OK, has your new year’s resolution always been to improve your skills in the kitchen, only to find a few weeks later you’ve resorted to your trusty repertoire of beans on toast and macaroni cheese? If you’re serious about becoming a culinary whizz, what better place to do it than inParis?
It’s easy enough to find cheap hotels in Paris to stay in for a weekend – or even a week if you’re serious about learning some new recipes – so it’s time to stop making excuses and get cooking! You can check out some cheaper accommodation options on HostelBookers.com.
As the French capital is something of a haven for gourmet cuisine, you won’t be surprised to learn there are dozens of schools where you can hone your skills.
The trick is in choosing the best one for you, so make up your mind whether you want to go home with the secret to great macarons or a three-course dinner menu you can use to wow all your mates.
Combine cooking with sightseeing
If cooking is just one of many reasons why you’ve decided to visitParis, your best option is to pick one of the two or three-hour classes on offer and perfect the art of making one particular delicacy.
Try La Cuisine Paris if you’ve got a sweet tooth. Based at 80 Quai de l’Hotel de Ville, this cookery school will be able to teach you how to make delicious crepes, French tarts or macarons in just two hours.
To learn the art of making croissants and other classic breakfast pastries, you’ll need half a day, but it’s well worth it when you get to sample the results of your hours in the kitchen!
You can even take a food-themed walking tour around the Les Halles district of Paris, where you’ll get to taste delicacies such as fois gras and French cheese.
Learn to cook up a storm for a dinner party
If your aim of spending a day at a Parisian cookery school is to be able to impress your friends and family with a delectable dinner menu, consider Promenades Gourmandes.
Here, you’ll spend the best part of a day whipping up a four-course lunch, which includes a trip to one of the local markets to select your fresh ingredients.
Once you’re back in chef Paule Caillat’s kitchen in theMaraisBuilding, you’ll be guided through all the steps to create a truly delicious feast. You’ll even be treated to a cheese tasting session where you can learn all about the subtleties of French fromage!
Another option is to book a session with renowned culinary wizard Olivier Berte at Les coulisses du Chef.
In a three-hour session, you’ll learn how to prepare a starter, main and dessert that will wow the taste buds of your friends back at home and, of course, the best bit is sitting down with your fellow students to eat the food you’ve just made.
Menus vary, with classes offering an entirely vegetarian selection on offer, so check out what’s coming up and pick a course that really stands out for you.
Feeling really ambitious?
For anyone out there who is a true foodie, booking a week-long break with the intention of spending as much of it as possible in the kitchen might be a good idea.
Les coulisses du Chef offers both five and 20 lesson packages, while Ecole de Cuisine – one of the oldest international cookery schools in Paris – runs three-day courses at its kitchens on rue du Ranelagh.
Cook ‘n with Class, located on rue Custine, also offers a week-long course in French cooking, with lessons devoted to things such as bread making and desserts.