Home - Presentation - Cooking courses - Restaurant at home - The chef cook with you at home - Contact





Why are apricot tarts and chicken, when prepared in advance, never as good as when they are made at the last minute?

This is a question of “transfer of matter.” This scientific term, from chemistry, explains the following phenomenon: humidity, which is contained in apricot fruits, transmits itself towards the crust of the cake, and so it is no longer crusty, and towards the skin of the fruit, which also becomes too soft. By the same token, humidity that is in the chicken meat transmits itself to the skin, which loses its crispiness.

(For a scientific explanation of this phenomenon, and in general, to understand how cooking works on a physical and chemical level, see the page dedicated to molecular gastronomy on the website of the “Institut National Agronomique”: http://www.inra.fr./la_science_et_vous/apprendre_experimenter/gastronomie?moleculaire

So, you may be wondering what happens with an industrial dish.

Chicken, cakes, etc. are cooked days, weeks, or even months in advance. They are obliged to add a lot of products so the ingredients won’t mix too much. And as time passes, the aromas weaken: then one is obliged to add sauces, thus the fats, sugars, and conservatives and stabilizers, and to multiply the doses of herbs.  Thus, 5mg of estragon would be sufficient for a chicken cooked with estragon at your home, but the same chicken prepared industrially (?) would need 5g of estragon (in other words, 1,000 times more!), which could produce negative effects on your health.

What happens in a restaurant?

Your chicken, your cake, etc. are not cooked days in advance, but two or four hours in advance. Also, they cook potatoes, rice, sauces, string beans, tomatoes, etc. in advance.

In reality, they practice what is called “assembly on the plate”: they take a portion of chicken (or of veal, or beef, lamb, fish, etc.), they take some vegetables, they pour on some sauce, reheat and serve.

A restaurant is obliged to cook like this, because this is what they are used to and it is very practical, except for gourmet restaurants (but these do not come at the same price!). One problem is that people want to be served immediately. At gourmet restaurants, you must wait 45 minutes for the chicken to be served, 35 minutes for the tart, plus the time for them to chill the dessert if it must be served cold.

What happens when you cook at home?

You have meat, fish, etc. that you can serve right out of the oven, with vegetables that were cooked at the same time, with the appropriate sauces. (Restaurants often use “foundation sauce”: the sauce is not directly from the meat that was just cooked, and they add stabilizers and conservatives so that it keeps a good consistency.)

Only gastronomic restaurants can rival (and of course surpass, since the great cooks are true artists!) what you can do at home.


>> payment - price list <<