Get Cooking Like a Pro at Le Cordon Bleu

Edie Ravenelle

Blog Posts, Edie Ravenelle, Food


Chef Herron demonstrates the fine art of stir fry.

By Edie Ravenelle

 

Whether you’re an adept chef-wannabe or a cooking newbie logging way too many hours watching the Food Network, it’s time to get yourself to a real Master Chef kitchen and let the pros teach you the tricks of their trade, in person.  Check out www.MasterChefCookingClasses.com for the 2013 Master Chef Series of 44 weekend culinary and baking classes taught by Le Cordon Bleu chefs at the famed culinary college’s Boston campus (in Cambridge).

That’s what I did recently to “learn to wok” at The Art of Chinese Stir Fry class with Le Cordon Bleu Chef Matt Herron.  Wokking never tasted so good!

In just about three hours, each of the four groups (three to four students to a group) in my class donned aprons, watched a few demo techniques entertainingly delivered by Chef Matt, and then grabbed our “spats”(spatulas) to produce — and happily consume — four main dishes and one dessert.  Frankly, as a passionate self-taught cook and one-time personal chef, I wasn’t sure how much I had to learn.  Quite a bit, in fact, as Chef Matt demonstrated the exacting, sequential technique of rapid-fire stir fry (with tips on how to successfully transfer our newly-acquired pro results to a lesser-BTU home range).  I also learned the fun fact of how Szechuan peppercorns are added to a dish because they contain analgesic properties that numb your mouth, enabling you to continue eating the blazingly-hot, red chili-infused Szechuan cuisine.

My fellow classmates were an entertaining — literally, as one of my cooking buddies was a stand-up comic taking the class as a prelude to crafting her new comedy schtick: “Cooking Up Laughs” — and varied bunch.  They included a mid-life married couple (he’d given her the class as a Mother’s Day gift), several other solo attendees, a mom and her late-teens daughter, and two 20-something (dating?) couples.  Chef Matt assisted us, as needed, as did a couple of culinary students who prepped ingredients and swept away used bowls and utensils as we progressed from dish to dish (BIG help on that clean-up chore!).

Best perk: Taking home containers of Yangzhou Chau Fan (shrimp and Cantonese roast pork fried rice) and Chinese Almond Cookies for dinner that evening (along with our recipe cards, official Le Cordon Bleu aprons and even-more-official Le Cordon Bleu Certificates of Completion).  So grab a foodie friend, significant other, or go solo to learn your way around a professional chef’s kitchen and, maybe, a thing or two about what it takes to make the grade as a Le Cordon Bleu chef.

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