When you can’t be close to those you love
There are pluses and minuses to having friends and family all over the world. The plus side is that you get to add more and more interesting places to your bucket list of places to visit. The minus is, of course, the distance between you. You may not get to see them quite as often as you like. You, like me, are probably feeling that even more during this unprecedented global event. Yes, there have been other illnesses that have done its share of destruction to the lives of those it touched either directly or indirectly but I would venture to say that none has traveled as fast as this one has across the information highway that we call social media. Another good thing about having friends and family all over is that at least you have an on-the-ground point of reference when you read or hear something in the news that sounds alarming. You can check in with the locals and see what is really happening and how they are really doing. Speaking or reading multiple languages is also quite useful for that but the human connection remains the strongest.
When our connections have been abruptly disrupted, it takes its toll and we all (even the introverts perhaps), try to find ways to reconnect once again. Maybe not quite like before but connect all the same. Re-enter the age of video-conferencing. Video-conferencing has gone from being a tool for business with remote satellite offices, to being the way we stay in contact with our loved ones – queue the Jetsons style arrangement.
A glimpse of the future
Video-conferencing & Live streaming have also allowed small businesses to find a way to stay in connection with their clients. I’ve been part of Facebook Live fitness & pilates classes, Zoom Indian cooking classes and we’ve begun hosting our own virtual cooking classes including a virtual cheese & wine tasting to help a friend celebrate a special birthday to fill a void in our business which is still closed and may not see a return to “normal” for quite some time.
Over the last few weeks with our 6-year-old at home, we’ve tried to “re-invent” ourselves a bit by doing what we do best – cooking but in a new way. Eric has been keeping us well-fed testing out new recipes. I occasionally cross over from behind my camera and have whipped up some family meals as well, and our little YouTube star, Remi has been recording recipes for a 10-recipe web series, Cook’n With Remi. 6 episodes have aired already and we have received a few photos from followers, of their kids following along and cook’n with Remi. Bravo to them all!
Not to be shown up by his own son, Eric has also thrown himself into the game and we set up a few episodes of Cook’n With Class Recipes with Chef Eric Fraudeau which airs every Wednesday evening at 8 pm Paris time. We are hoping that these “tactics” will keep us in your hearts and minds and will at some point bring you back into our kitchens when you feel more prepared to travel again. But in the meantime, we’ve been hacking some alternative proposals for you. I hinted at this in the last letter and thanks to one of our former students and a new friend, Grace W., who brought us into the world of Zoom, we feel ready to take the plunge into the virtual world. That’s right, you can’t come to see us, so we decide to go see you – at least through our webcam at any rate. I hope you will join us in this new adventure.
The Launch – Testing out virtual learning
All these new experiences and a possible new normal, have given fruit to “new” ideas – ways that we can stay connected and help you stay connected from those you love. While we feel ready to take this next leap, some of you may be wondering what this whole experience could be like. We’ve scheduled virtual cooking classes with programs that Eric has put together. There will take place, for the moment, in June, July, & August.
Here’s your chance to see what we’re capable of! To kick things off and to help you keep France (and us), in your hearts and minds, Eric will be hosting two YouTube Lives on May 30th and May 31st presenting you two recipes in a one-hour session, that you can follow along with. It’s a little different from how we plan on running the virtual classes but we wanted to try to accommodate a lot more people than the classes would. This YouTube Live will also be a fundraiser for our small business, with the class being offered at 9 euros in a private stream. May 30th will be at 10 PM Paris time and May 31st at 10 am Paris time. You’ll receive the recipes & a link to the private session when you book so you can shop for your ingredients.
So what is the YouTube Live Stream about?
In this virtual cooking class demo, Chef Eric will be presenting you with two easy-to-follow recipes that can be put together in about 1 hour (prep time not included). The recipes are the same but for the main ingredient. One is fish dish and the other is a vegetarian dish. Unlike with our new online virtual cooking classes which will be interactive as well as LIVE, we will not be able to see your work but you can chat with us during and after the demo. The 1-hour session will be followed by a 30-minute chat session when you will be able to ask questions relative to the recipe we’ve done together.
Without you, there would be no us. Cook’n with Class has been in offering French cooking classes to visitors of France (notably Paris), since 2007. Many of you have asked us how you could show your support during these challenging times. We have often been asked if we offered virtual cooking classes but till now, we have not had the time to devote to it. We are proposing to our followers, old and new a series of classes that you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home, led by Chef Eric Fraudeau, creator of Cook’n With Class. This class is a demo to introduce you to our Virtual classes which can be booked as private one-on-one lessons, group classes, or as a family gathering. A new age brings us new developments. He will present a fish dish as well as its vegetarian alternative.
This demo is being held as a fundraiser which will help us as a small business trying to make the best of our current situation. We hope that you will be able to join us on one of the two dates and look forward to seeing you in person in one of our Cooking Classes & Culinary Vacations.
Fish dish: Fish Papillote, Orange and Lemon sauce, Zucchini and Basil a la Crème
Vegetarian alternative: Celeriac Papillote, Orange and Lemon sauce, Zucchini and Basil a la Crème
Once you’re signed up, you’ll receive the recipe with your confirmation, as well as the instructions on what to prep ahead so that you are ready to follow along should you wish to. The link to the private YouTube LIVE stream will be provided the day before the session. In fairness to all the other participants, we ask that you do not share this link with anyone who has not signed up for the demo.
Interested in our online classes?
You can sign up and design your own customized private online lesson with our chefs.