The FCI section will give you tips and techniques for cooking, cutting and interesting websites. Week 1 

Starting off cooking school with only 3 hours sleep due to work was not the easiest day but I was brimming with excitement and eager to start.

The first day was Kitchen Basics, Hygiene and Knife Skills. Being in French school all the terms are....yes in French. Makes for an interesting lesson.

For anyone who has recently taken any form of cooking class you will agree you appreciate uncut hands so much more because with each class you apparently turn into Edward Scissor hands and shred your hands to death. I think since I have started school I am up to 15 cuts and 2 nails lost.

Basics included chopping and all the different methods of chopping. The only method I knew before hand really was Julienne. One website I found quite useful was the BBC Food Technique site - Here.


The first lesson seemed pretty simple but required a lot of technique. Tournage means to turn, derives from the French verb tourner. Using a pairing knife we turned many different vegetables into seven sides and blunt ends, the shape is similar to an American football.


We created a recipe called "Pommes Rissolées", most recipes you will see have the potato cut into cubes...not really correct but the cooking technique is the same. The potatoes are blanched in water, than sautéed in oil, and finally roasted in the oven with butter and seasoning.

The next recipe was called "Garniture bouquetière" (a vegetable platter). We used the carrots and turnips and cooked them by using a glazing technique (water, butter, salt, sugar). They were cooked glacer à blanc, which simply means to cook to a colorless glaze. Then cooked pearl onions, which were cooked glacer à brun, which means to cook the vegetable long enough so that the sugar will caramelize the vegetable and achieve a darker glaze. The final ingredients were string beans and peas that were cooked à l’anglaise (cooked in boiling salty water, then shocked in ice water, later cooked in butter and seasoning at the time of service).

The final Product.......

Final Dish

The next few weeks lesson....Stocks and Sauces !