The French Pastry School
“The Preservation Kitchen” The Craft of Preserving in a Professional Kitchen
Date: Apr 08 - Apr 11, 2013 (7:00 am - 3:00 pm)
Cost: $1,260.00
Course level: Professional ♦♦♦
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Take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn from Chef Paul Virant, one of the most celebrated chefs in Chicago as he teaches a course about the craft of preserving foods. Some highlights from the class include:  pickled and fermented ramps (wild leeks), smoked apple butter, lemon pickled turnips, lemon and fresh chevre curd, bourbon and blackberry jam. Students of the class will need to purchase Chef Virant's book: The Preservation Kitchen: The Craft of Making and Cooking with Pickles, Preserves, and Aigre-doux.  Chef Paul Virant will present an optional dinner on Wednesday, April 10th at Perennial Virant for the students of the class.  Details about this dinner are listed below.

Recipes in this class include:

  • Pickled Ramps and Sauerkraut
  • Lemon Pickled Turnips
  • Pickled Meyer Lemon
  • Pickled Sweet Peppers
  • Chow Chow
  • Pickled Snow Peas
  • Eggplant and Tomato Relish
  • Beer Jam
  • Blackberry Bourbon Jam  
  • Caramel Apple Jam
  • Brandied Fruit
  • Caramel Cipollini Aigre-Doux
  • Grape Aigre-Doux
  • Dried Fruit Mostarda
  • Grilled Mushrooms
  • Grilled Sweet Onions
  • Whitefish Brandade
  • Beef Shank Stew
  • Milk Jam
  • Lemon and Fresh Chevre Curd
  • Smoked Apple Butter
  • Cocktails with Bill Anderson (Vie Bar Manager)
  • Iced Coffee
  • Various Savory Applications with Preserved Items




  • Each student will be required to have a copy of Chef Paul Virant's The Preservation Kitchen: The Craft of Making and Cooking with Pickles, Preserves, and Aigre-doux book. Price of the class does not include the book.  Be certain to purchase the book ahead of time.


  • Chef Paul Virant will present an optional dinner on Wednesday, April 10th at Perennial Virant for the students of the class.
  • The cost of the dinner is $97.50 (includes dinner, paired with drinks, tax and tip) and can be purchased with your registration of the class. 
  • Only students of the class are able to attend the dinner. No guests permitted.

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This course is accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) for 28 Continuing Education Hours (CEHs).

Paul Virant is the chef and owner of two restaurants, the celebrated Vie restaurant outside Chicago in Western Springs, Illinois and new restaurant Perennial Virant located across the street from Chicago's Green City Market in partnership with the Boka Restaurant Group. Chef Virant's restaurants are built upon his guiding philosophy of making the ingredients – their origin, production and quality – the full focus of his culinary approach. Embracing the Midwestern seasons and utilizing methods of preservation allow guests to always expect a menu that showcases local flavors and ingredients in abundance.

Chef Virant founded his restaurants on the principle that food is a symbol of the good life and conviviality including all of the joys that are experienced around the table – a sense of community, relationships and the connection that we feel with our land, all laying the foundation for a full and abundant life.

"I wanted to create an extension of my home, where people come together and enjoy high quality food and drink in the company of others. My goal is to be a small part of my guests' enjoyment of every morsel and drop of life."

Opening Vie in 2004, Chef Virant was quickly recognized and lauded by local and national media alike. Winning three stars from Phil Vettel at the Chicago Tribune, Food & Wine Magazine's 2007 Best New Chef and Best New Chef by Chicago Magazine was just the beginning. 2010 and 2011 brought Vie a Michelin star, an appearance on the Food Network's Iron Chef America as well as the James Beard Best Chef Great Lakes Nomination.

No other chef working in America today utilizes preservation as robustly as Chef Virant. He truly captures the peak flavors of each season and allows his guests to enjoy them year-round. Marrying old and new world sensibilities, he creates dishes with a beautiful blend of foreign techniques with domestic products reflecting the seasons and local harvests all with a touch of his vast knowledge about preservation. The result is national acclaim for his properties as well as respect and admiration for this amiable chef who brings humility, passion, natural-born talent and genuine excitement to all that he does.