So I’m going to be in France for like a week plus, what’s the first thing I would want to do? You are probably screaming The EIFFEL TOWER or go on a shopping spree on CHAMPS ÉLYSÉES; Noo!! At least not yet. I wanted to get proper insight on French food not the random entering a restaurant to take pictures of food kind of insight, I mean a proper food tour with varieties of cheese, fish, poultry, vegetables and all. Now because I’ve been looking for the next place to further my culinary career and education my first choice was France, If I’m going to move there I might as well understand the food. I decided to surf the net for short 3 or 2 days culinary courses and food tour. Not too long into this, I found one on Air BnB, pretty affordable and seemed authentic. I immediately booked, excited counting down to my culinary experience.
Finally it was time, Chef Christian asked us to meet at a La Pelouse, a nice cafe in Rue Botzaris. He was so warm and we were about 5 taking the class, they were all from the U.S. and I was Christian’s first African student, LOL I wasn’t surprised.
Christian took us round the Neighborhood and told us about some structures and their history, showed us some buildings and explained why they were designed like that, and then took us to a local market; it had EVERYTHING!!! He explained the poultry to us and how to spot a good chicken. He educated us about different types of French cheese and had us try out some of the cheese, and I immediately chose my two favorite types of French cheese; CAMEMBERT and REBLOCHON. There were 365 types of cheese, (which by the way smell like SHIT) meaning you could have a different cheese everyday for a year, pretty cool. We tasted ham, different types of sausages and of course the worst pork intestine! But it was awesome!!! So good every bit of it was a rush, I thought I knew food well enough but Nooo!!! I learnt so much new things about food; I learnt about some vegetables I had never seen before.
We decided we were going to make ORANGE DUCK
and a dessert called TARTE TATIN
. To be very honest, I never had duck before; with food I like to stay very well within my comfort zone. I only stick to chicken, beef and a few pretty normal seafood, well except for octopus, nothing normal about that. I was pretty nervous to try duck. Chef Christian showed us knife techniques and told us about where he had worked and his life experiences, how he has traveled the world and places he had been to, everything about this class was fascinating. Well I used to crack myself open to make caramel sauce; the cream, brown sugar and butter method but Christian showed us a way using only sugar, it was…MAGNIFIQUE!
The color, the texture, it was perfect.
We went on to make the orange duck, It looked awesome; I forgot I was second guessing trying duck earlier, and then went to finish up the Tarte tartin. It came out perfect!!! It looked absolutely beautiful like a dessert that fell from heaven. We sat and talked about more stuff over wine, like love and marriage because we had an engaged couple in the class, and then talked about different travel experiences. Chef Christian served us the main dish which tasted so good, LOL you will have to pay handsomely for the recipe. I mean it tasted great, I was worried about the spices at first and if it will be a little less tasty to me but!!! Everything balanced out. And then he served us cheese with baguettes…trust me I was living my best! Then the dessert! I’m not a fan of tarts, but this was…I should stop.
It was a great experience, which is why I couldn’t even get good pictures, it was hands on and very authentic, and I learnt more than I thought I would; and Chef Christian was the absolute best teacher. I would recommend him to anyone interested in this experience, you can let him know what you would love to try or learn but he selects the main and asks if you want something else or you are fine with it. Mostly because the foods are seasonal and he would try to do what is absolutely good depending on the availability.
Anyways, if you are ever in Paris and you want a culinary experience I can hook you up, as you can tell I had an awesome experience. Nonetheless, I decided I would not pursue my culinary career and education in France.