PERKS OF TAKING A COOKING CLASS
There is one thing above all else that tempts and drives travelers to new and far off places…they go for the food. The food scene can completely shape this type of traveler's experience in a new city. I am not one of those people. I’m a terrible cook and I have the palette of a 6 year old. It’s not that I don’t take part in and enjoy the local food when I’m traveling; it’s just that I don’t live for it like others I’ve met.
Even I, inexperienced foodie that I am, can appreciate a good cooking class. I sign up for one as often as I can, and I’ve had some of the best meals while taking part in a class. It’s normally the first thing I do when I arrive in a new place because it gives me a good overview for selecting dishes during my trip.
Besides getting a great meal there are other perks. It’s a fun way to meet people, and interact with locals who are very passionate about their food and culture. Many classes include visits to the market and insight into locally grown produce. The cooking sites are usually interesting as well, I’ve cooked in beautiful green spaces, rooftop kitchens, and on organic farms.
It’s just another way to gain a new perspective on a place, and if you are savvy enough you can replicate the recipes at home. In a recent conversation with my brother, he has been preparing Italian food since his cooking class in Sorrento. Actually he couldn’t stop talking about the class and food, and I’m still waiting for my authentic Italian dinner.
I’m even considering taking a class here in Louisiana, just to see what interesting things I would learn. I’ve grown up with women who cook traditional Cajun food, but I think a Creole cooking class would be worthwhile. Plus, I can only imagine what colorful character would be teaching the class.
Can’t find a cooking class in the area you are visiting? Sometimes you can find street food tours or even pub-crawls. Another cool idea is taking a private class with a local family and sharing a meal in their home. Check out Meal Sharing for a database of people willing to cook for you.