Ferrandi is one of the most important cooking schools in France, a giant building on the Rive Gauche with over 1,300 students learning how to be bakers, barmen, waiters and chefs. Of course they have to practice their skills on the general public, so the Ecole has set up two restaurants that are firm favourites with foodies-in-the-know (the waiting list for a table can stretch for several weeks, if not months – bear in mind they are closed during the long French school holidays). Le Premier is a showcase for students learning a basic cooking apprenticeship, so the cuisine tends to concentrate on traditional French cuisine, serving classics like dos de saumon Duglère, oeufs, asperges et croque haddock, and granite de Chartreuse. Restaurant 28, though, is reserved for high-level students on an intensive three year course, and the level is quite simply as high as a Michelin-starred restaurant, from the welcome cocktail mixed by a student barman to exquisite dishes like velouté de cèpes avec copeaux de châtaignes, roast duck carved at the table with Apicius sauce, a fabulous bouillabaisse or irresistible profiteroles à la vanille Bourbon, chocolat chaud. And the bill comes to €30 for a five-course lunch. The school’s professors are everywhere, watching that all goes smoothly, while in the kitchen, nothing is served unless the Professeur Chef thinks is it perfect. Be sure to come at 12.30 sharp for lunch, as afterwards both students and professors have to disappear for afternoon lessons.
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28 Rue de l’Abbé Grégoire, 6th
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