As it's often said, one of the best ways to get to know a place is through its food, and there's nowhere better to follow that mantra than Paris, where culinary experiences allow you to be part of the local culture. Here are a few ways to do so.
Small-Group Cooking Classes
Typically limited to 15 people, a small-group cooking class provides personalized attention from a chef or instructor during a hands-on lesson where you might make classic French dishes such as soufflé or coq au vin. Most classes also offer insight into French culinary traditions, such as the proper ordering of courses and the importance of cheese. Wine is often included.
Cooking Classes with a Market Visit
No meal starts without ingredients, so if you're looking for a well-rounded food experience in Paris, book a cooking class that starts with a trip to a local market with a chef or guide to shop for fresh produce, herbs, and meat. You'll see how locals search for the perfect items and might have the chance to chat with vendors yourself.
Cooking Classes with a Meal
Most cooking classes end with eating your creations, but how much you make and eat depends on the class. For a full French meal, book a lesson that includes multiple courses so you can learn how to make a variety of dishes and enjoy lunch or dinner in a more formal setting.
Pastry and Dessert Workshops
Paris is a sugar high, with the array of decadent desserts and other sweet treats on offer at patisseries, boulangeries, and chocolateries all over town. So it's no wonder that many culinary classes focus on how make pastries, from classic baguettes to colorful macarons. You can't go wrong with a croissant lesson, one of the most popular, but for something fancier, you might learn how to make éclairs, tarts, or even crème brûlée.