Over the past few years I have taken several amazing cooking classes around the world. Locals in Italy, Thailand and Israel taught me how to make some of my favorite dishes. I am not a cooking expert or anything, but I do have a good appetite (duh). And cooking delicious meals is a win-win situation, right? Whenever I prepare new tasty dishes or classic favorites that I learned abroad how to make, my loved ones clearly appreciate.
New recipes from the locals that I met abroad have become my favorite souvenirs!
Italian cooking class
Fattoria Poggio Alloro is a so-called agriturismo in San Gimignano, Tuscany that I have visited numerous times. The wonderful view, delicious home-made organic wines and olive oil, food at long tables with people from around the world and the super friendly staff make me come back to this amazing Italian family-run farm, B&B and restaurant over and over. One time I took this Tuscan cooking class led by family member and sommelier Sarah Fioroni. A wonderful experience that was high on my at-least-once-in-my-lifetime-to-do-list.
During the cooking class, Sarah taught us how to make a mouthwatering four-course meal, including appetizer, fresh pasta, meat and desert. The appetizer was bruschetta, a slice of grilled bread with tomato chunks, and the desert was tiramisu, a coffee-flavored Italian dessert. Classic and so yummy! I still make those at home. The cooking class end by eating all the food you prepared, while enjoying unlimited wine and an amazing sunset. And the best thing is: your bed is just a stumble away.
To read all about the agriturismo where I took this Tuscan cooking class, including their contact details for bookings, please check out my earlier article My love for agriturismo Fattoria Poggio Alloro in San Gimignano, Tuscany in 50 photos.
Thai cooking class
Koh Chang is a rustic, tropical island in the southeast of Thailand, close to the borders with Cambodia. We stayed here for a bout a week to relax at the beach during our three-week round trip. In my home town Alkmaar we have this great Thai restaurant which made me I look forward to learn some proper Thai cooking skills myself. In Thailand there are several places where you can take cooking classes, like Chiang Mai for example, however I preferred it at a more relaxed kind of place.
So on a sunny morning in December I went to Napalai Thai Cooking School, where Bunny taught me and a Swedish couple how to prepare seven different Thai dishes of our individual preferences. Better arrive with an empty stomach as it will be filled with the dishes prepared during class. Bunny is an excellent teacher who showed us how to make our own spring rolls, Thai soup, Mango Sticky rice desert, etc. That last one I never expected to taste that good, and honestly I never tasted it any better than here – yum!
Read more about all the things you can do on Koh Chang (look at the ‘T’ of Thai cooking class for this one) in my earlier article Koh Chang: the ABC of things to do on a super relaxed Thai island.
Israeli cooking class
Have you ever heard of Shakshuka? Honestly, I didn’t, until I took this cooking class in Tel Aviv, Israel. My friend Mirjam did, but yeah, that culinary queen owns her own restaurant. Ignoring the fact that we got up that morning at 3am to catch our flight, we found ourselves preparing the oven-roasted tomato-based egg dish during a 3-hour cooking class at the big kitchen of Abraham Hostel Tel Aviv that evening. Yah!
So we cut a lot of veggies and starting chatting with the other folks who were crazy enough to sign up for this. The great thing with a bigger group activity is that you always meet new people. This is where we met Australian (ex) teacher couple Corinda and Jordan of This Vagrant Life, who were traveling around the world with their young girls Rosie and Sadie for a year or so. Later on, in Jerusalem, I saw them again during Shabbat dinner, a marvelous co-incidence! At one point I was so tired that all could do was just sit at the big table and eat LOL
Cooking [email protected] home
Should you prefer a more homey setting and be so lucky that this lady is available when you are there, then make sure you book a cooking class with Anat in Tel Aviv via Eat With. She gives both small group and private cooking classes in her home in Tel Aviv. This smaller setting does come with a price tag; a 3-hour cooking class starts around NIS 335 per person (group of 8-15 people) or app. NIS 450 per person for a private class. That includes Israeli wine (red and white) during the entire class and full dinner at the end of the class.
This Eat With platform is fantastic anyway. You can check out culinary experiences like cooking classes, dinners at home, etc. with locals in 130+ countries around the world! Next time in Japan I would definitely like to do this. And I would not mind taking another Italian cooking class either… preferably with Jamie Oliver 😉
Have you tried Eat With yet? Get €10 off your first experience (€90 minimum) with my code 6AE7ECDE and discover a world of unique culinary experiences!
For a homey Shabbat dinner in Israel on a Friday evening, I would suggest to try and book weeks to months in advance. Or join the more communal Shabbat dinner at Abraham Hostel in Jerusalem and try make some new friends!
Put into practice
Cooking new dishes at home, which I learned to make abroad during cooking class, is one of the things that I like doing whenever I am not traveling. Curious what else I do? Then you might like to read my earlier article Life of a travel blogger: 10 things that I do when I do not travel.
I sincerely hope you liked this article and found it useful. Did you ever take a cooking class somewhere around the world? Or would like to do so after reading this article? Please feel free to share your questions, experience or relevant tips in a comment below!
This article contains affiliate links to support this website. For more information click here.