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  • Writer's pictureMartine Bertin-Peterson

A Tour of Online Cooking Classes

Quarantining and the shut down of favorite restaurants have caused many of us to discover - and rediscover- the joys of cooking at home. Like many of you, I have revisited many of my favorite cookbooks and flipped through some of my dog-eared food magazines to find and prepare new and not-so-new recipes everyday. Now that the prime growing season is underway and farmers' markets are filled with beautiful produce, it might be time to "up your cooking game."

I love to take cooking classes whenever I travel. In fact, all of our Goût et Voyage trips include at least 3 cooking classes with local chefs in each "Taste of.." location. With the current travel restrictions, these hands-on classes are not feasible. Fortunately, a number of chefs are offering classes online. These are not recipe snippets you might see on Instagram or Facebook, rather they are multi-hour classes to create a full meal or a selection of popular dishes.

These online classes are a fun way to "get together" with family and friends for a productive and delicious activity. Or consider taking a class on your own with others from around the world. I have taken in-person classes from some of these chefs and cooking schools and I can attest to the quality of instruction and the enjoyable "classroom" experience. All of these classes are available in English, although instruction in other languages may also be available.

Rafaella of Let's Cook in Umbria offers live, interactive streaming classes in Italian cuisine 5 days a week from her kitchen in Umbria, Italy. Each class is 2 - 2 1/2 hours long and includes an appetizer, a fresh pasta dish and a dessert. A current class menu includes panzanella salad, hand-made ravioli with fresh tomato sauce and a crostata cake with almond cream and fresh fruit. Classes are limited to 5 participants or you can opt for a private class with up to 5 friends or family members. Rafaella will send registered participants a list of necessary ingredients and equipment prior to the class. For additional information on class availability, menus and prices visit the website.

Learn to make macarons, those light and heavenly French or Italian meringue cookies, with a Parisian pastry chef from Appart Paris. During this 1 1/2 hour private class (for up to 6 screens), you'll prepare macarons with 2 different fillings. A precise list of ingredients and equipment will be sent upon booking. For additional information, pricing and booking details, visit the Appart Paris website.

The Santa Fe School of Cooking has celebrated the cuisine of New Mexico for over 30 years with a full roster of hands-on and demonstration cooking classes. The school is now offering hour-long virtual classes hosted by popular regional chefs. You can watch the class and prepare the dishes later at your leisure or you can cook along with the chef if you have shopped for the ingredients in advance. A brief video explains how to get the most out of your virtual class. Sample class menus include classic green chile stew with blue corn muffins, authentic Mexican enchildas with drunk beans and classic New Mexican green chile chicken tamales and pinto beans. New class offerings are added regularly. To register for a class, find out about pricing and review current virtual classes, visit the school's website.

Compadre Cooking School in Lisbon, Portugal offers an online class in spicy Piri Piri Chicken. During an interactive hour-long class, you'll learn about the history of this traditional Portuguese dish while watching a step-by-step preparation. A list of ingredients will be provided in advance and the chefs can modify the "heat" level to accommodate your taste. For booking details, schedule and pricing, go to the school's website.

When booking these classes, please mention that you learned about them from Goût et Voyage. Happy cooking!

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