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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