Bonjour mes amis!
The first class I observed at Le Cordon Bleu was thrilling. I’m here, in PARIS, and I’m at Le Cordon Bleu!! It was almost too much. Of course I barely slept the night before – and not just from the 6 hour time difference. Even though I was excited to be taking these classes, how would all the others receive me? Would the Chefs/Teachers welcome me, what would all these students who are in full chef uniforms and shoes think of this guy in his street clothes furiously taking notes. But then, I thought, this was too important for me to worry about all that stuff.
I arrived to a very warm welcome at the reception desk. The staff are very helpful and kind. Some of the courses I want to take are full but they assure me they’ll check everyday to see if there is a cancellation and squeeze me in. (It’s already happened twice!)
For the observation course that day, I am given a packet with a pen, pages with the ingredient items and measurements, some blank sheets of paper, but no cooking method. I’m to watch every move the Chef makes and write down the technique, the methodology, and the wisdom of many years of professional experience these Chefs share. And share they do. In one 2 and a half hour observation, I learn more than I can express. This first class is a specialty desserts Pastry class and unbeknownst to me when I signed up, it’s a superior level course.
The Chef makes two different flavors of ice cream and three different types of dessert in total. All in under 3 hours. It’s AWESOME. He moves quickly but I’m able to follow his every move and capture all his wisdom. He checks in often with the students to ensure they will be able to re-create what he is doing in their practical. He speaks in French and there is another staff member in the room translating into English. It takes me back to my days as a Sign Language Interpreter.
Sadly in the classes that I’m only observing, I won’t be able to prepare the things I’m furiously taking notes over at the school. However, as soon as I get to a kitchen, I’m going to be practicing!
I know by the end of my day that this was absolutely the right thing for me to do. Although I’m a little out of my comfort zone, I’m inspired by what I’m learning and I feel my creative spirit being lifted to a new level. I can’t wait to get back in the kitchen – and I can’t wait to get the feedback from my willing taste testers!
Wow this sounds incredible! I am in the process of trying to save the extraordinary amount of cash myself to be able to enroll at Le Cordon Bleu in New Zealand next year. Fingers crossed. Shall continue to be inspired by your journey in the meantime. Keep enjoying!!!
David I am so happy and excited for you, and very proud of you for stepping into the unknown! What a gutsy guy you are! I am formally inviting you at our new home so we can have a party with Bev and company and be your taste testers!
Oooh, so jealous! There are positives to being an observer – gain a little insight and take note of kitchen procedure. WATCH and LEARN!!! I am going to follow your blog, I want to see how you shine at the Cordon Bleu!
do you get to test the food they make?
Hi Sandy. Great question, I should have included that in my post. There is a tasting of everything the Chefs make at the end of the demonstrations. First they present it so we can take pictures, then the assistants make tasting plates for each participant. There’s always more left on the counter which people grab as they leave the room. It’s YUMMY!!
I am absolutely enjoying vicariously living through your Paris adventure via this blog….. Looks fantastic!