Le Foodist Paris Cooking Class

The Dissimilarities Between Cooking and Baking

Read more about our Baking Classes here

Maybe you have heard your mother while trying to bake some pies saying she’s cooking, but you are probably holding your head and wondering; isn't there a difference between cooking and baking? Well, these two methods of meal preparation are actually not the same, and no great chef will tell you differently. Let’s explore these dissimilarities together.

is there a difference between baking and cooking

Cooking Vs Baking

Read more about our Baking Classes here

Without a critical look at the two methods of food preparation, one might think they are synonymous but the truth remains that these two methods are technically different. They are methods that often produce good and really tasty things to eat but the methods employed to arrive at these edibles require different processes.  

When the word oven is mentioned, people’s minds go to baked edibles as though they are the only edibles that could be prepared using such kitchen equipment. There are some regular cooking procedures that might require you prepare some items at a specific heat in the oven and this wouldn't necessarily amount to baking. A ready example is when you are trying to roast some chicken drums.


Read more about our Baking Classes here

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Cooking is a method that allows for lots of substitution and improvisation. You might not need a general note on the specific amount of spices you need to add to make a pot of soup as all that is required is a general idea unless in some special cases where top culinary skills are required. Just a pinch of salt here, a slice of tomatoes there could make up a nice cooked meal and at other technical instances where a particular dish requires garlic and it all seems you are short on garlic, shallots would easily do the trick and the whole outcome would look perfect. 

Baking is, however, a method that requires precision in its recipe application. There is usually a standard measure of substances which you must put together to achieve a desirable result and it requires a total mastery of temperature and how it could affect the interaction between ingredients. Also, there is almost no room for substitution. You cannot, for instance when making cookies, substitute margarine for butter, without affecting their flavor. 

Science Vs Art

Read more about our Baking Classes here

Cooking is a form of art where you are not bounded by limitations but you can express your skills as far as you want by combining and substituting different edibles. You are permitted to turn errors into something different and also to bring variation into a typical dish to enhance flavor and taste.

Baking, on the other hand, is a science; you are bound by its law. It is almost like you are following a set of experimental protocol where attention must be given to measurement, temperature and quality of the items required and a non-compliance with the full recipes involved by lead to a result totally not desirable. That is why good cooks might not make good bakers and vice versa because the two methods are just different.

So, being a good baker doesn't necessarily turn you into a chef. But if you are a good baker and you want to be regarded as a good cook as well, it is cooking tips.

For more information, please refer to the following pages:


Read more about our Baking Classes here

  1. Is baking a healthy cooking method?

Baking is generally considered a healthy cooking method because it does not require large amounts of unhealthy additives like fat or salt. While some recipes call for a pan to be lightly greased, the amount of oil added is typically quite minimal, particularly when compared to less healthy cooking methods such as frying. Additionally, baking does not typically cause nutrients in a dish to break down, which further contributes to its reputation as a healthy cooking method.

However, whether or not your baked dish is healthy ultimately depends on the ingredients that you use. A baked vegetable dish with simple ingredients like Brussels sprouts, carrots, and various herbs and spices is certainly healthy, but pastry goods like butter croissants or sugar cookies are high in fat, sugar, and overall calorie content. Therefore, while baking may generally be a healthy way to cook, whether or not your baked dish is healthy ultimately depends on your primary ingredients.

  1. Will boiling food kill bacteria?

Because boiling food involves subjecting it to temperatures above 200 °F, boiling can kill the majority of bacteria in food that is harmful to humans. Most harmful bacteria cannot survive temperatures above 120 °F, which is why cooks must ensure that the internal temperature of sensitive foods, such as chicken breasts, is well above 120 °F for a sustained period of time. However, boiling is not the only way to heat food to kill bacteria, and it may alter the taste or texture of certain foods.

You should also keep in mind that although boiling food does kill the majority of harmful bacteria in it, you should not use boiling as a method of decontaminating spoiled food. For example, a common cooking myth suggests that you can boil chicken to make it safe to eat even if it is spoiled. While boiling spoiled chicken may eliminate most of the harmful bacteria, the chicken’s texture and taste will be unpleasant, and certain harmful bacteria may not be killed.

  1. What is the difference between roasting and baking in an oven?

While roasting and baking are both common cooking methods that use an oven, they are fundamentally different in many ways. First, roasting and baking involve different food structures. When you have a food that is already solid, such as meat, you will roast it, but baking involves using heat to solidify a liquid batter. Roasting and baking also use different temperatures to achieve their end results. Roasting typically uses a high temperature - think 400°F or more - to brown vegetables or meats. Baking, on the other hand, uses lower temperatures to allow a batter to solidify and cook slowly. Additionally, you will typically add fat (such as oil or butter) to the outside of foods that you roast, but foods that you bake will already contain fat within the mixture. In general, you will roast foods like brisket, asparagus, or potatoes, but you will bake foods like cakes, muffins, or biscuits.

  1. Can you cook multiple things in an oven at the same time?

You can certainly cook multiple dishes in an oven at the same time, but you will need to keep a few issues in mind, such as cook time, temperature, and flavor. First, when you cook multiple dishes in the same oven, you will need to add cook time since your oven will take roughly 15% longer to cook multiple dishes at once. Second, you will need to be aware of temperature-sensitive dishes (namely baked goods), so you may need to cook at a lower temperature to ensure that a more temperature-sensitive dish does not burn. Finally, you must also be careful not to not cook dishes with opposing flavors together. A brisket and oven-roasted garlic potatoes may blend flavors wonderfully, but garlicky potatoes will not go well with a sweet baked good like a cake. You must therefore ensure that you do not accidentally create contrasting flavors in a dish by baking it with a dish with pungent flavors.

  1. What is the best cooking method for vegetables?

Although how you cook your vegetables will depend on your skills, personal preferences, and the needs of your particular dish, the best ways to cook vegetables typically involve steaming or sauteing. Steaming is generally considered the healthiest way to eat vegetables since it involves minimal additives while maintaining the vegetables’ nutrient content. Cooking vegetables in water, as in boiling or blanching, results in loss of nutrients, so steaming vegetables achieves the same effect while maintaining their nutritional content. If you want your veggies to be more flavorful, however, then you should saute them with a small amount of fat. Although it seems counterintuitive, adding a bit of butter or oil to your vegetables prior to sauteing them can help your body more easily break down fat-soluble nutrients like vitamin D. Adding fat and seasoning will also enhance the taste of your veggies, making you more likely to eat more of them.

  1. How do you make oven-baked french fries?

Cooking oven-baked french fries is quite simple. First, you will peel your potatoes and cut them into the thickness of your choice. Then, once you have cut your fries, you will toss them in oil, salt, and other seasonings added to taste. Next, you will take out a baking sheet and coat it in cooking spray, and you will then spread your fries across the sheet in a single layer. You will then bake your fries at 450 degrees Fahrenheit until they are crisp and golden brown. For standard fries, you will typically allow them to bake for 35 minutes, but you will need to add time if they are thicker or reduce your baking time if they are smaller. After you remove your fries from the oven, you will remove them from the pan with a spatula and place them in a bowl to season them. Finally, you must allow them to cool before you serve them.

  1. Will you learn to bake in a cooking class?

Baking is one of many forms of cooking, but you may not learn much about it in a cooking class. Cooking classes cover a variety of basic cooking methods, such as frying, sautéing, boiling, and roasting, and the techniques that you learn may depend on the meal that your instructor teaches you how to make. For instance, if you learn to make pasta bolognese in a cooking class, then your instructor will likely teach you how to boil pasta, simmer sauce, chop onion and meat, and mix ingredients – not bake. However, dishes like casseroles or oven-baked vegetables require baking skills, so you will learn to bake in those classes. If you are taking a single-day or short-term cooking class, then you may not learn how to bake, but you will likely learn the basics in a longer course. However, if you want to learn how to bake, you should take a class solely dedicated to baking.

  1. Why is baking considered a science while cooking is considered an art?

Cooking and baking have often been compared to art and science due to the creativity, improvisation, and precision involved in these culinary forms. Cooking is often compared to art because it involves plenty of creativity and improvisation. In order to create the best recipes, they must creatively use local and seasonal flavors to make their dishes, and while cooking, they must make small changes to ensure that the dish tastes perfect. Cooking is thus considered art because the process and results can vary, but we know what is good cooking and what is not. Baking, on the other hand, involves greater precision, which is why it is considered a science. Bakers must often follow recipes to the letter, and changes to the recipe must be made with the overall composition of the baked good in mind. Like science, processes in baking are exact, and changes to any recipe are formulaic.

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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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