French Cooking Classes - Learn The Wonders of French Cooking
The decision to undertake lessons in the French style of culinary arts will take many a budding chef to the height of their cooking ability. Some French cooking classes may even find you staring out over a grape field in the plains of France! Understanding a few of the many lessons taught in a modern class is of importance when considering such an art form, for nothing else than to be appreciable of the quality of the French cooking style. Take a moment to review the following forms of instruction present in today's French cooking classes and you will be sure to find a few of your French cuisine favorites on the syllabus, while also gaining an understanding of what it means to be a French chef.
Instruction, in almost any reputable class, begins with developing skills that will benefit students in every part of the kitchen, such as proper knife use. Knife training will have one performing repetitive exercises to maintain consistency in cutting. This will allow a student to perform consistent, uniform slices and thus even cooking with excellent visual appeal.
The vegetable slicing techniques will permit one to prepare vegetables for a variety of cooking and braising methods. Sanitary kitchen etiquette is also often covered, preparing one for a standard of health safety in the future. The preparation and usage of broths, or stocks, is also a well known feature of French cooking classes, as the means to do so is one of the hallmarks of a successful French chef. The act of combining simple, abundant ingredients-like the bones of a filleted animal, different herbs and vegetables-into a flavorful broth that will be the basis of delicious dishes, is truly an art form.
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Using this knowledge of broths and stocks, one will be able to then create sauces that transform a simple dish into a masterpiece. The five main sauces, veloute, hollandaise, tomato, béchamel and espagnole, will be covered at this point in a French chef's tutelage.
Moving on to the more esoteric skills beginning with the history of food preservation, more specific expertise is then unraveled. Although this is no longer a necessity for food preservation, it is instead a means to enjoy the subtle and intricate flavors imparted to the food, which has been preserved in any particular style. The methods of pickling, brining, dehydration and confit are employed to create dishes such as gravlax, preserved lemons and even duck confit. Reconstitution of dried foods is taught as well, allowing dishes such as brandade de morue to be created from dried salt cod.
Even simpler foods like potatoes, a capable dish in any meal, are more specifically instructed on, teaching the student the difference between the varieties of potato and their culinary implementations. Enrolling in a French cooking class is, thankfully, not so much of an art form. Many fine programs exist for aspiring chefs and top classes even offer financial aid. A French culinary program should be on the resume of any accomplished chef.