Samdi 9 mars Le Cordon Bleu - Portes Ouvertes
"1 - 2 - 3 crack!"
Le Cordon Bleu culinary school served as the set for the 1954 movie "Sabrina," in which Audrey Hepburn's character attends the famous French cooking school. Saturday was Portes Ouvertes/open house for cooks dreaming of becoming chefs par excellence. I came along to observe but many other names of renown studied here. Julia Child trained at Le Cordon Bleu before going on to write her best-selling cookbook "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," which in turn led to the development of her legendary PBS cooking show "The French Chef." Following in Julia's footsteps, many of today's celebrity chefs, including Bobby Flay, Mario Batali, Giada DeLaurentis and Jamie Oliver also studied at Le Cordon Bleu. Rachel Khoo studied pastry here too.
We got the grand tour top to bottom.
Starting with a visit to the student work kitchens.
On to classes in action...
First stop - pastry chef Nicolas Jordan's macaron class.
Next stop chef Patrick Terrien's baguette class. A translator is always on hand translating word for word.
Back downstairs the French group and the English-speaking group combine in a big demo room. Let the show begin.
We watch chef Patrick Caals demo Noix de Saint-Jacques persillees, potimarron et jus truffe
The we get to taste a mini portion accompanied by a delicious crisp white presented by head of the wine department, Franck Ramage in the most animated way. All the presentations were animated and lively. No snoozing in these classes bien sur.
Pastry chef Xavier Cotte preps Macarons fourres au chocolat with a side of Earl Grey tea ice cream.
We are served by a student. Note the height of chefs hats. Students have mere caps and the hat grows in height as one climbs up the ladder of accomplishment.
Voila and it was every bit as good as it looked. The meringue/coque shell is made of toasted almonds plus a touch of noisette not cherished too finely so there's a bit of crunch to the bite. It was paired perfectly with a Banyul that made me very happy.
Chef Cotte's individual creation. If you're into studying French cuisine do book a tour at le Cordon Bleu.