Cook’n with Class: A Taste of France in My Own Kitchen

Cook’n with Class: A Taste of France in My Own Kitchen

During the Covid-19 pandemic, chances are that now, more than ever, you have been faced with the challenge of cooking at home. Stuck in my house and turning to my kitchen for comfort, I realised that this is actually a great time to expand my culinary repertoire and realize my dream of having a real French cooking school experience.

Facing the harsh reality that a trip to France is out of the question right now, I decided to do the next best thing and take a trip to France online in the comfort of my own kitchen with a hands-on French cooking lesson from the French cooking school, Cook’n With Class.

Cook'n with Class

Credit © Cook’n with Class

Directly from France, my virtual class was taught by the Chef/Owner of Cook’n With Class, Eric Fraudeau, who has over thirty years of culinary experience, including working in the kitchens of Alain Ducasse and Joël Robuchon. With the objective of sharing French culture through food, Chef Eric’s enthusiasm and immense knowledge kept me completely engaged from start to finish as we created an incredibly delicious meal.

To begin my virtual French experience, I faced the difficult task of choosing from a range of wonderful course options (both group and private), including:

*An online bread baking class concentrating on two of the most popular types of French bread – la baguette and le brioche

*French Bistro favorites such as pâtés and terrines

*French Desserts including delectable madeleines, financiers and sablés au chocolat

*French Tapas Provençal Style – a perfect way to entertain with the sacred French ritual of the apero – cocktail nibbles like falafel, and tapenade before dinner.

Cook'n with Class

Credit © Cook’n with Class

I chose the three-hour “Taste of France” class in the hope of honing my culinary technique and exploring Paris through my tastebuds. Dishes included pissaladière, with tomatoes confit and a black olive tapenade, codfish steamed in spinach leaves with basil ratatouille and a white wine cream sauce, topped off by Chef Eric’s chocolate mousse and cookies.

After booking online, I immediately received a customised grocery shopping list including all necessary ingredients (including substitutions), a list of cooking tools needed, instructions for pre-class preparation and setting up my work space, and detailed recipes so that I was prepared to chop, mix and bake like a true chef.

At the designated time, I donned my apron, connected to the Zoom link and was all set. Chef Eric’s step-by-step instructions were clear and concise. He was not only a kind and patient teacher, but also quite personable, regaling us with interesting anecdotes that illustrated his love of French food. I appreciated the focus on techniques that added an incredible burst of texture and flavour and can be applied to any cooking adventure, and also the ease with which he made the class interesting and accessible to all skill levels.

The hours flew by! The end result was a truly excellent meal, both pleasing to the eye and full of flavour. Learning the intricacies of fine cooking provided me with a unique experience.

If you are fortunate to travel to France, Cook’n With Class offers a wide range of hands-on French cooking classes in Paris and Uzès (Southern France), taught in English by professional chefs. In small groups (no more that 6-10 people), everyone has a chance to participate and have fun.

Enjoying good food is a great way to celebrate life – especially during the pandemic. Through this culinary experience I was able to relish French culture. I still dream of sauntering along the Seine and walking through the Jardin des Tuileries while tearing into a crusty baguette. But, for now my cravings are satisfied with the mouth-watering “Taste of France” I created in my own kitchen.

To experience the online Cook’n With Class courses, book your virtual cooking lesson today through this link.

Cook’n With Class – Locations

Paris Montmartre


Cook'n with Class

Credit © Cook’n with Class

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A native of Los Angeles, Barbara is the France Today Ambassador for L.A. She graduated from UCLA with a BA degree in Political Science, and also received her JD degree from UCLA School of Law. While at UCLA, she spent her junior year in Grenoble, France. From that time on, she has been an avid and passionate Francophile. She has visited almost every region in France, and still pursues French language courses in Los Angeles. She has an apartment in Paris and continues to visit France every year.

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