Last month I attended 3-day Bleu Ribbon Kitchen Workshop at Le Cordon Bleu. The class theme was a Taste of French Bistro. There were 4 students in this class since it was kind of a new program. The workshop started from 8 am to 2 pm. We were dressed in a professional chef's jacket with a blue apron. Each day, our instructor gave us a brief instruction on what we need to do, then we started cooking. Our instructor went around to helped each person, made suggestions and showed how things should be done.
Although I worked in a professional kitchen for years, I've never learned the right way to cook French food. In this workshop, I've learned many techniques like sauteing, braising and butchering. Here're what my friends and I made each day.
Day 1 Garde Manger
The garde manger is an important part of the French bistro kitchen. This station prepares cold foods, such as salads, appetizers, terrines and desserts. Garde Manger is an entry-level position for cooks who are just starting out in the kitchen.
- Salad Nicoise
- Steak Tartare
- Qysters with Mignonette
Day 2 From the Oven
Bistro menu focused on food that were inexpensive, simple prepare and could be held for long periods of time like thick stews, roast meats and creamy desserts.
- Quiche Lorraine
- Creme Brulee
- Tarte Tatin
The instructor showed us how to make risotto since we had an extra time to kill. I know it wasn't French, but I didn't care because I loved risotto. :)
Day 3 From the Stove
Today, the popularity of the term bistro brings to a menu with many different types of French dishes that range from simple foods made with cheap ingredients to higher end ingredients that could be made to dinner.
- Chicken with Sauce Fines Herbs
- Steamed Mussels
- French Onion Soup
- Potato Leek Soup
- Sabayon with Fresh Berries
We did butchering a whole chicken today, it was fun to me because I always wanted to do this.
I was so inspired to cook off something after class, so I created a French dinner at home the next day. Here's the 4-course menu.
- Tuna tartare
- French onion soup
- Classic chicken breast with white wine sauce
- Brûléed maple pumpkin pie