Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Le Cordon Bleu Paris

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.

25 comments:

  1. I am forever astonished (although I really should be learning by now) at the diversity of events and places that you get to, and so generously share with us. What a wonderful tour! I'm certainly going to think about that one. Wow. Thank you Carol.

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  2. Lucinda8:47 AM

    They practically gave you lunch!
    Looks divinely delicious and very friendly
    I would love to take a class there!

    Lucinda

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    1. If it wasn't for Parisbreakfast I'd be stuck in a corner drawing all the time so it's good for me too Louise.

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  3. Thanks, Carol, for sharing this both ways! It was loads of fun---the best I think was that everyone putting on the open house was obviously enjoying it! And the generosity of the samples, too. Yummm. I can't remember if I've ever before had two glasses of wine before noon. Viva Paris!

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    1. Such excellent glasses of wine too...Makes one want to take up drinking for breakfast! :)

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  4. What a marvelous opportunity!

    I think that I would be very awed by actually being in those hallowed halls! All the delicious dishes that you show being prepared really do indicate that Le Condon Bleu is a very, very special place with very high (like the hats) standards.

    xo

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  5. Sabrina! I always loved Audrey in that role. Sounds so fun that you got to head to that, Carol. I hope your food was as good as it looked. fun post.

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  6. Hi Carol - My daughter and I are going to Paris at the end of this month and I've been reading all of your posts with anticipation. We're booked to take a cooking class and I can't wait! We're doing a full meal, so excited. She's quite a gourmand so it should be delightful. xoxo Claudia

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  7. So much fun to know that I saw the real kitchen in the movie! Fascinating info about the chefs' hats...how about a painted guide?

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  8. "Macarons fourres au chocolat with a side of Earl Grey tea ice cream" - now that is what I'd call my corner of heaven! :-)

    As always, your sketch captures the essence of your day out in Paris!
    Love the copper sauce pan balancing on top of the Eiffel tower. ;-)

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  9. I hope you had all your attention focused on how they made macarons ! Then when you have guests to stay with you in your 'Appartement' you could serve afternoon tea 'English style' with 'French macaron'.... have fun.




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    1. That will be the day
      I've tried THREE times and failed
      Over and out. The pastry chef at La Closerie agreed they are very hard to make at home
      I don't even have an oven here!

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  10. Carol you write "But the hat grows in height as one climbs up the ladder of accomplishment in the cuisine" thanks for giving us such a great detail!

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    1. It's true...some levels of hat are missing in the sketch..

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  11. Hmmm - I love the side of earl grey ice cream with the chocolate macarons!

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  12. Now that is a tour I would find fascinating. Interesting about the hats! The tour would be enough but tasting, too? Sounds wonderful!

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  13. Anonymous4:47 PM

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    I ԁon't like pizza sauces, so I opt to use two cans of diced tomatoes as the first layer-one can of plain and the other of Italian.

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  14. Ice cream from earl gray tea? The things I learn just reading your blog! Amazing insight into a Parisian dream. Thanks, Carol~love your art too!

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  15. Green with envy:)

    I made Noix St -Jacques this week ..the old fashioned way:) Coquilles St~ Jacques..:)..
    I cannot wait to make macarons again..you've inspired me.

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  16. Next time I'm in Paris I plan on hanging out with you for a few hours!

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  17. Oh I'm so jealous!!! As you know I had two glorious weeks at Le Cordon Bleu Paris as an anniversary present from my husband during December 2011. I made foie gras as one of the classes. Soooooo Yum! :-) You can’t get it raw here in Australia, only pasteurised. I would love to go again. (Sorry I haven't commented for a while....off sick) My First stop next time I am in Paris will be "Comtesse Du Barry" for foie gras and truffles. :-)

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  18. Great photos & I love the vintage inserts - like the shot of Audrey Hepburn.

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  19. Loved Audrey in Sabrina. Interesting how in the remake they made Sabrina A photographer. Never knew that about the hat sizes. You get the best info. Why slave over making Macaron's when you can buy such wonderful ones there. :)

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  20. Great article and pictures! Aren't the Chefs wonderful?!

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