One of the high points of my recent trip to Paris with my sister Diane was the cooking class we took at Cook’n With Class, a Parisian cooking school offering classes in English to locals and tourists. Diane and I chose the Morning Market Class, in which students shop with the chef for fresh ingredients and then prepare a four-course meal back at the school.
We met Chef Patrick Hebert and four other students on a very cold morning at a Metró stop near Montmartre. Chef Patrick led us to the markets, where we inspected the meat at a boucherie:
. . . the fish at a poissonier:
. . . and the cheese at a fromagerie:
Chef Patrick gave us pointers on choosing the freshest fish:
Guided by the chef’s suggestions and the food preferences of the students, the group mutually decided on this menu:
Scallops and Mussels in Saffron Sauce
on a Bed of Caramelized Fennel
Duck Magret with Figs
Haricot Vert (Green Beans)
Celeriac au Gratin
Talk about fresh fish! We watched the fishmonger shuck and clean the scallops we ate later that day:
After shopping for fruit and vegetables, we headed to the cooking school to prepare our feast. The classroom was all set up, with a station for each student:
We got right to work, separating eggs for the soufflé . . .
. . . chopping fresh tarragon . . .
. . . and how to keep our fingers out of the way when chopping vegetables. Here he is slicing celeriac:
. . . mussels cooking in cream . . .
. . . scallops sizzling in the pan . . .
The first course: mussels and scallops in saffron sauce on a bed of caramelized fennel:
Here we are at the end of the day with Chef Patrick: