Looking for interesting things to do while you’re away on vacation? How about food tourism!
Le Cordon Bleu is one of the best and oldest culinary schools, and has over 50 branches worldwide. This elite school for culinary and hospitality learning was founded in 1895 in Paris. The school offers short-term courses, including yearlong diplomas, for visitors and tourists.
I had the opportunity to visit the oldest and most significant branches of Cordon Bleu in London and Paris.
The London campus is located in one of London’s most prestigious neighborhoods, Bloomsbury Square opposite the British Museum. We received proper details and reception upon arrival, and each visitor was provided with his/her own apron, equipment and tools. Anthony Boyd, the master chef for our session, taught us in a funny and informative manner which did not disrupt the professionalism that was promised.
During the seven hours of training, Chef Anthony trained us in the basic techniques of cooking and selecting European dishes. We learned how to make everything from scratch; from the dressings to curing salmon to preparing the chocolate sauce for dessert. The end result of our effort was a delicious meal for two.
The experience in Paris wasn’t much different. Early in the morning I stood in front of several bakeries and wondered how difficult it would be to make such pastries and breads. Then I attended several European cuisine courses, including Make Your Own Bread and Homemade Sauces.
At the Cordon Bleu in Paris, the sous chef (who was also our interpreter for the day) welcomed us. Chef Olivier Boudot taught us a lot about baking and also showed us how things are done in practicality. We started applying what we learned under the supervision of the chef and sous chef.
If you want to learn how to bake French baguettes, there is no place better than the Cordon Bleu in Paris. We also learned about the different styles of making Country Style Bread and Rye Bread. You will truly enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when you hold your first baguette.
In the second session, Chef Marc Vaca taught us all about stocks and sauces, and we learned different techniques of making Duck a l’orange, Chicken Supreme, Beef Steak Bordelaise, Shrimp and Langoustines a l’Americaine.
When I stood in front of that bakery again I realized how easy it actually is to make those pastries and breads. My knowledge is what made standing in front of that bakery feel different.