Cooking Classes with Allison

The first time I tried to make a soufflé, I was 19. I’d just started experimenting with cooking, and tried to follow the cookbook instructions as best I could. What a disappointment ! I ate a flat spinach pancake that night for dinner, not really understanding what it was I’d done wrong.

If some French cooking techniques seem intimidating, I freely admit it : it’s tough to learn from a book !

But I’ll also “admit” that French food is delicious, rich, fascinating, and mysterious, and worth learning. In my cooking classes, you’ll not only learn recipes you can re-create whenever and wherever you want, but you’ll also take home with you the best souvenir from Paris : chef’s secrets combined with inspiration from Parisian artists.

I believe that cooking and eating “the French way” means integrating the culture as well as technique. And through my 7 years’ experience teaching cooking, I’ve discovered that the way we remember the whys and hows of French cooking methods is through context, not books.

In my classes, I provide the context : where does this recipe come from ? How do Parisians actually use it ? Why do we use certain methods to make a dish and not others ? And how can we use this one technique to make three other dishes ? French cuisine is all about building blocks : once you learn the technique, you can apply it to the ingredients you have available, in many ways. The result ? More confidence, fewer books, and more fun !

All classes are most definitely hands-on and designed for no more than 6-8 people. We’ll use seasonal, fresh ingredients to create and eat a 3-course meal or sample dazzling desserts in a cozy, sunny atelier in eastern Paris, and weather permitting, we’ll enjoy what we’ve created in the atelier’s small garden.

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