The eight weeks of lockdown in France has made local businesses, institutions, and even chefs more creative in the way they engage with the public. And that means getting online and giving people new ways to keep busy. From cooking and cocktails, to arts and culture, these free online resources are a great opportunity for you to gain more knowledge and skills (if you feel like it!).
Vogue Paris has a great YouTube channel where you can watch how to make avocado toast with French chef Cyril Lignac, pizza with fashion designer Simon Porte Jacquemus, udon noodle salad with Taku Sekine, and risotto primavera with Simone Tondo. Also featured are Michelin chefs Hélène Darroze, Thierry Marx, Mauro Colagreco, and Simone Zanoni.
On their Instagram TV, you can find French model Ophélie Guillermand’s signature banana bread recipe, which she makes for Vos Gâteaux, an initiative supplying medical professionals with homemade cakes. You can also watch how to make fried artichokes with French food stylists and photographers The Social Food (check out their Instagram for more recipes!).
Cyril Lignac has been busy himself too. Not only has he been cooking on French television channel M6, but he’s been posting the recipes to his Facebook page. Learn how to make French staples like croque-monsieur, gratin dauphinois, pain perdu, soufflé au comté and chocolat et riz, crème caramel à la vanille, tiramisu au café, and more.
Other French chefs sharing recipes on their Instagram accounts include three-star Michelin chefs Alain Passard and Anne-Sophie Pic; and two-star chefs Jean-François Piège, Stéphanie Le Quellec, and Hélène Darroze. You can also check out award-winning chef François Perret; Taku Sekine; Benoît Castel; and Pierre Hermé.
Margot Lecarpentier is the woman behind popular Paris bar Combat, and was voted the most influential bartender in 2019. She has been sharing her cocktail recipes via Instagram stories (and saved to highlights) such as the Mai Tai, Piña Colada, Whiskey Sour, Martini, Bloody Mary, Michelada, and Dark and Stormy.
Grungy Paris bar Le Syndicat, which features on the World’s Best Bars directory, also reveal their concoctions on their Instagram account. Including variations of the Moscow Mule, Gin and Tonic (or Gin To’ as the French call it), Daiquiri, Boulevardier, Ti’ Punch, and more.
L’Institut Français de la Mode (The French Fashion School) is offering a free fashion course, “Understanding Fashion: From Business to Culture.” The course features Simon Porte Jacquemus; Sidney Toledano, CEO of LVMH; Francesca Bellettini, CEO of Yves Saint Laurent; and Bruno Pavlovsky, President of Fashion at Chanel. Various subtitles are available.
Art & Culture
Centre Pompidou is offering a free introductory course (in French) on modern and contemporary art via MOOC. This is a self-paced course that consists of four sequences, takes eight hours, and gives you a free certification.
If you’re wondering how the restoration of Notre-Dame is going, head to the website of the Ministère de la Culture where you can read all about the progress. There is also a free documentary you can watch on arte.tv.
Paris concept store Make My Lemonade are providing various online tutorials on how to make masks, headbands, bucket hats, and crochet rugs. You can download the pattern and instructions from their website and DropBox, and find their instructional videos on their Instagram account.
Le Collège de France have over 10,000 audiovisual documents online, offering full lectures and courses in all disciplines. Its website, YouTube channel, and Apple Podcasts bring together thousands of hours of lessons and seminars, in video and audio. All of which are freely available and/or downloadable.
You can now register, free of charge, to the platform Bibliothèques de la Ville de Paris, where they have nearly 20,000 books in their digital library. You can also take online trainings, view all of the collections of the Philharmonie de Paris, and watch documentary films via the online platform Les Yeux Doc.
- Discover the best French recipe websites.
- Get recipes from French Michelin-star chefs Éric Frechon and Stéphanie Le Quellec.
- Check out our tips for improving your French online.
Written by Ali Postma for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates.