Thursday, June 8, 2023

Cooking Classes and Food Experiences

There has been a surge in recent years of people hosting dinners at their homes, informal, home cooks being paid to host some strangers for a meal. I recently wrote an article about Dining Clubs, their origins and their current popularity but this has been taken to a new level, particularly in these Covid affected times. It is now possible to go for dinner and enjoy a cooking class at the same time or spend a day out in a city and then join a small group cooking and learning about that city’s food.

If you have a passion for food, travel and culture there is no better way than learning from a local about the food of that area. In Barcelona, for example, you can get a guided tour of the world famous market followed by a group class in cooking paella and making sangria, all taught by local people who just want to share their passion. It is a fantastic way of discovering a new city and its culture.

Cooking Classes and Food Experiences

For further information on Barcelona cooking classes follow this link to tripadvisor

As the saying goes “When in Rome….” Learn how to make pasta, pizza or other classic Italian dishes with local foodies. It gives you a chance to get off the beaten track and away from the traditional tourist traps. These are only two examples of places to visit followed by cooking. There has been an explosion in food experiences in recent years and virtually every city has its own version of a city tour and culinary class. You do not need to be a great cook to take part as it is far more about the experience. It is worth searching through traveller review websites to find one that suits you.

Whilst looking at reviews for various classes three things become evident for those that receive good comments. Firstly, the person hosting the course is absolutely passionate about their subject, whether it be their city or the food that they are sharing. The second is that small groups work best and everyone benefits from some one on one time with the host. And lastly, and possibly the main thing, is that cooking becomes fun.

Over the past year it has become increasingly difficult to host people in your home and as we all know tourism has suffered desperately, so many of these cooking classes have moved online and it is now possible to learn from the comfort of your own home.

Cooking Classes and Food Experiences

Once you have booked the experience you will be given a link to join the video call and also given a list of ingredients and equipment that you will need. Some will make suggestions for wine pairings and even music to help get you in the mood! The experience might be slightly different but it still gives you the opportunity to sample some international delights and possibly make some new friends around the world. The hosts are still as passionate and there are now some renowned chefs giving classes because their restaurants are currently closed. In terms of price, expect to pay from 10 Euros to 40 Euros for an online class.

There are a few companies now organising online cooking experiences but two of the biggest are Airbnb – look for their experiences section – and Eatwith – again search for their online experiences or cooking classes. We all hope that travel will get back to normal fairly soon and we can start experiencing the sights, sounds and smells of those great cities once again. When it does I highly recommend searching out a local cooking class. Cooking and sharing food with other like-minded people is, in my opinion, one of life’s great social pleasures.

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Dave Winteridge
Dave Winteridge
I am a restaurateur in the South of France but originally from Great Britain. I have spent around 30 years in the hospitality industry and over the past 12 years I have opened restaurants in Spain and France. I am a keen skier, living in the Pyrenees, and ideally for the future I would like to spend less time at the stove and more time at the keyboard.


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