I had the pleasure of spending a Saturday attending two cooking workshops at Le Cordon Bleu through the famous culinary school’s Bleu Ribbon Kitchen Workshops.
These workshops teach you culinary skills from experienced Le Cordon Bleu chefs where you get to be among current students and cook in sleek, professional-grade kitchens. The school is currently offering five, three and two-day workshops that allow you to really immerse yourself in a new technique or cuisine, and petite workshops for all ages and skill levels that are offered on Saturdays to work with your schedule.
I was able to attend both a brunch and cake/cupcake decorating petite workshop on a recent Saturday. I started in the brunch class and was excited to find it was just me and two other women (a mom and daughter duo) in the class. We got acquainted with the chef and the students who were busy prepping the ingredients we were going to be using and enjoying some of the breakfast foods they had set out for us. The chef showed us around the kitchen then went through our recipe pack for the six-hour class. He explained that he would change things up on the recipe and to take notes if we liked the substitutions. We got started on the filling for our Tart with Leeks, Olives and Chorizo at our own stations. We then prepped everything for our Orange-Cranberry Cream Scones so it could chill in the refrigerator before we baked them.
We took a break which is when I ran to the Cake/Cupcake Decorating class that was already in session. The chef was busy showing everyone, including students who were there for their school credit, how best to smooth out the icing on your cake. Hint: use a generous amount of icing on top of the cake, hold the spatula to an angle to the cake with the tip at the center, and rotate the turntable. Excess icing will drop down the side and you can hold the spatula at 45 degree angle to the cake’s side, and again turn the turntable. With a clean spatula, smooth the raised icing on the edge of the cake. I got a chance to play around with various piping tips and learned from a student that she’ll just use powdered sugar and shortening to make practice icing.
Back in the brunch class we put our tart filling into puff pastry and cut them into triangles, baked off some hasselback potatoes and sliced and baked our scones. While everything was baking we made a quick kale salad with a tahini dressing which was a pleasant surprise. I would have never thought to use tahini in a dressing, but it was delicious and a recipe I’ll be keeping handy. We also blended up a quick Five Fruit Juice Smoothie while we enjoyed our nice hot scones and tarts. We ended by grilling some fresh pineapple slices and serving them with vanilla ice cream and crushed amaretti cookies. So much good food!
As we finished up for the day, the chef reminded us that the recipes we were taking home were just a foundation and he encouraged us to tweak things to our tastes or whatever was in season. We all left with some leftover food and a certificate saying we completed the class which was a fun little extra. I’ve attended many cooking classes at various restaurants/stores and appreciated that the Cordon Bleu classes offered personal attention to each attendee, and allowed us to attempt every dish on our own and asking for help when needed. Hearing and seeing how the chefs and students went with the flow if something didn’t turn out exactly right really helps build confidence in the kitchen and shows what it would be like when you’re testing recipes at home.
Be sure to check out the list of Bleu Ribbon Kitchen Workshops and Petit Workshops available at the Dallas Le Cordon Bleu!