Upon introduction to French chef and entrepreneur, Eric Fraudeau, at the Parisian cookery school that he opened in Montmartre during 2007, it starts to make sense why both himself and Cook‘n With Class have received such outstanding feedback on popular sites like Trip Advisor. Eric has more than 20 years professional experience in the industry, traveling all over the globe, and even studied art history at the Louvre. Yet he exudes a rare unassuming charisma, an instant likeability and openness that charm away any preconceptions about the French. It was a privilege to hear him speak about his love of food, French living and why the good life is so important…

Earliest memories involving food
When I was really young my grandmother was a chef and had a restaurant on a farm. We stayed there every summer so I spent a lot of time with her in the kitchen, and that is where my desire for good food originated.

Opening a cookery school
I worked in the US and Canada before returning to France. After spending nearly 25 years working for other people, I was really searching for what I could do as a small business owner. I wanted something that would enable me to continue sharing what I love, which is cooking, but also be independent. My wife, Yetunde, already had a company renting apartments in Paris, and every time I spoke to her guests I could see there was a real interest in learning how to make basic French food that was easy to reproduce. That’s how it all started.

Success of Cook’n With Class
If you want to teach something you have to be sure that you know what you’re talking about and you have a passion for it. I’m not alone in the company. We have a lot of people working with us now, all passionate about food and all professionals. We are also surfing on the wave that everybody is talking about, and that is food. I watch Masterchef too sometimes, that’s the way it is. We are catering for people who live outside of France that don’t get the markets we have here. The reviews always say the chef was nice, the market was fantastic! So really it’s the market experience, seeing five or six varieties of tomato you can touch and smell. This doesn’t happen in every country.

Living in France
Historically, food has always been taken very seriously by the French; it’s not something you can joke about very often. In France when we sit down for lunch or dinner, it is a serious event and we teach that to kids. At school the children have two hours for lunch. If the food is provided by the city, which is the case in Paris, it is organic food most of the time, and you have an appetizer, main course, cheese and desserts for every meal that they offer. For me it is practices like these that make France a pretty special place to live.