catch the fat or grease that melts off of your food as you cook it, and many electric grills are small enough to place on a countertop or table.

  1. How do you cook a steak on an electric grill?

Cooking a steak on an electric grill is a great way to make a delicious, juicy steak without the effort of using conventional gas or charcoal grills. To begin, you should first prepare your steak as you would normally. Once your steak is ready, you must then preheat your electric grill. Typically, you will set your grill to either 425˚F or Sear, and you will preheat for roughly 10-15 minutes or until your grill’s ready light turns on. After the grill has been preheated, you will then cook your steak on the grill. Your cooking time will depend on the type of steak you are cooking and its thickness, and you should always take the temperature of your steak prior to removing it from the grill to ensure that it is fully cooked. Finally, once the steak is fully cooked, you should remove the steak from the grill and let it rest, and then you can enjoy your steak.

  1. Is plancha an electric grill?

Although a plancha is similar to an electric grill or griddle, there are distinct differences between a plancha and a standard electric grill. A plancha is a grill that is meant to reach extremely high temperatures that typically range from 550-700°F, and some planchas can reach temperatures as high as 800°F. An electric grill, on the other hand, will typically max out at around 575°F. This is partially due to the fact that planchas generally use a thinner piece of metal that is ⅝” or 3⁄4” thick while grills use a standard 1” thick plate. Planchas are also manually controlled - meaning that a cook will adjust the burners below the grill to achieve the desired temperature - while grills will usually automatically adjust to a set temperature. This manual control also allows you to cook different items at different temperatures, whereas a typical electric grill has one uniform temperature throughout the grill.

  1. Can you cook paella on an electric grill?

In general, you should avoid cooking paella on an electric grill. Paella must be cooked in a large, deep pan that is typically 12 inches in diameter and at least 2.5 inches deep. Traditional paella pans are not flat on the bottom, so on an electric grill or stovetop, you may not be able to evenly heat the pan, which is required for cooking paella. Additionally, if you are cooking paella for a larger group, you will need a pan that is much larger.

Instead, you should use an electric skillet to cook your paella. The best electric skillets for cooking paella are often 15-16 inches and round or oval in shape, and they should include a tempered glass lid with a venting hole and metal rim; a temperature control unit; and handles for carrying. You should also get an electric skillet that is submersible in water or dishwasher-safe so that you can clean it easily after use.

  1. Can you put aluminum foil on an electric grill?

Yes, you can safely put aluminum foil on an electric grill. Like traditional grills, electric grills use heated surfaces to cook food, and you can use aluminum foil on them as you would on any other grill. Aluminum foil can be useful on electric grills if you wish to reduce mess or marinate a dish while cooking. For instance, if you wish to grill asparagus in oil, seasoning, and garlic, then you may wrap that asparagus in aluminum foil to marinate it in those flavors as it cooks. Aluminum foil can also keep juices contained, making cleanup much easier. However, if you do choose to cook with aluminum foil on an electric grill, then you will not be able to achieve grill marks on your meat or other ingredients. Additionally, you should not use aluminum foil to clean your grill or to line your grease tray to avoid damage to the grill and possible grease fires.

  1. How long should you preheat your electric grill for?

In general, you should typically preheat your electric grill for 15 minutes prior to cooking. However, this can change based on what you are cooking and the type of grill that you are using. For instance, if you are trying to slow-cook meat on your electric grill, then you will need to heat your grill for a shorter period of time – generally 10 minutes – to avoid overheating. Likewise, if you are cooking at higher temperatures, then you may need to wait longer for your grill to fully preheat. Additionally, preheating time may depend on the type of electric grill that you are using. Older grills may take longer to preheat than newer ones, and some grill may include features that speed up preheating. For best results, you should generally read your electric grill’s user manual to determine preheating times, and you should use thermometers and your judgement to determine whether an electric grill is adequately preheated.

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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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