The Bottom Line
- Relaxed, unintimidating ambiance
- The chef leading my class was friendly and experienced
- Clean, attractive facilities and warm staff
- Centrally located, with gorgeous views of the Seine and the city
- Offers a wide variety of courses in both English and French
- Class was a bit too short to allow a fully hands-on approach
- School doesn't offer predefined multi-day or multi-week course packages
- Classes: Traditional French, organic, pastry and chocolates, and traditional market shopping are among the most popular.
- Course Instruction Languages: English or French
- Course Prices: Contact La Cuisine Paris for prices of individual classes.
- Location: 80 Quai de l’Hôtel de Ville, 4th arrondissement, Metro Hotel de Ville, Pont Marie
- Telephone: +33 (0)1 40 51 78 18
- E-mail: email@example.com
- Visit the official La Cuisine Paris website
- Class duration: From two to four hours
Guide Review - Review of La Cuisine Paris Cooking Classes
I was invited to a pastry and chocolate class at La Cuisine Paris-- an exciting prospect since baking and desserts are some of my strong suits, but I'd always been shy about trying my hand at pastry, which always seemed out of my league. This seemed a great chance to get "broken in".
IntroductionsI was greeted by Franco-American couple and owners Jane Bertch and Olivier Pugliesi-Conti, who showed me around the new location of the cooking school, smack on the banks of the Seine river near Hotel de Ville (Paris City Hall). Incidentally, the large kitchen windows afford great views of the river and the city.
In their former lives, Jane and Olivier worked in corporate banking and management consulting, respectively. Both avid foodies, the couple decided to make a jump and create a cooking school catering to English and French speakers. "Thanks to my previous life as a Corporate Banker, as my mother likes to tell people, I went from out of the frying pan, and in to the fire.... or maybe the other way around," Jane told me.
Upstairs in the kitchen (sunny, pleasant, with state of the art equipment), the affable chef (one of ten working at the school) Justin Ward was getting to know the students. Originally from Texas, Justin trained in Paris at the prestigious Gregoire Ferrandi culinary school, and currently works at Wedding Cakes Avenue in the city.
On the Menu: Chocolate Soufflé and Lemon Meringue TartelettesJustin set us to work (around ten students, all English-speakers) on two classic French recipes: chocolate soufflé and lemon meringue tartelettes. It seemed ambitious for a class of only two hours, but we eagerly got to it, measuring out ingredients, stirring bubbling pots of chocolate, stickying our fingers with lemon juice, and learning how to perfectly line tartelette molds with dough. The most challenging moments? Working the mixture of chocolate, eggs and butter for the soufflé (you really have to get your whole hands in there, using a handle-less spatula). Learning to make perfect meringue, and piping it out artfully onto the tartelettes using a pastry bag (probably the most intimidating but also the most enjoyable part). Making sure the souffles don't collapse before eating. There were some small blunders and moments of confusion, but overall the recipes turned out beautifully.
My only real critique? The class was a bit too short to allow enough time for us to make the two desserts at our own novice speed, and the chef had to intervene and do some of the tasks on his own. This took away a bit from the otherwise hands-on approach.
Overall, I found the class enjoyable and accessible. The results of our efforts were delicious (I took home two of the lemon meringue tartelettes and quickly devoured them), and I'm feeling motivated to try what I learned in my own kitchen. I recommend La Cuisine Paris for English or French speakers who love to cook and want to boost their culinary arsenal, but above all like to have fun doing it.