What exactly is "French food?" That's a hard question to answer as even cities have their own specialties. The general consensus though, is that French food is a veritable mash-up of local ingredients, talented chefs, inspired cooking and passion for the art of cooking.

If you have read Julia Child’s masterpiece “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” and want to give it go, there is no better place to learn the techniques, the theories and the practice of French cooking than from those who do it every day. Figure out the kind of cuisine you want to learn more about, and then read more about each of these culinary institutions that are available to teach you the tricks of the trade (in English!).

Le Cordon Bleu Paris

Paris exudes culinary excellence from its open-air markets to its casual bistros and boulangeries – what better place is there than Paris to learn about the art of food, gastronomy, and the importance of regional products? Located in the heart of Paris and founded back in 1895, Le Cordon Bleu Paris may be the most well-known cooking school on this list.

Every year, this institution attracts students from all over the world who use the knowledge they gain in these courses to start working in Parisian establishments. This experience reflects in future professional pursuits—regardless of what the career path may be. All courses here are taught in French and translated into English.

Institut Paul Bocuse – L’ecole de cuisine

In Lyon and surrounding countryside, there are a number of culinary workshops, cooking courses and French cuisine master classes that are taught in English by master chefs and restaurateurs. One of these places is the Paul Bocuse Institute. You can take courses that last one day up to six weeks that have been crafted for food enthusiasts.

You’ll be taught in a historic chateau in Ecully which is just outside Lyon. Choose from pastries, seasonal dishes, regional specialties and French delicacies for your lessons to become a master of French cuisine preparation.

l'Ecole du Grand Chocolat

In 1988, Valrhona created a professional training center in Tain l’Hermitage just outside Lyon to help artisan customers’ teams learn specific technical skills in the fields of patisserie and confections. Since then, l’Ecole du Grand Chocolat has welcomed more than 800 trainees a year from around the world.

Moreover, l’Ecole creates and publishes over 100 new recipes a season for making pastries, desserts, or chocolates. Courses here range from two hours long to two days long and you’ll learn the essentials for preparing the perfect cake, soufflé, tart, macaroon or mousse from the people who make it best.

Les Liaisons Délicieuses

This organization provides the most flexibility in location and program topic on the list. When you travel with Les Liaisons Delicieuses, you’ll embark on a week-long vacation in different provinces of France that include a full 12-hours of hands on cooking instruction from a number of Michelin-star restaurant chefs and proprietors.

Tours are available year round and you’ll be able to visit regions like Provence, Basque, Normandy and Cote d’Azur during your quest for French culinary expertise.

As any French person would tell you, French food is the best in the world. After finishing your culinary class of your choice, you are sure to agree with them. Learn, experiment, taste and more when you take a course in French cuisine. Once you book your flights, book your travel insurance too. It’s better to be safe than sorry and with travel insurance cover from Cover-More Australia, you will always have a team of experts at your back.

Image courtesy of Flickr user nate.ofarrell.