As I was preparing to go to France last summer, I thought about some of the things I wanted to do. Taking a French cooking class was one of them.
I had the opportunity to register for a 2-hour class in Lyon, just two blocks from where I was staying. (It's amazing to me how many things are available in this neighborhood!)
L'Atelier Gourmand offers classes for 49 euros, which includes instruction, food, facilities, tools, and a little box to bring the food you cook home.
We made filet mignon, goat cheese rosette, mango chutney, glazed carrots, rum cake. Fun to make and delicious to eat!
|Goat cheese rosette as our entree|
|Filet mignon with glazed carrots and a mango/raisin/lime chutney side dish as our plat.|
And here are the rum cakes. I shared them with the sisters I was staying with, who enjoyed them very much.
Pierre, a chef of seven years, was our instructor. Here he explains how we will cook the filet mignon.
Among the things he taught us was how to peel an onion without crying (don't cut the root). He showed us how to make a flower out of pastry, which was wrapped around the goat cheese. He also demonstrated how to grill the meat in a hot pan.
Here are my cooking buddies: Pierre and Guillaume. They really helped me get through the class, which was in French. I'd watch what they were doing.
Pierre gloats over the beautiful goat cheese rosettes.
One of the nice things about cooking class is that you get to eat what you make. The filet mignon was topped with a parsley, olive oil, coriander and lime sauce. Delicious!
Lyon -- a Mecca for French cuisine
Lyon is a center for French cuisine in part with thanks to Super Chef Paul Bocuse who was a three-star Michelin chef for the past 50 years. He died on January 20, 2018, just shy of his 92nd birthday. The city mourned his death and honored him by posting his picture on the Hôtel de Ville (city hall). All of France recognized him with cover stories of him in major magazines.
Bocuse was known for the high quality of his restaurants and his innovative approaches to cuisine. A student of Eugénie Brazier, he was one of the most prominent chefs associated with the nouvelle cuisine, which is less opulent and calorific than the traditional cuisine classique, and stresses the importance of fresh ingredients of the highest quality. Paul Bocuse claimed that Henri Gault first used the term, "nouvelle cuisine" to describe food prepared by Bocuse and other top chefs for the maiden flight of the Concorde airliner in 1969.
Les Halles Paul Bocuse is located on one of the major streets of Lyon. It is named in Bocuse's honor and is filled with gourmet food counters featuring cheeses, meats, fish, pastries, breads, and small restaurants. I didn't take any photos but click here to get a look at the venders on Les Halles' website.
France worships its food, in particular, its local food. The government helps promote local food with subsidies to its farmers.
Did you know that there are as many cheeses made in France as there are days of the year?
Bocuse appeared on Anthony Bourdain's show, No Reservations. Click on this YouTube clip for a "taste" of what he claims is one of his greatest experiences with the show.