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Mar 1, 2009 02:21 PM

Paris Pastry Class

While traveling to Paris in September, I would like to take a class to make Croissants, Brioche and Macaroons (September 28 - Oct 3).

I am an accomplished cook and don't want to take a class that is so geared toward someone who barely knows how to hold a knife. I do though want to learn to make what I consider probably the more complicated things (croissants, Napoleons) along with the famous macaroons.

Is there a bakery or pastry chef out there who would be interested in teaching someone this?

Everything comment is greatly appreciated!!

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  1. I am going in May with this as a focus as well, though I want to learn even more than pastry. I am not sure what would qualify me as an accomplished cook, but I too know one end of the knife fro the other, Even that there is more than one kind o knife! :) I am planning on doing some classes with Cooking with Class, and there is a Pastry class at LCB, but I do not know how proficient one should be before that one. I will be happy let you know how it was for me though, if your planning can wait that long. RosieCaro

    3 Replies
    1. re: RosieCaro

      RosieCaro, That sounds great. I have been looking at Lenotre and Alain Ducasse. I have read over the info about Cooking with Class and think it might not be for me. But I would like to hear from you what you thought of the class. I have particular things I want to learn and Ducasse seems to be exactly what I'm looking for. They just don't have September posted yet. Lenotre has a killer Macaroons class but I will need a translator. They also have a great croissant class. I will also need a translator at Ducasse

      I have always dreamed of going to Paris and studying Pastry at the Ritz for a week. But with this economy I really don't think I should be spending THOUSANDS of dollars to take a class for 4 or 5 days.

      If your really into Pastry you should get the book Patisseries of Paris by Jamie Cahill. It lists all the great pastry shops by neighborhood. It's going to be my bible while I'm there!!
      Enjoy your trip and I look forward to hearing how the class went. Cindy

      We are traveling with a group of 6 - 8 people and one of our friends daughter is probably going to meet us there and she speaks french fluently. My hope is to have her come along and translate.


      1. re: jmp7020

        I heartily recommend Lenôtre for pastry classes. The head chef/prof François Schmitt is fantastic. His new second is very good, too.

        The classes are definitely hands on. For example, you can't know what softened butter really means until you feel the chef's butter's softness then do it yourself, and have the chef check it. It's also different for croissant dough from puff pastry dough. And so on.

        The classes are taught at a relatively advanced level using high quality equipment. There isn't anything you can't duplicate in a well equipped home kitchen, except for the flash freezer. But that is mainly necessary because some steps would take too long waiting on a home freezer.

        From taking courses there, I have become very proficient in making pâte feuilletée and croissants & pains au chocolat, plus many other desserts.

        You will need someone to translate, for sure. If the schedule works, I would suggest taking the pâte feuilletée first, before the croissants and the millefeuilles (napoleans).

        Finally, when you get home you'll need to find the ingredient equivalents to French butter, T55 flour, and yeast. I left a tip sheet with Chef François in English with this info.

        My avatar here is a photo of me at Lenôtre making what they call a chocolate millefeuille. It is actually a deuxfeuilles. Two disks of chocolate with cream in between. We also made regular millefeuilles at that class.

      2. re: RosieCaro

        Did you take any classes? How were they? I would love to hear where you went and if you enjoyed what you learned!! Cindy

      3. The original comment has been removed
        1. I whole heartedly thank you two for the info. I have been really leaning towards Lenotre and I can't wait to find out about the other Paris Chef.

          1. re: jmp7020

            I'm also looking for cooking school in Paris for my Summer visit and end up signing up with Lenotre Macaroon. My French is very rudimentary, but with a little homework I'm hoping that I can follow the instructor. Will your friends' daughter be interested to translate during this Saturday class for a fee? :-) I'd very much be interested in that.

            How much did the translation cost at Ducasse? I was quoted EUR150 per class (doesn't matter a half-day or full-day). This is on top of the course fee itself. Tres Cher! I think I'll pass on this one.

            PS: Lenotre have a new Macaroon class called "Les Macaroon Sales", which I believe it is Macaroon with exotic filling, such as foie gras, madras curry, etc. Inspired by Pierre Herme perhaps. Have fun and pls don't hesitate to keep in touch if you'd like to share infos! :)

            1. re: anakorpa

              "Salé" literally means "salty" but in English we'd probably say "savory". It just means the opposite of sweet. It doesn't have to be exotic. For example, a ham and cheese crêpe would be "salée", while a strawberry one would be "sucré" (sugared, or sweet).

              Of course, if Lenôtre is teaching it, you might well look for exotic ingredients as well as traditional ones.

        2. www.promenadesgourmandes.com

          she can arrange any level you want, at her superb kitchen in the marais. tell her Kimberley from Brussels sent you. I just learned to make macaroons this week.

          2 Replies
          1. re: vagabondgourmet

            Thanks Kimberley - I've been in contact with Paule now. Hopefully she can accommodate me and my schedule. Where do you learn to make macaroons? Would you recommend it?

            1. re: vagabondgourmet

              Thank you for the info. How was the class on Macaroons? I have sent an e-mail to them about taking a class when I am there in September. would love to hear what you thought of the class!!!

            2. The original comment has been removed