Classic French Cooking Classes
Studying classic French cuisine creates a matrix of understanding of culinary fundamentals. Since the 17th century, chefs in France have made enormous contributions to the classification of knowledge, recipes, cooking techniques, and kitchen logistics that we still use today. Each class in this unit is valuable not for the recipes, but for the understanding of how ingredients work with each other, what effects they have on each other, and how their properties change when affected by heat and cold over different intervals of time. In each class, we will take a respectful look at classical methods and their modern reading.
Learn how to choose, use, and care for your chef’s knife. We will practice culinary cuts — batonnet and large dice, alumette and medium dice, julienne and small dice, brunoise, mince, chiffonade. Out of cut onions, potatoes, carrots, zucchini, eggplants, sweet peppers, etc., we will make Pistou Soup, Ratatouille, and Tarte á l’Oignon to enjoy at the end of the class.
French Sauces | Tomato
A class for those who want to understand tomato sauces and diversify their home cooking professionally! We will discuss the formula for success and learn how to derive our sauces from this formula by adding whatever the universe sends to our fridge. We’ll make a basic Mother Sauce, NOT a vegetarian version — with salted pork belly and in chicken broth, which will significantly enrich the flavor bouquet of the result. And then we’ll use it to make two derivative sauces, Sauce Creole, Spanish Sauce, and Sauce Milanese.
French Sauces | Velute
Veloute makes many different derivative sauces and soups, and it is a medium for gentle cooking of lean proteins. Master veloute and create beautiful things in your kitchen without peeking at recipes. Veloute is based on white (light) vegetables, poultry, meat, or fish broths and thickened with blond roux. We’ll make chicken and mushroom Velute Supreme and cook chicken breast in it. You will learn how to make silky low-calorie soups with shrimp and smoked fish based on Allemande, a derivative sauce with yolks and cream.
French Sauces | Bechamel
Bechamel sauce is made with a blond roux and milk. It is known as Besciamella in Italy, Besamel in Greece, or White Sauce in the U.S. Bechamel is used in many dishes as a base, a building block, and a binding ingredient — sauces, soups, lasagnas, moussakas, pizzas, pies, casseroles, souffle, and more. We will make Mornay Sauce and Cauliflower Au Gratin, classic Cream of Mushroom soup, and Smoked Salmon souffle.
French Sauces | Hot and Cold Emulsion
Become confident when making Hollandaise (hot melted butter) family or Mayonnaise (cold vegetable oil) family sauces. Emulsify egg yolks safely and properly, without overcooking them. Get to know how to transform the basic recipes into variations.
French Sauces | Brown Stock Reduction
A hands-on cooking class where you will learn the practical technique of cooking a perfect veal brown stock and reducing it to silky smooth concentrate, demi-glace. A basic classic recipe and step-by-step instructions will be provided so that you can make demi-glace and use it in everyday cooking at home for stocks, broths, and sauces.
French Soups | Onion, Mushroom, Bisque
Learning how to make Escoffier’s Cream of Mushroom Soup will open the door into the world of veloute-based soups and souses. Bisque is a thick creamy soup that is most often prepared with lobster, crab, shrimp, or crayfish. Learning a classic recipe to serve this soup as an appetizer or as a comforting soup for an elegant dinner. Soupe à l’oignon is made of caramelized onions cooked in stock or water and often served gratinéed with croutons and cheese on top. Learn how to properly caramelize onions without a lot of fat.
French Omelettes | Classic, Mère Poulard, Crespéou, Vallée d'Auge Omelette
A crespéou is a savory Provençal egg dish made up of different colored omelets with herbs and vegetables stacked in layers. The dish can be eaten cold, sometimes accompanied by a tomato coulis. Unlike the classic omelets served as a main dish, the Vallée d'Auge omelette, a traditional Norman dessert, is sweet, rich in cream, and garnished with apples. It is flambéed with Calvados before being served while still hot.
Souffle is a hallmark of French culinary tradition. A soufflé is a baked dish with a flavored Bechamel base mixed with beaten egg whites aka meringue. It can be served as a sweet dessert, or a savory meal with cheese, vegetables, or meat. For sweet souffle, egg whites are bitten with sugar. They can be served with crème anglaise, fruit/berry sauce, or ice cream on the side. During the class, you will learn how to make a bechamel sauce and stable whipped egg whites with and without sugar for Smoked Salmon Souffle, Passion Fruit Souffle, and Souffle Cheesecake.
How to Debone a Chicken | Gallatin, Ballotine
Learn the practical technique of removing bones from a chicken, as well as all you need to know about various stuffing and cooking options. Several recipes will be provided so that you can cook and serve your chicken at home.
French Crepes | Buckwheat Galette, Crepe Suzette, etc.
Wheat French crepes are delicious hot or cold, plain or stuffed, served with sweet or savory foods the same day or 3 days later. After you learn how to make plain crepes, master one of the most delicious French desserts — Crepes Susette. Famous Galette de Bretagne is a buckwheat crepe from Brittany, France. Make an adapted to our local ingredients version — a gluten-free delicacy for daily savory meals.