Cook’n With Class 10 years – A word from Chef Eric Fraudeau
It started with an idea
In 2006 when the project of opening a small cooking school in Paris started to germinate in my head, I would have never imagined that the school would be where it is today. 10 years after opening on July 17th in 2007 we have grown. From my first class in 2006 taught in a vacation rental to the 30m2 square boutique on rue Custine to a large 2-story loft-space on rue Baudelique now running 2-5 classes a day; from 1 chef, 1 cleaner to a staff varying from 6-12, my original dream has grown from just an idea.
I couldn’t have done it alone. I had a lot of support. Firstly from my wife, Yetunde and of course to the wonderful, passionate cooks who have come through our doors, some of whom still remain today.
We started by offering the morning market class only, as the market was vital to what I wanted to share in French cuisine. The emphasis was Fresh & Seasonal produce which is essential (to me), no matter where in the world you live. Of course we know we are privileged and we certainly try to not take that for granted.
French cooking classes in English
Teaching in English was how I wanted to set myself apart. I looked and did not find (at the time), any other French chef offering French cooking classes in English. I was offering French cooking like as a French family would enjoy at home – without pretension. We headed off to the market with no idea of what the next meal is going to be… The market and our favorite vendors would guide the menu of the day. What a great concept! Fun, never boring, tasty and informative…
And then came the sweet stuff
I am not a baker. I am not a pastry chef. But I will try anything. The desserts I offered in class were simple and tasty. But it didn’t take long before I wanted to take things to the next level. We started offering Desserts classes, bread, croissant…. all that thanks to my friend Chef Pino, who brought great talent and ideas to Cook’n with Class…
The last 10 years have been fantastic, thanks to you, our students, for coming again and again, to take classes with us. Over 30,000 of you have passed through our doors. We enjoyed some time being #1 ahead of the Eiffel Tower – How’s that? Then Tripadvisor started their categories which made a little more sense. I can hardly believe how far we’ve come.
I also have to thank my team – of chefs, office staff & cleaners. I won’t mention every single one of them at this point, but we could have never been able to get to where we are today without great chefs with great personalities. While some of them are no longer working with us, we still love them. Their stories intertwined with ours.
The small little space we had at the beginning was a office space and is now a clothing store, the second space we had was a hairdresser, then a coffee shop which changed to yet another café. The space we use today was one a Call Center and had 200 phone lines installed. Time has flown by.
Couldn’t have done it without you
We’ve had a lot of different individuals taking classes with us, from the Wu Tang Clan singers and manager, to a prime minister of a Scandinavian country, a very famous Hong-Kong pop singer, a jazz pianist, brain surgeons who had operated on an American president, the voice of Bart Simpson, a young couple from SF, she was a belly dancer and he is working at Pixar…many nurses, teachers, Real Housewives, House Hunters, honeymooners, couples celebrating their anniversaries, couples proposing Parents with kids, grand parents and their grand children . . . . Famous and VIP every last one of you! I hope, had a good time, learned something from us, and got a few calories from our classes… and that you remembered to leave us a review. ?
As life continues to move forward so do our dreams. We have now a cooking school in Provence, in Uzès to be precise, and the saga will of course continue.
We will see where we go with the next project but, if you know me, you know that this story will not end soon.
A huge thanks to all of you, for your confidence in our ability to make good food together and the trust you have offered us since July 2007.
Merci! And see you again soon!
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