NancysTravels

Follow my travels, cooking, running and adventures

Cooking Class In Paris

Much of this Paris sojourn is centered around food. On all of my walks around the city I’m consumed by the sights, sounds and smells of the food around me. As well as eating, I wanted to learn more about preparation while I’m here. Taking a cooking class in Paris is the absolute best way to accomplish this.

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I’ve never known how to deconstruct and debone a chicken, but always wanted to learn. A very fine, English-speaking, cooking school here in Paris wanted to teach me just that. La Cuisine Paris offers many different types of classes and tours. Their poultry technical class was just what I was looking for.

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Presented with my very own raw chicken, I proceeded – with much assistance from Chef Julie – to disassemble it into it’s parts. The bones were used to make a chicken stock that would later become our French Onion Soup. (Gumby and Pokey approved)

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The chicken breasts, wrestled from the bone, would be filled with a savory mushroom/basil/pinenut stuffing, seared and then baked to perfection.

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Dessert was not forgotten – this is Paris after all – we learned the secrets of making a decadent salted caramel sauce. Spoiler alert: expect jars for Christmas!

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DIY Thai

While traveling, food is my raison d’etre.  Actually, it’s pretty much how I choose my destination.  Amidst the other amazements that Thailand holds, the food is in the top 3.  So for me, a trip to Thailand wouldn’t be complete without attempting to learn the secrets of their amazing flavors so I could duplicate them at home.

The Thai must know that visitors to their country will have this desire, because there is no lack of Thai cooking classes.  The lessons can be had in locations as diverse as the luxury hotels of Bangkok to someone’s home kitchen.  Seeking authenticity, my companions and I sought out a local setting for our lesson.  Aonang Thai Cookery located near Ao Nang and Krabi was a fantastic choice.

We chose a half-day morning lesson and it was just the 4 of us in the class so we all got lots of hands-on attention, not to mention lots of food!  Coordination was simple…we were picked up at our hotel in the morning, driven to an impossibly gorgeous setting partway up a hill with a view of both the surrounding hills and the Andaman Sea and driven back after class was finished.  In the between, we learned much about Thai flavors, ingredients and techniques.

First task was choosing which dishes we’d like to learn to make:  for us it was Green Curry Shrimp, Tom Yum Soup, Cashew Chicken and Glass Noodle Salad.  Our instructor, Sow, then proceeded to explain in detail the preparation and was immediately at hand for any help needed as we dove right into our cooking.  Sow was quite impressed with Anita in our group who kept adding more and more spice to her green curry shrimp…apparently most Americans can’t handle as much as she can!

Food cooked, we headed up to the open-air dining area to enjoy our feast.  Easily enough food for 4 times as many diners, we nevertheless managed to make quite a dent.  I have to say, the food we made rivaled the food we’d been eating in the restaurants and was not as mystical as I’d thought.  Basic, fresh ingredients cooked with a minimum of fuss and bother and, voila!

As it turns out, since returning home I haven’t often practiced my Thai cooking skills, but I still have the recipe book with my notes.  When the urge strikes I’ll be able to revisit that flavorful day in Thailand.

 

 

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