Monday, February 28, 2011

A French Cooking Class

What a day!  I was on a food high for a few days, at least, after taking this French cooking class at Johnson & Wales University.  I worked on menu two, below, with a team of five wonderful people.  There were four teams working on both menus and help from ten culinary students!  At the end of the four hour class, we tried all the food prepared that day.  

The Menu
Menu 1:  Beef Consomme, Lobster Thermidor with Green Beans Almondine and Duchesse Potatoes, Trio of Creme Brulee

Menu 2:  Oyster Rockefeller, Beef Wellington with Pomme Anna and Tomato Soubise, Chocolate Souffle.
Getting started:
Tomato Soubise started with this light and fresh rice mixture:
Topped with demi-glace, then cooked:
Aromatic duxelles for Beef Wellington:

Do it this way . . . whisking yolks and sugar for the Chocolate Souffle:
Demonstrating folding egg whites into chocolate mixture by the experts!

A lesson in opening oysters for Oyster Rockefeller:
Heating vinegar, bay leaves and peppercorns for the Hollandaise Sauce topping.  This was interesting, since I've never made Hollandaise with this mixture before.  Tasted fabulous!

Topped with Hollandaise Sauce and slightly heated:
Pomme Anna:
Duchesse Potatoes:

Lobster Thermidor.  The beginning of Bechamel Sauce, maybe for the Court Bouillon, but I'm not sure because I didn't work on Lobster Thermidor:

I learned that beef consomme must be clear enough to see a dime at the bottom.   There was also much discussion about the "raft", which is the hardened layer of vegetables and beef that forms on the surface and must not be broken or the broth will become cloudy and ruined.  I didn't see the process but here is the perfect result.

Creme Brulee's crispy topping was achieved by first slightly melting two separate layers of sugar (turbinado sugar was recommended, but not available), then melting the third layer.
 Still hot and bubbling!
All the recipes in this booklet for me to recreate at home . . . someday
Can't wait for the next class!

The Chef granted permission to publish the class on my blog.


  1. first on my list would be to recreate those potatoes ~ what an experience in little Rhody!

  2. What fun. Next time you take a class, let me know in advance. I've so much to learn about food (and cooking!). :)

  3. You look so stylish in that chef hat!:)) Looks like you had fun time! Yummy food!!!!

  4. From your photos it show that you had a great time.

  5. Holy Smoke what a day! I'm not sure which of those menu items I want first - maybe lobster- maybe creme brulee - maybe the wellington! When I come visit you, which do you want to make? :-)

  6. Thanks everyone! It was an amazing day. Sandra, I saved my chef's hat for special occasions, hahaha!