I’ve managed to make it through these six intense weeks of cooking school without cutting off any fingers or sustaining any third degree burns! I’ve learned how to make more kinds of stock than I knew existed, how to pull the stomach out of a crayfish, have been to a cheese-aging cave, and can now whip up a mean Hollandaise sauce. We also got to study fine French cuisine first-hand by taking field-trips to two Michelin 3-star restaurants (read: very big deal in France!), toured a family owned chocolate factory/shop in downtown Lyon, and visited a family run oil mill in the Beaujolais countryside. I love that I’m learning to be a better cook—but also for this amazing opportunity to get an insider’s view into the rich cultural heritage of food in this country. It’s been amazing! Here are some pictures of the rest of class…sorry there are so many but I had hundreds and hundreds to whittle down…
One of the first things we learned was the art of the “mise en place:” setting your ingredients out and prepping items in an orderly way so that they’re ready ahead of time, allowing you to seamlessly breeze through cooking the recipe.
a different type of “fried egg,” it’s a deep-fried soft-boiled egg
one of my very favorite French dishes: Oeufs en Meurette (poached eggs in red wine sauce)
comparing notes and ideas
surprisingly fantastically delicious: beef tartare (completely raw beef with raw egg yolk)
one of the not-so-secret magic ingredients of French cuisine
visiting a (literal) cheese cave, where cheeses are ripened to perfection
the best chickens come with feet and heads attached! creepy.
learning to extract chlorophyl from plant leaves
for coloring hand-made pasta
the other colors came from ingredients like tomato and fish-ink
those poor crawfish…
a little fun and silliness never hurts…
the crazy things you can do with potatoes: the circular pieces standing up are fried potato strings
in the bread-making kitchen
did I mention that the school is in an old château? got to walk this stairway
and through this hallway each morning.
gotta know how it tastes…
what a Michelin 3-star restaurant kitchen looks like (yeah…pretty much like a movie set)
and another 3-starred kitchen (Bocuse’s kitchen)
making fun things out of sugar
for decorating desserts
these layered mousse dishes were some of my favorites
happy chefs finishing off the course. It was loads of fun, but also a lot of hard work—I think we were all a bit exhausted by the end!
and last but definitely not least…the legend himself, Mr. Paul Bocuse, greeting guests at his world-famous restaurant.