Le Cordon Bleu Paris
The most memorable, entertaining and delicious cooking lesson I have encountered and one of my most precious souvenirs of Paris.
Don the starched white apron with the world famous blue insignia
Hang the tea towel from your waist, as instructed
Stand at attention next to your cooking station
Ensure you shout out ‘oui chef’!
AND most of all, enjoy the culinary experience.
Le Cordon Bleu is not your average cooking class, it is a Paris institution dating back to 1895.
Its early and humble beginnings could be likened to a Condé Nast food magazine marketing exercise of today.
The magazine, La Cuisinière Cordon Bleu once offered cooking classes as a special offer to its subscribers with some of France’s best chefs.
Eventually it became an élite cooking school.
With the onset of World War II, sadly it closed its doors, only to be re-established by Madame Elisabeth Brassart after the war.
Madame Elisabeth Brassart continued to run Le Cordon Bleu until her retirement in 1987 at the age of 87. Afterwards she sold it to one of the Cointreau family, André Cointreau.
Although 20,000 students a year train to be chefs at this establishment, despite the passage of time and change of ownership, the tradition lives on.
And now novices with a passion for food and cooking can also rub shoulders with great chefs and our chefs of the future, learning culinary tips in one of the most famous cooking schools in the world.
Whether a demonstration to observe chefs at work, a half day cooking class or a full week, depending on your time, budget and interest, Le Cordon Bleu is available to the professional and food lover alike.
The half day class I attended; ‘Cooking For Friends’, began with a demonstration and tasting.
After a break, we were lead into a large kitchen.
It was here that we were instructed to slip on our long white aprons, with the iconic blue insignia and hang our crisp white tea towels from our waist, I was already excited and the action was yet to begin.
Each member of my small group were allocated individual stations, complete with the utensils and generous portions of ingredience that were required for the course.
Chefs and student cooks hovered about, ensuring we were on track, offering tips, correcting potential disasters and guided us through the steps that would turn raw ingredients into an edible creation.
Although I began cooking as a young girl and despite years of creating and entertaining, I learned invaluable tips that I now use in my kitchen today.
Oui Chef! – we called out, after each instruction.
This is mandatory, to ensure you are listening
If hands on is not your thing, you can sit and observe a demonstration by French chefs and chefs in training as they demonstrate a four course meal, aided by an English translator and later sample some of their creations.
Our chef was very cheeky and entertaining.
Not only did he offer valued advice and information about food but also gave us an insight into his background with the added bonus of funny anecdotes along the way!
Attending a cooking lesson at Le Cordon Bleu was an amazing experience for me and it is something I will never forget.
I enjoy cooking and entertaining and have attended quite a few cooking classes over the years but the tips and instructions I learned in that half day and the complete, hands on experience have been invaluable and probably the best I have encountered.
The atmosphere was fun and lively, the instructions were informative and the chef was upbeat and entertaining but most of all, I cooked a restaurant style dish with a demi-glaze sauce that was delicious and I was proud of !
If I had one complaint, it was only that we were offered take-away containers to take our creations home.
Le Cordon Bleu cannot cater to everyone and everyone is different. Some people were on a short holiday and needed to rush off, however a few of my fellow students and I asked if we could eat our frenched veal steaks with mushrooms and demi glaze sauce at the school and we were granted to savour our creations at the school’s cafeteria.
As we ate our delicious meal we observed the differences in our dishes and glowed with pride at our achievements in one half a day.
Today when I cook in my kitchen at home, I love wearing my stiff white apron which was included in the fee with its famous blue insignia. I hang my white tea towel from the waist, as they instructed and my certificate of attendance hangs proudly on my kitchen wall.
Classes run all year round, you will need to check their website below for dates and prices. Some classes on offer include, market visits, demonstrations, hands on classes for baking macrons or bread, cooking for friends and provincial cuisine.
The course I attended included a four course demonstration and a hands on cooking class, a souvenir Cordon Bleu apron and tea towel, the dish I created and a certificate of attendance. Starting at 9am and finishing around 12 noon. At the time of writing: €190.00. Demonstration Only €45.00.
I have attended other cooking classes in Paris and around the world where the instruction was rushed and not hands on, for me, hands on is important. I tend to remember better when I am doing it myself as opposed to watching and being lectured.
The linen apron and tea towel, for me counted as an added bonus, instead of a plastic disposable apron that most cooking classes offer. This may not be important to you and I guess, as a whole it isn’t but for me it added to my memorable experience.
I am not affiliated with Le Cordon Bleu in anyway. I was a paying tourist/student and I doubt they even know I created this post about them, I don’t receive any kick backs payments or food -lol.
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You can read about my Cordon Bleu experience below :
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