Event Report: One-Day Cooking School at Le Cordon Bleu
Have you always wanted to cook authentic French cuisine while learning practical cooking tips from an experienced Le Cordon Bleu master chef? I did. And that's exactly what I got at the one-day special Savvy event held earlier this month at Daikanyama's Le Cordon Bleu cooking school.
Founded in Paris in 1895, Le Cordon Bleu has a worldwide network of culinary arts and hospitality institutes with over 53 schools in 27 countries. Considered to be the guardian of French culinary technique, Le Cordon Bleu offers a range of diploma, certificate, and short-course programs in cuisine, pastry, and baking in Japanese, Chinese, and English at its Tokyo campus.
At our event, we cooked pork escalope “Cordon Bleu-style” with fresh pasta and tomato sauce. We were guided by Guillaume Siegler, executive chef and cuisine technical director of Le Cordon Bleu Japan, and his assistants. My fellow amateur cooks and I—10 in total—were in good hands; Chef Siegler has extensive experience in working in Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris, and was previously the executive chef and managing director at the exclusive Le Pre Verre bistro in Tokyo.
For those not-so-confident cooks who think cooking French cuisine from scratch sounds like a daunting task, don’t worry. The program was very well organized and moved at a comfortable pace, with the chef talking through and demonstrating step-by-step each of the three main components of the dish (pasta, sauce, and escalope) before we tried them out ourselves. First, we created a simple yet delicious tomato sauce using fresh ingredients. Who knew a sauce this tasty could be so easy to make? I know I will be recreating it again and again to incorporate it into my own cooking.
Next, we made fresh tagliatelle from semolina and eggs. This was probably the trickiest—and most fun—part of the whole recipe but, oh, was it worth it. Now to find a way to fit my very own pasta maker into my minuscule Tokyo kitchen. Hmm.
Lastly, we cooked the pork escalopes using the finest cuts of pork I have seen in Japan, high quality ham, and Gruyere cheese. I was surprised to find that these were also relatively simple to make and could easily be recreated at home.
However, for me and my fellow cooks, the most beneficial part of the experience was learning practical cookings tips from such a knowledgeable and well-respected chef. In only three hours I picked up countless bits of priceless information, such as how to correctly slice an onion, the importance of quality ingredients, as well as the right way to taste and season your food while cooking. This advice is invaluable for any wannabe chef, or anyone who just enjoys cooking, to perk up the most basic of dishes.
To end off a great morning—and quieten our rumbling stomachs—we enjoyed our creations with a glass of wine and freshly made baguettes with our classmates and chef, who very patiently answered all questions thrown at him by his very eager students.
All in all, I came away from this experience a little more educated about food, and with a greater enthusiasm to cook it. And it helps if I can impress the boyfriend with some of the tips I learned from a Le Cordon Bleu chef, too.
Look out for Le Cordon Bleu’s new one-day international wine certificate course, to be held on July 26. This introductory qualification will give wine lovers a straightforward introduction to wine and a basic food and wine pairing—as well as a good excuse to drink plenty of delicious wines!
Address: ROOB-1, 28-13 Sarugakucho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo