Learning from a local is the best way to experience a new country. That’s why if you only have time for ONE activity in Lyon, you must take a cooking class with Chef Thierry through VizEat. Forget about going to museums, restaurants, parks, and whatever else you want to do.
I’ve never felt so strongly about an activity abroad, let alone a cooking class, but that’s because Thierry’s cooking class is more than a class.
For only 40 euros, you get hours of undivided attention with a tour of Old Lyon, a lesson on how to make five dishes, five dishes to eat (duh), and of course, many glasses of wine. That is the dictionary definition of a great value!
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What is VizEat?
Before I give away all the details of this cooking class I took with Thierry, let me tell you more about VizEat.
Simply put, VizEat is like the Airbnb of home cooked meals, and in my case, home taught cooking classes.
Yes, that’s right. You get to have dinner or a cooking class in a local’s home. You see how a local person preps and cooks dinner, then dine with them. Over the course of dinner, you learn how that person grew up in this land far away from yours, what food means to their culture, and whatever else your conversation carries you away to.
As a bonus, you get to find out all the true local tips on where to go and what to see! Because of this awesome perk, I recommend booking a VizEat trip as soon as you arrive so that you can use their local recommendations throughout the week.
Thierry’s Cooking Class in Lyon
Taking a Tour of Old Lyon
I took Thierry’s cooking class at the end of my trip to Lyon, but right from the start, I wish I had taken it from the beginning.
One reason is because of the enormous list of places to go and see that Thierry and his partner gave us. They even highlighted all the places on a map and gave us it. No website or service would ever be able to give us the personalized recommendations they gave us while conversing and getting to know each other over food.
Another reason is because Thierry gave us a tour of his neighborhood, Old Lyon, before we started cooking. We got to learn about the traboules and their history– something that most tourists have no idea about!
But enough about the tour and local insider tips we got!
Let’s talk about the real reason we went to Thierry’s– the cooking class!
Being Invited into Thierry’s Home aka Cooking School
Thierry’s cooking class is set in his beautiful apartment in Old Lyon overflowing with plants, elegant design, and fruits for you to snack on.
As soon as you walk into the door, he invites you to make yourself feel comfortable, drink wine, and eat whatever you want. He even has a second bedroom for you to stay in if you’re looking for a room via Airbnb.
Want $20 off your first stay on Airbnb? Sign up with my code.
Cooking Four Courses
Cooking with Thierry is fully hands-on. Unlike a regular cooking school where ingredients are pre-measured, or you are cooking a one-person sized dish, you learn how to cook just as if you were cooking for your family or with friends.
He gives you tons of tips and tricks on how to prep and cook your meal throughout the class and makes sure that everyone contributes to each dish. His personality is quirky, upbeat, and contagious, which makes the class fun and engaging.
Before we arrived to Lyon, he asked me what type of food I’d like to cook, and of course, I wanted home-cooked local cuisine so that’s exactly what we got.
Here is the personalized menu of Lyonnaise or French specialties that Thierry prepared for us:
Cervelle du Canut, cheese spread/dip that we prepped first and ate while we were cooking the rest of our meals (as you can see above)
Choux, puff pastries to eat with the Cervelle du Canut, and later on, adapted as a dessert
Lyonnaise salad with bacon, poached eggs, croutons, mustard dressing, and lettuce
Chicken sausages with a creamy white wine sauce
Ratatouille, a stewed vegetable dish
I loved that everything Thierry taught us could easily be replicated at home. Seriously, as soon as I got home from France, I made ratatouille for dinner.
Plus, I took home new cooking skills such as learning to poach chicken in saran wrap to make sausages, boil the bacon before frying it, use a lot of oil for eggplant since it soaks up so much, and more.
Dining and Wining with Four Courses
Of course after we cooked, we sat down to eat together, which was just as much fun as cooking together.
Here are the final results in photos! If you can believe it, the food tasted way better than it looked.
We ate our food joyously and drank the bottle of wine that Thierry supplied.
Now do you know why I said this is the dictionary definition of a great value? For 40 euros*, you get a quick tour of his neighborhood, personalized local tips, a personalized menu of five dishes, new cooking techniques, a peek into a local’s life, and wine!
*Not all of Thierry’s classes are 40 euros. Some of his classes are 55 euros, but it depends on what you are cooking and when. Check out his profile to see all his classes!
Because of this great experience I had with VizEat in Lyon, I will be booking a dinner or cooking class with a local at the beginning of my trip anytime I go to a new country. It’s a great way to dive head in first to the local culture and cuisine.
To see if VizEat is available at your next vacation spot, check out their website, but if you’re in Lyon, take this cooking class with Chef Thierry.
Thanks for stopping by! xo.