Paris: Le Cordon Bleu Experience

by jenjenk on August 25, 2011

Le Cordon Bleu, Paris

When I first started planning my 40th birthday trip, I was only planning on going to Greece.  When I decided to add Paris to my trip, my very first thought was the prospect of taking a class at the famed Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. I was thrilled when I found a class in bread baking since I had just started working with yeast.  I was grateful for my friend, Christy, who said that she also wanted to take the class! Before we had confirmed that they had a translator, we were signed up and ready to meet bread lovers from around the world, consume as much bread as possible, and absorb as much bready knowledge as possible.
lcbtowelsWe left our hotel in the St Germain area an hour before we had to check into the school, to account for any wrong turns, missed exits, strikes or anything else that could possibly go wrong…which of course guaranteed that we’d arrive 45 minutes early. After we arrived at the school [yes, 45 minutes early], we picked up our packet that contained a recipe book, apron, and towel – my favorite item being the apron!  We were directed upstairs to enjoy a cup of coffee and freshly baked croissants. I have to admit that I had more than my fair share. Lucky for everyone else, the basket was huge. A girl’s gotta eat, yo.
Chef Tranchant Our Chef was Jean-Jacques Tranchant, a brilliant bread baker. He hid his command of the English language behind his interpreter. I caught on when he chuckled in response to some of my more sarcastic comments. I accused him of understanding English perfectly and he blithely smiled at me and continued to work his dough. Don’t let this guy fool you.

technique Chef went through a step by step explanation of the how’s and why’s of what he was doing – from mixing the flour proportion to kneading the dough. I loved the level of care that he put into each facet of the bread baking.  I envied his ease of making the dough bend to his will.

baguette We made enough baguettes to take into lunch with us.  I loved the crunchy crust protecting the soft piping hot bread! I have to admit that I almost ate an entire baguette all by myself…slathered in rich [european style] butter. I could’ve eaten the whole thing and made it my lunch but then I would’ve missed out on terrines, caprese, avocado stuffed with crab, and melon with prosciutto.

lunch There seems to be a common theme with the cooking classes I take: Wine. I almost didn’t want to go back to class.  Almost.  The temptation of bready goodness waiting for me in class was too much to resist. After I had another crab stuffed avocado, of course. And a glass [or three] of wine.

bread The best part of the class was being able to sniff, taste, and devour all this bread.  We brought some back with us for our friends to enjoy on a picnic!  I loved the experience and knowledge I gained from learning a new skill and technique.  I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks, after all!

Le Cordon Bleu Paris
8, rue Léon Delhomme
75015, Paris, FRANCE
Tel: +33 [0]1 53 68 22 50
 
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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite August 25, 2011 at 11:15 am

That looks awesome! I couldn’t get into the bread baking class during my time there (ahem, I did enough other classes tho!) but it’s definitely on the list for next time!

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jenjenk August 25, 2011 at 2:39 pm

I know!!! I was actually a little bummed that I didn’t know about the classes that you took – it looked marvelous!!! Obviously for the time that I was there, I would have only been able to squeeze out 1 more class but it would’ve been so fun! I really liked my LCB experience – since you speak & understand French fluently, you should have such a richer experience!

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Christy @ Technosyncratic August 25, 2011 at 3:01 pm

This sounds fabulous! And I love your writing style… made me laugh AND made me hungry at the same time. :)

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jenjenk August 25, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Thank you!! I try not to let the crazies out of my head too often but sometimes it just escapes! :) thanks for visiting!!

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Cathy Sweeney August 25, 2011 at 10:02 pm

What a great experience! The photos are totally delicious. I don’t think I’d want to go back to class after such a nice lunch, either.

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Eileen Ludwig August 26, 2011 at 1:28 am

Wow I love French Banquettes There is no other bread like it

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jenjenk August 26, 2011 at 3:08 pm

agreed!! they just don’t taste the same anywhere else in the world!

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Mark Wiens August 26, 2011 at 1:29 am

Wow – it all looks incredible! Starting with those croissants and moving onto the baguettes, wine and small bitings is making me extremely hungry now. The last photo looks like there’s an entire bakery of goodies on the table!

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John in France August 26, 2011 at 5:11 am

What a fantastic thing to do. I’ve never thought of doing this! I must check out the different courses that they offer – looks wonderful!

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jenjenk August 26, 2011 at 5:32 am

Yes! They’ve got so many wonderful classes!! I could’ve easily spent a week taking various courses there!! Let me know if you end up taking a class and how you like it!

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David @ MalaysiaAsia August 26, 2011 at 11:00 am

I’ve heard about the Cordon Blue Experience and never new it was this fascinating. So, will you be opening a bakery in the near future?

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jenjenk August 26, 2011 at 1:49 pm

ha! my laziness precludes me from ever becoming a baker – those are some long [and very early] hours!! :)

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Michael Figueiredo August 26, 2011 at 6:54 pm

What a wonderful experience! Taking a foreign cooking class is on my “bucket list” and I can think of no better place to do it than the famous Le Cordon Bleu school in Paris. I want to follow in your footsteps someday for sure. :)

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Anh Nguyen August 26, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Looks great! I’ve been having this huge craving for baguettes recently. Would be awesome to know how to make it myself.

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Stephanie - The Travel Chica August 26, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Both of the cooking classes I have taken have had lots of wine too! That bread looks delicious!

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Grace August 27, 2011 at 8:47 pm

OMG bread porn! I didn’t realize you can take short courses at Le Cordon Bleu. What a great idea.

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Barbara - The Dropout Diaries August 29, 2011 at 4:19 am

I can’t even imagine how good that bread must have tasted. What an amazing experience — and a GREAT way to celebrate turning 40!

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Food Lover Kathy August 29, 2011 at 5:15 am

I loved your post. It brought me back to the place I went to everyday for 9 months (and never once took a photo of the building.) Chef Tranchant is probably the nicest chef of all of those at LCB. I’m glad you enjoyed the class; and Happy Birthday!

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jenjenk August 29, 2011 at 5:33 am

Oh my gosh!! i love that you know him!! He really was SO nice!! am I wrong about his command of the english language? ;)

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Angela August 30, 2011 at 8:12 am

This looks delicious, I love French cuisine, I go absolutely crazy for their bread when I’m in France :)

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Kristina at FormerChef August 31, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Wow, what a fun day! I’ve felt so jaded by cooking classes offered in other countries (my experience is that most of them are severely dumbed down) but baking at Le Cordon Bleu? This is now on my agenda for the next trip to Paris!

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jenjenk August 31, 2011 at 1:30 pm

I’m sure this class would be too easy for you!!! :) it was fun and I didn’t want to mess around – it being THE LCB after all ;)

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Azu @ Sweetly Made September 1, 2011 at 10:48 am

How Wonderful and what an Amazing experience! I could just dive into those pictures! Everything looks delicious.

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HeatherChristo September 2, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Jen- this is like a dream. I would love to go make croissants in Paris. Actually I would love to go EAT croissants in Paris…

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