Founded in 1895, Le Cordon Bleu is possibly the most famous cooking school in the world. Streams of professional chefs have perfected their technique here, including Julia Child (played by Meryl Streep in 2009’s ‘Julie & Julia’), Rachel Khoo (‘The Little Paris Kitchen’) and badboy dropout Mario Batali.
Nowadays, the school offers both professional qualifications and workshops for amateurs. For career cooks, there’s ‘Le Grand Diplôme’, which claims to be the ‘most rigorous and comprehensive program in classic French cuisine and pastry techniques available today’. Otherwise choose from a long list of appetising classes, including ‘Chef’s Secret’, where you learn how to make advanced dishes like shellfish casserole with saffron; ‘Sweet Choux, Pastry Treats’, which reveals techniques for perfect-every-time chocolate éclairs and choux pastries; and the pleasantly boozy ‘Food and Wine Pairing’ class, where a Cordon Bleu sommelier suggests wines to match a three course meal. Kids are catered for too, in the monthly two-hour ‘Petits Cordons Bleus’ class, which encourages 8 to 12-year-olds to get stuck in to making chocolate pizza and sticky apple tart.