Ernest Hemingway said that Paris is a moveable feast – and the French track is digging in. An undeniable highlight of our immersion was our cooking class at Ecole Ferrandi. Ecole Ferrandi was established by the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 1932 and has become one of the top culinary institutes in Paris.
Chef Jeremy, a culinary master and the former head chef of a five-star hotel, greeted us and we prepared by washing our hands and donning our aprons, but not before taking a moment to chat and sip an espresso – cooking very much à la Parisien.
Chef Jeremy divided us into teams to begin prepping our two courses: filet of cod on “celeri-risotto” with curry sauce and asparagus and fraisier pistache (strawberry pistachio pastry) for dessert. Part of the group set to work peeling and chopping the asparagus and the other part started cracking and beating eggs for the fraisier pistache. “Celeri-risotto,” we learned, is a risotto-inspired dish in which the traditional rice is replaced by celeriac.
Together we peeled, chopped, whipped, baked, marinated, simmered and grilled – without any (major) injuries! Before we knew it, we had created a feast of cod on a bed of asparagus and “celeri-risotto” to start, and a gorgeous fraisier pistache to follow.
Everyone in the group had favorite moments – Jet’s was learning how to de-eye the cod filet, Rob’s was learning how perfectly sear said cod filet, and Lily’s was eating it.
With Chef Jeremy’s guidance, several cups of teamwork, and a dash of humor, the French track truly mastered the recipe for success.