‘FOODIE FAVES’ (an electic collection of food-related places, quotes and other important 'foodie' stuff)
Follow what you are genuinely passionate about and let that guide you to your destination. -- Julia Child (1912-2004)
CORDON BLEU -- THE MOTHER OF ALL COOKING SCHOOLS During the summer of 2010, Bill Griffin and Louise Walters, authors of the EVERY DAY GOURMET COOKBOOK, lived in France for three months. In addition to researching local culture, hospitality and cooking methods, a highlight was attending the Cordon Bleu cooking school -- probably the world’s best known school for professional chefs.The Cordon Bleu school is based in Paris, but it has locations in New York, California and a dozen other locations around the world.Monday through Friday, Cordon Bleu holds classes for professional chefs.On Saturday, it holds classes for amateur chefs.
Louise explains, “We arrived early Saturday and were treated to a continental breakfast.Then we moved to a demonstration kitchen set up something like a TV studio.About 20 students sat in a stadium seating format, facing the preparation and cooking area that was designed to allow the chef to cook and talk to us while we watched.The facility is well equipped.For example, over the stove are huge mirrors that provide students with a bird’s eye view.There were several different types of ovens.Three people were working ‘on stage.’The chef and an assistant prepared the food.The third person was a translator, a young woman from the USA, also a student in Cordon Bleu’s professional chef program.The chef would provide an explanation in French, and the translator would describe in English what he had said.This process gave us plenty of time to watch and understand what the chef was doing.During the ‘Cuisine des Amis’ session three courses were prepared which included three appetizers, one main course, and three desserts.”
Bill continues, “During the afternoon, we moved upstairs to a facility that I would describe as a laboratory kitchen.Each student had a separate station -- stove, sink, counter space and utensils.We prepared the same main course that we had watched the chef prepare during the morning demonstration.It consisted of a fish dish (sea bass cooked in parchment paper), a vegetable sauce for the fish, and a cooked vegetable dish.A second Cordon Bleu chef oversaw our effort in the practice kitchen.Like any good college program, it was interesting and fun, and it was delicious, too.”At the conclusion of the day-long class, Bill and Louise received “Cuisine des Ami (cooking for friends)” certificates.