Let alone cook like a French chef....
That is a good question. If you are fond of one particular kind of food, for instance: Italian, Mexican or Asian, then you should have had some experience with that food since you like it and want to make it. That also suggests you have some idea what it is that you like about it and what ingredients are used. In that case, you may simple rely on the images and tastes that you suppose go into a particular kind of cooking that you have already tried and liked... and thus begin to experiment at home in your kitchen using combinations of sweet and savory.
I blogged once that the key to being a chef is knowing the combinations of sweet and savory. This applies to all ethnic foods. The best way to discover combinations of sweet and savory is to experiment. Always slowly, adding this/that as you go because you can never take it out once its in the soup so to speak.
Tonight, I made Brain Gourmet Style - Vietnamese Lemongrass chicken with linguine noodles. You can of course use rice as a side. The key to Asian cooking is to be extravagant on the spicy end of the flavor dial. Some basic spices/flavors used in many Asian dishes are garlic and citrus as well as ginger and red pepper: whole or flakes. This dish is very simple and super spicy delicious.
To begin, make a paste of grated ginger, minced garlic and zest of lemon to marinate the chicken: using boneless/skinless thighs rub in the marinate. While the chicken thighs marinate, take a skillet and saute on high heat one small chopped onion and either a red or yellow pepper in 1 tbs of coconut oil and a drizzle of olive oil. Then add to that, red pepper flakes, crushed coriander and dried mint as well as oregano or rosemary.
Next, add your chicken thighs (paste on) to the skillet, first pushing aside the onion and pepper. Sear the thighs on both sides. Finally, add to that about 1/2 cup of bottled orange ginger sauce (available in most Asian sections of your local grocer), 1 tbs of lite soy sauce and a pinch of brown sugar. Keep the heat on high and try to reduce down the sauce to get the chicken thighs a bit sticky.
Lastly, prepare a side of pasta - linguine. Rice noodles and or rice are also good to use. Remember to boil the pasta is salted water. Drain when tender and rinse with cool water. Ladle the pasta onto a low lipped serving plate and top with the chicken/sauce and serve. Squeeze on fresh lemon juice and top with dried parsley, or a few thin shavings of leek stem/top... hence: 'lemongrass'.
~ Tutti a Tavola