Saturday, January 06, 2018

Knife skills class - La Cuisine Paris

A new year = new resolutions. Mine? Get over my fear of knives (aichmophobia) and aquire some knife skills.
No better place to go then La Cuisine Paris is a short walk from my house at 80, quai de l'Hotel de Ville. The course included: How to choose the correct knife for the right task. How to correctly hold, clean and maintain the knife with a honing steel. How to create classic French knife cuts, including: Batonnet, Chop, Julienne, Dice, Brunoise, Mince and Chiffonade. How to use specific techniques to make it easier to cut different items from herbs to tough rinds. How to peel produce using a knife. How to combine knife cuts in delicious recipes.
Our instructor Justin, formerly from Texas has lived in Paris 14 years. He is a terrifically experienced teacher. He also teaches at Ecole Ferandi and bakes at Boulangerie au Petit Versailles du Marais.
My calligraphy class with Eleanor Winters gave me the upper hand when it came time to sign our aprons.
First things first. How to hold your knife.
We start out practicing with the easiest veg to cut: champignons.
Move on to cucs, also easy for beginners. I was the only one scribbling copious notes. I was also the only one munching the leftover scraps...ahem.
We move on to more difficult veg: radis, choux, celeriac, herbs
Les carottes cut 5 ways: batonnet, julienne, dice, brunoise, mince, chiffonade. I need to practice. A lot.
Supreming an orange, chopping herbs the right way. Even garlic did not escape our nimble knives.
The fruits of our labor: salade des fruits en sirop.
More battonets in our Salade Provençal. We made 4 recipes.
Our Potage Cultivateur avec des croutons. You wanna be a French girl? Purée your soup! No one tells you this top secret.
Les croutons. Yes, we cut the baguettes.
Toute ensemble. Our well-deserved lunch after 3 hours of learning to cut, chop and mince.
You say you don't like veg?
Did you know you can get the legume collection at Macarons Gourmand, 62, rue de Seine.
Learning knife skills is a great way to start off the new year. I've become addicted to batonnets. More fun to eat than carotte rapé. I'm off to get a soup puree stick. Thanks for reading Paris breakfast. If you like this newsletter, forward to a friend. Gift yourself and others Paris letters, maps and watercolors in your mailbox.
Happy New Year PBers!

28 comments:

  1. Bravo ! Fantastic ! I want to learn too ;-)))

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  2. Amazing cheffy skills Carol, I envy the carrots cut 5 ways. It looks a real in depth day and I hate chopping celariac so hopefully you got a good tip and how to do this as well. Happy new Year

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  3. Awesome! I could use a course like this one. Some day - - -

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  4. Very interesting blog!!!Loved it.

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  5. Judith Hunt1:31 PM

    I have no idea why I loved this blog about knives but I just did, fantastique Carol, bravo for your bravery, and the blending stick - yes I have used this for years and I thought everybody did, until now..... you will never have it any other way - blend lots for creamy texture or blend a little to keep your veggies half intact....Merci x

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    1. Thanks I just got the Moulinex at Darty yesterday!!

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    2. Anonymous10:29 AM

      I also found this topic unusually interesting...thanks. Cutting vegetables into a small dice is my stress reducer.

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    3. Mucking about in the kitchen is my stress reducer too.

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  6. Beautiful aquarelle..and OMGee I would love classes like that..private:) I am a lousy chopper..lousy.Motorboat..lol immersion blender..best for soups ..I have not used a blender in eons plus eons.They are one of kitchen's greatest inventions.I love celeriac and never buy it..remoulade♥
    Salad dressings..mayo..etc..

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  7. I took an éclair-making class at La Cuisine Paris last March with some of my students. It was fun and delicious! What a great place!

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  8. I could use a knife class. I cook all the time and some of my skills are pretty good and some quite abysmal! Looks like a fun (and tasty!) afternoon!

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    1. It makes a big difference I have to admit. Widens the possibilities of what you can do enormously Jeanie.

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  9. What a wonderful post today. I thought for a moment you were going to show us how to cut up an onion like the scene from the movie Julie and Julia where Meryl Streep/Julia Child mastered the onion. I was pleasantly surprised to see I have the same bowls as salade des fruits en sirop. And, what a lovely meal you had. The fruits of you labor look delicious. Inspiring. :)

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    1. I will have to look for that onion scene. The onion has its own special properties. Nothing to do with tears. In fact almost every veg was approached organically, based on structural details I did know about at all! Surprising.

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    2. Wonderful!
      The Importance of Practicing - Julie & Julia
      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HyqrR1ZRHUU

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  10. The spirit desire to learn....I so admire it-you are a very brave person.....I would love a class like this-for so many reasons the social aspect the skills learned the food(I too would have been eating the fruits of my education process) the meal and your sketches you already know I adore them as much as your beautiful artworks...It amazes me that you always find the most beautiful and interesting subject matter-again...THANK YOU for ALWAYS taking us along for the ride and learning too!

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  11. Cyndy1:12 PM

    Loved this! Can you send contact info for the class? Perhaps a daytime activity for my chef /husband during our visit to nearby Nogent-sur-Somme for 2weeks. He will be looking for things to do!! Merci, Bonne Année. We love the knife shop on the Ile !

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    1. LA CUISINE PARIS link is in the second papragraph.
      All the classes are in English in case you were wondering...

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  12. Lois Bender1:32 PM

    Great Feast and fun cooking!!!

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  13. Sharp and incisive commentary!

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  14. Bravo! Congrats on your new knife skills....and the savory flavor macs remind me of the cheese sables I made for Thanksgiving with Dorie Greenspan's recipe! Completely unexpected!

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    1. Cheese sables are not as surprising as a carotte macaron...

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  15. Bonnie3:23 AM

    Sooo charming, Carol!
    What an awesome New Year event for you.
    From Bonnie who is also afraid of them! Lol

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    1. What's your story?

      My older sibling threw a knife at me at age 6 (inadvertently certainement)

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  16. Mary B3:28 AM

    Ah, my favorite piece yet!

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  17. Terry G3:38 AM

    As always you give me a beautiful window into a beautiful city.
    bonne année!

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