Disclaimer: Disney, Marvel, Dreamworks & ABC Family sent me to Los Angeles on an all-expenses paid press trip, in exchange for my coverage of these events, including my Le Cordon Bleu cooking lesson inspired by The Hundred Foot Journey. All opinions are my own.
Last week is such a blur. Set visits, screening new films, interviewing celebrities, and eating out every meal. I’m not complaining in the least (LOVED it), but there’s just something about home. You know, sleeping in your own bed, snuggling with your own children, and smelling those familiar scents coming from the kitchen.
Ahhh, the kitchen.
I have to admit that there are certain dishes where “every bite takes you home”.
My mom passed away almost a decade ago, yet whenever I pull out one of her old recipes, it’s like I’m a kid again.
I can almost hear her voice yelling upstairs, “Dinner”.
There’s something about the essence of food that conjures up memories and feelings. It’s both a blessing and a curse, as I often find myself in tears during one of “mom’s meals”. But I wouldn’t change a thing.
I was able to watch the new DreamWorks film, The Hundred-Foot Journey , and can’t wait to share with you my entire review (though you’ll have to wait until next week). While the film centers around cooking, it’s only the backdrop to so much more, and one thing still resonated……food awakens our memories.
The scents, the textures, and yes, the taste.
In DreamWorks Pictures’ “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” the opening of a new Indian restaurant in the south of France next to a famous Michelin-starred eatery is nearly cause for a heated battle between the two establishments, until Le Saule Pleureur’s icy proprietress, Madame Mallory, recognizes her rival’s undeniable brilliance for preparing masterful meals.
So, as part of our press trip, I thought it was brilliant to include a cooking lesson inspired by the film, but was blown away when I discovered we would be attending the legendary Le Cordon Bleu.
We arrived at the Los Angeles campus of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, which surprisingly sits in the heart of Hollywood. We took a brief tour of the campus and learned just a bit about the requirements. Oh, to have a degree from Le Cordon Bleu…..I always think of names like Julia Child and Giada de Laurentiis.
Good to Know: It’s no coincidence this is where we took our cooking lesson, as Le Cordon Bleu is featured in “The Hundred Foot Journey”.
I’ll admit that when it comes to croissants, I’m pretty familiar with the kind those whose humble beginnings start from a can. So you can imagine how watching fresh from scratch croissants being made was a rare treat. Look how thick the dough is?
I only wish I could have stuck around long enough to smell them baking…..but alas, my cooking lesson was calling.
Just in case our lesson didn’t go exactly as planned (or the food turned out to be INEDIBLE due to our inexperience – HA!), the wonderful chefs at Le Cordon Bleu prepared some appetizers which we were able to enjoy.
Quiche Lorraine and Beef Bourguignon along with a simple salad.
I didn’t leave a single bite on my plate……it wouldn’t be the only time.
In The Hundred-Foot Journey , we are introduced to two cultures, French and Indian, struggling with each other. To combine the two types of cooking, which are seemingly very different, was the goal of this lesson, and the many recipes which have been inspired by the movie already.
To do that, we first needed to become familiar with spices we might not use in our own kitchens…..curry powder and cardamom.
After a brief lesson from the Chef, it was our turn. We all donned our new “The Hundred Foot Journey” aprons, which we were able to take home with us as a souvenir. We paired up with a fellow blogger and got to work.
There were several stations set up in the kitchen and you just had to find a spot.
I found several things interesting about the set-up, including the fact that stove burners are ALL kept on while cooking. Even when you aren’t using them.
You can see how many of us there were just on our side of the kitchen…..it was like a tv reality cooking show with us all on top of each other. So fun and exciting.
Leanette (@TeachMe2Save) and I paired up and of course had to pose for this picture as we began slicing. I was on apple duty – julienne style.
TIP: Before slicing an apple, cut the bottom off to make it stand level. So much easier to cut like that. BRILLIANT! Why had I never thought of that before?
On the menu for dinner, Parisian-Mumbai Salad with a Champagne Vinaigrette.
With guidance from a student chef, we did everything from create a chicken marinade to preparing curried walnuts for the salad.
Drum roll please………(and don’t worry, I’ll be sure to post the recipe soon)!
A fusion recipe of both French and Indian cultures.
And while the Chai Latte Creme Brulee was already prepared for us, we did get to each use a torch in the kitchen to create the famous finishing touch. It was so much fun that I’m seriously considering getting one for home!
It was truly the experience of a lifetime.
Now take a look at this preview for “The Hundred Foot Journey” and come back next week, where you’ll see not only my full review, but my interview with lead actor Manish Dayal.
The film is rated PG and will be in theaters everywhere on August 8th!
UPDATE: You can now order The Hundred-Foot Journey on Blu-Ray/DVD!
You might want to check out Three Recipes on the blog now, inspired by the movie! Sweet and savory!