Not everyone would agree (particularly those with young kids) but for some, the past 3 months of lockdown has left us with a little extra time on our hands. As a result, we’ve seen a huge surge in people upskilling or starting new hobbies. Banana bread anyone?
Learning with Experts is a new online platform offering a variety of courses with one-to-one tuition with the best of the best. Want to learn the Art of Chocolate Making? Paul A Young will show you how. Looking for an introduction to craft beer? Matt Simpson, also known as ‘The Beer Sommelier’ will lead the way.
So who better to hold our hand (metaphorically obvs) whilst we expand our French cooking repertoire? It’s world-renowned, two Michelin starred chef and MasterChef judge Michel Roux Jr of course!
So how does it work?
There are two options to choose from. The Expert package will set you back £109, you can start the course whenever you like and you’ll have a month to complete it. Split into four sections, with multiple recipes in each, it would definitely make sense to space your learning out, especially as some of the videos can take half an hour.
The Learning with Experts online classroom (which will only ever have a maximum of 20 students at a time) is where you can chat, comment and encourage each other along the way. In order to ‘unlock’ the next assignment, you’ll need to submit either a photo, video or text displaying what you’ve learnt. Michel Roux Jr HIMSELF will then comment, providing feedback and coaching along the way. If you still want the community vibe but are willing to forgo the expert, this will cost just £29 and in both scenarios, you’ll need to buy the ingredients yourself.
So, what did we learn?
The first lesson is a simple omelette. You might think you know how to make this easy egg dish but Michel Roux shows us how to make it PERFECT. Building on this we’re shown how to make his famous Omelette Soufflé – this did not go so well. Turns out we’ve lost any arm muscle we may have had prior to lockdown and egg whites take a LONG time to make into perfect peeks. Top tip – make sure you watch the video first before delving straight in. As well as a lengthy video with Roux in action in the empty Le Gavroche kitchens, you’re also able to download lesson notes which is basically the supporting recipe. Once you’ve mastered the basic version of each dish, Roux Jr encourages us to put our own culinary spin on our creations.
The next section shows how to create the perfect white chicken stock (something that is then used repeatedly in further dishes) and three classic steak sauces – red wine, truffle and madeira and finally pepper sauce. There is a presumption that you’ll know how to cook a steak already, which will suit those that would rather skip the basics and get on with more in-depth learning. We actually choose to skip this section, moving straight on to the simple salad lesson where we learnt how to select complimentary leaves, prepare and dress them – before diving straight into the iconic potato dishes.
Similar but different, we’re shown how to make Roux dauphinoise, potato boulangère and potato rosti. Whilst our dauphinoise was in the oven we went back to our steak, finally putting it all together in one impressive plate of French food.
And because we have access to the virtual classroom for a month, the next day we tried another potato dish to go with our roast chicken – unless you’ve got a very large family, you probably wouldn’t want to attempt all three potato dishes at once.
These classic recipes are one’s we can see ourselves turning to in years to come. Whether you buy it as a gift for someone’s lockdown birthday or treat yourself, we had a lot of fun.
To learn more about the Learning with Experts courses, visit: learningwithexperts.com