Our cuisine is a compendium of different food ethnicities, from the Caribbean to Africa to Europe, and that includes French cooking. French culture was vital in the founding of New Orleans as a city and its vibrant culture, and influences from French cuisine made into the homes and restaurants of the city as well. The city has a bevy of excellent restaurants still serving up top-notch French cuisine today, including Café Degas, Restaurant August, La Crepe Nanou, Herbsaint and Lilette, to name a few.
But what if you want to take some of these French dishes and cooking techniques back home to your kitchen? The Alliance Francaise de la Nouvelle-Orléans has just the answer: a cours de cuisine—or cooking class—in the French art of cooking.
These incredible French cooking classes are hosted by Brigitte Gomane, who has been cooking for her family since she was a young girl living in France. She was once the director of the Alliance in New Orleans, but now she continues sharing her passion for French cooking by hosting these classes and showing students an array of traditional French dishes. Each class features three courses and wine, which students can enjoy after they cook.
The cooking classes are held in the new cooking demo kitchen at the Southern Food & Beverage Museum on O.C. Haley Boulevard. The classes are held on Wednesdays, and Gomane hosted the first class February 4th. In that inaugural class, she taught students how to make a smattering of leek dishes: cream leek and potato soup, scallops with leek fondu and leek tart.
The next cooking class will be held Wednesday, May 6th, and will feature traditional dishes from Pays Basque, or Basque Country. They include Poulet Basquaise, which is a quick-braised chicken, and Gateau Basque, which is a traditional tart dessert constructed from layers of cake made from almond flour. Attend this class to be transported straight into this picturesque region of France renowned for its exquisite cuisine.
Cooking classes are becoming a popular excursion for foodies when they travel, and traveling to NOLA should be no exception—if not the ultimate rule. If you’ll be in town for any of the upcoming classes, be sure to grab a seat to take a piece of authentic French cuisine back home with you.