There is a company here in town that offers cooking classes. Oh yawn, you may say, but wait! They are offering classes in French, Spanish, and Chinese cooking, but taught in French, Spanish, and Chinese! Yup! They focus on the food and the culture of the countries represented and I think it is a great idea!
They have been around for 4 years or so, and how I missed them until now I cannot tell you. However, I got a coupon deal for a class and went last night. What fun!
There were six students, our “prof/chef”, and one other person from Cooking Up Cultures. It was a two-hour class and we managed to make all the components of a croquembouche! I’ve seen them do this on TV, and was amazed and delighted with how we were whisked (no pun intended) through the various steps involved.
I’m not going to try to tell you everything we did. And I very much doubt that I will ever undertake making one of these at home, but I had a blast. It takes quite a bit of planning and work. Basically you make a pâte à choux (puff pastry) which you bake as tiny balls, a crème pâtissière (pastry cream) for the filling, and then caramel for the “glue”. Whew! Mmmmmmmm!
Granted, our final product looked more like a Soviet housing block than an elegant representational Christmas tree… but it sure was tasty and no one was harmed by flying caramel, so I think the evening was a great success!
My friends and I had no trouble following the flow of French directions, but then I went with two good friends who are both fine French-speakers and seasoned (so to speak) cooks in their own rights. I hope to get to take another class through this group. Now if I only spoke Chinese… hmmm…
Here’s what some of the activity looked like.
Have you taken any cooking classes? What did you make? How did you enjoy it? I always learn something new, and last night was no exception!
Until next time, a bientôt et bon appetit!