Interview with Chef Maynard of Gourmet Cuisine in France

There’s no question that France is known for its gastronomy. Delve into this gourmet world by heading to the Loire countryside, a French region known for its bread and delicious ingredients, and learning to cook classic and modern French cuisine.

Although now retired, for many years Chef Maynard taught our culinary travelers the ins and outs of French cuisine. The chef started his cooking school alongside his wife, and for years his classes took place in a renovated and charming farmhouse in the Loire. In another installment of The International Kitchen’s chef interviews, chef Maynard shares his history with and passion for cooking.

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Chef MaynardWhat’s your first cooking memory?
At home with my grandmother; she lived on a farm and one of my earliest memories was making goats cheese with her. We put it in an old letterbox outside to mature! I would have been about 6 or 7 years old at the time.

Where (and from who) did you learn about cooking?
Originally my mother (like everybody!) but when I left school I went for 3 years to culinary school and then started working my way up in various 5 star hotels, including the Savoy in London. By the time I was 27 I fulfilled a career ambition by creating my own gourmet restaurant with my wife. But of course, as a chef you never stop learning.

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What’s your favorite ingredient or food to cook with? Favorite dish to make?
As the years have gone on I have developed my passion for making & plating desserts, my latest creation which I am very proud of is our apple panacotta dish (which we teach on the course.)

PanacottaWhat’s the best piece of advice you’d give to someone just starting to cook?
Relax & enjoy the process, use your intuition and taste, taste, taste – then taste again!

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What do you hope people gain from your cooking programs/classes?
Confidence, ability to bring out flavours, the artistic side of cooking, a deeper understanding of how ingredients work with each other so they have the ability to create their own dishes & recipes, and a great set of new friends.

Cooking class in FranceAnything else you’d like to share with clients of The International Kitchen?
We are a cookery course for cooks, lots of hands-on time in the kitchen. There is only one way to learn and that is to get stuck in. We are quite unique in the size of our classes; we have 3 professional chefs over the week to a maximum of eight clients, guaranteeing individual attention. Because of this we are able to easily cater to all skill levels from beginners through to advanced cooks.

Check out some recipes by Chef Maynard and his collaborators:

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