Put on your chef’s hat and apron, wash your hands, and let’s start cooking! Taking cooking classes is one of the best travel experiences during your vacations. It’s a fun and memorable activity and suitable for all ages. The benefits include immersing yourself in the country’s culture, learning about the cuisine, meeting other travelers, making mistakes and getting help from the professionals, and refining your cooking skills. Plus, you have the opportunity to make the dishes with your new knowledge and impress your guests at the next gathering.
If you’re overwhelmed with choosing the right cooking class, we’re here to help! We asked 28 travel bloggers to share their best cooking classes experiences around the world that they’ve taken during their travels. Check out the comprehensive list below to learn more about the various classes and cuisines.
Happy cooking and enjoy all of these culinary vacation options!
Click on the links below to learn about the country’s offerings and cooking classes around the world:
- Cooking Classes in Asia – Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam
- Cooking Class in Africa – Morocco
- Cooking Class in Caribbean – Jamaica
- Cooking Class in Central America – Guatemala
- Cooking Classes in Europe – France, Ireland, Italy, Romania, Spain
- Cooking Classes in Middle East – Jordan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates
- Cooking Class in South America – Peru
Looking for more foodie destinations to travel to? Check out our top list of UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy cities.
Cooking Classes in Asia
1. Cambodian Cooking Class at Templation in Siem Reap, Cambodia
Contributed by Callan from Singapore N Beyond
There is a beautiful oasis of a resort in Siem Reap, Cambodia called Templation, the closest hotel to Angkor Wat. It’s pure luxe, eco-conscious, and aims at social upliftment and sustainability. They offer a Khmer cooking class with head chef and a genuinely fantastic person, Toek Menghout. The cooking course is a wonderful way to experience local Khmer culture and tastes.
You’ll start in the morning with an escorted trip to the local farm or the market (depending on how flooded the roads are) to hand select your produce. When you return to the airy grounds of Templation, your setup will be waiting right by the gigantic swimming pool. There is a set menu that you’ll learn to cook from authentic fish amok to char kroeung to lok lak, and sago pudding for dessert. If you have your stomach set on a certain dish, notify Toek before the class and he’ll make sure you’ll learn how to prepare it.
When you’re done cooking over the traditional Khmer fire and with ice-cold towels and water by your side, you’ll receive a certificate of completion. You’ll then be guided to your seat at the open-air restaurant to enjoy your overly abundant and delicious meal. Prepare for a half day activity in total.
Contributed by Kathryn from Becoming You
The most unique cooking class experience was at a traditional Balinese home in a tranquil Balinese village located in Tabanan, Indonesia, about 30 minutes from Ubud. The cooking school’s name is Rumah Desa, which means “house in the village.” This home is an experience of its own with beautifully ornate building, traditional home temples, and extensive tropical gardens filled with flowers, fountains, ferns, moss covered statues, and unusual plants.
The cooking class at Rumah Desa involves preparing a menu of interesting Balinese dishes including satay, sambal bejek salad, and the delicious dessert known as sela sawi. It’s mashed cassava root formed into a ball and fried with banana inside. Once cooked, it’s topped with old shredded coconut and eaten as a dessert.
We prepared some of the ingredients and helped chop and roll the dessert balls. However, we left the heavy duty cooking to the professionals while we explored the neighboring rice paddies. During our rice planting experience, we got stuck in the mud! The highlight at Rumah Desa was enjoying the fruits of our labor, a Balinese lunch surrounded by the luscious gardens of this beautiful home.
3. Osaka Cooking Class in Osaka, Japan
Contributed by Amber from With Husband In Tow
While traveling through Japan, a stop in Osaka is a must for food lovers. Whereas in Japan they work hard, in Osaka, they play hard, and that means a passion for food. Osaka is home to unique Japanese foods that are hard to find elsewhere. It’s great to visit Osaka to taste some of these dishes, but learning how to make them is something else.
Some of these Osaka specialties include okonomiyaki, a Japanese-style pancake, and takoyaki, Japanese-style octopus dumplings. These aren’t even the detailed descriptions of what these dishes are. There is so much to eat in Osaka.
Taking a cooking class in Osaka helps you understand these specialties, and teach you how to make Japanese food at home. The cooking class that we took was in the home of two young Japanese sisters. They learned everything from their grandmother and share their family secrets with travelers. The cooking class starts with a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Afterward, learn how to make takoyaki and okonomiyaki, and a few other Japanese dishes. While enjoying the Japanese lunch, the sisters teach students about sake.
It’s possible to book this Osaka cooking class here. The class lasts about two and a half hours and starts around $75 USD per person.
4. Laotian Cooking Class at Tamarind Restaurant in Luang Prabang, Laos
Contributed by Jackie and Justin from Life Of Doing
Luang Prabang, Laos is a popular place to take a Laotian cooking class. We couldn’t pass the opportunity to take a full day course through Tamarind Restaurant. The course consisted of a tour of the local market, transportation to and from Tamarind and to the cooking school location, and food and beverages. If you have dietary restrictions, dishes are customizable to your needs. Jackie is a pescatarian and eats seafood, so dishes were adjusted.
We started out taking a tour of the local market. It was amazing to see the vast amounts of fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood, and fresh fish sauce for sale. We learned about unique herbs and rice in the Laotian culture. After the market, we went to our cooking school location. It’s located in a remote area that has a covered outdoor cooking area and overlooks a beautiful pond with lotus flowers and a small garden.
During our class, we made five dishes – larp, fish amok, deep fried stuffed lemongrass with meat or tofu, and eggplant or tomato salsa. Larp is minced meat with vegetables and Laos’s version of chicken salad. Steamed fish amok is delicious and similar to Cambodia’s version. It was challenging to stuff the lemongrass due to its fragility, so we received help from the chef. For dessert, we had coconut sticky rice with tropical fruits. Everyone was a chef for the day and created their own meal. Plus, everyone can tailor their flavors or spiciness depending on their preference.
After cooking, it was time for the feast. The meal came with sticky rice which is a must for Laotian culture. Roll the sticky rice in your hands and use it to absorb the sauce in your food. We had a wonderful time with our chef and our classmates and didn’t leave hungry.
5. Malaysian Cooking Class at Indah House Coffee Shop and Art Space in Kuching, Malaysia
Contributed by Jane from Scarlet Jones Travels
Kuching is in Sarawak, a region of Malaysian Borneo. During my three weeks in this riverside town, I often hung out at the Indah House Coffee Shop and Art Space during downtime. Sarawak laksa is my favorite Malaysian food and learned that the Indah House ran cookery classes. I was quick to sign up for the morning class.
On the morning of our class, four of us went by car to the huge food market with Lucien and Khalid. We spent an hour looking around, smelling, and tasting things, and learning about the different fruit and vegetables. The others in my group were vegetarian but I was happy to cook vegetarian food. Meat and fish based classes are available too.
When we returned to town, Emma led the actual class. We made nasi ulam, pumpkin and midin lemak, gula apong, and kerabu, plus my favorite sarawak laksa. The recipes were easy to follow but they included unusual ingredients such as jungle fern and ginger torch flower.
We prepared and cooked our meal at the same time as Emma our teacher and then we sat at a table in the cafe and ate together. Leftovers were boxed up for us to take away for our respective dinners, along with sachets of the special spice mixes used in our dishes and copies of the recipes. The class was very relaxed but more importantly, it was fun and have new recipes to try. I would recommend it if you’re in the area.
6. Thai Cooking Class at Blue Elephant Cooking School and Restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand
Contributed by Michael from Accidental Travel Writer
We returned to the school, where we learned how to prepare a salad, two main courses, and a soup. The menu consisted of the following dishes: spicy and sour green mango salad with prawns, stir-fried mushrooms with black pepper, deep-fried tilapia, a type of fish, with chili dressing, and coconut milk soup with chicken and mushroom.
Our teacher first demonstrated how each course is prepared in a classroom setting. Then we went across the hall to a large kitchen, where we each attempted to prepare the dishes at individual cooking stations. There were kitchen aides to help us if we were confused.
Our dishes were labeled and set aside while we returned to the classroom for the next dish on the menu. After preparing the courses, there was a brief graduation ceremony. We went downstairs to a beautiful dining room, where the dishes we ourselves had prepared were served to us restaurant style by waiters and waitresses. We were also offered either red or white rice.
Previous cooking classes, I’ve taken before this were either demonstration or hands-on. I enjoyed the format of this class, which combined both demonstration and hands-on elements. The menu was excellent, and we each went home with recipes. One of the key benefits of taking a class such as this, however, was to learn the techniques of Thai cookery, which cannot be adequately described in a cookbook. I have been able to incorporate many of these techniques into my personal cooking style – the gift that keeps on giving!
7. Thai Cooking Class at Thai Akha Cooking School in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Contributed by Thomas from TripGourmets
Our experience of the Thai Akha Cooking School in Chiang Mai, Thailand started with a visit to one of the local wet markets. We bought the ingredients we needed for cooking and learned a lot about the Thai ingredients. For us, a market visit is always one of the highlights of cooking schools as you learn more about the culture around the local food and eating customs.
The cooking school had 12 individual workstations, so everyone could cook their own meals. In total, we cooked 11 different recipes! For four of these recipes, each person could choose from a range of different options. For all of the meals (except for the meat-based panang curry), there was a vegetarian or vegan option available.
The Thai Akha Cooking Class in Chiang Mai was a unique experience for us. In addition to learning Thai recipes, we also learned to cook three Akha recipes. The Akha are an indigenous Thai hill tribe and their food is even lighter and healthier than traditional Thai food. We really enjoyed all three of these dishes a lot.
Our personal favorite dishes we cooked on that day were definitely the mouthwatering Akha soup and the delicious spicy papaya salad! The cooking school was an amazing experience and perfectly prepared and executed.
8. Thai Cooking Class at On’s Thai Issan Vegetarian Restaurant in Kanchanaburi, Thailand
Contributed by Jessica from Longest Bus Rides
Despite not being much of a cook, I thought I might learn something by joining my new travel buddy in a cooking class in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, west of Bangkok, near the Myanmar border. It’s a nice indoor activity between days of visiting the nearby elephant sanctuary, motorbiking to Erawan Falls (the pools are amazing!), and traveling overland to Dawei, Myanmar.
My travel buddy researched our options and she selected On’s Thai Issan Vegetarian Restaurant. I love Thai food, but never expected this to be such a fantastic experience that still brings a smile to my face years later!
The morning of our class we visited the restaurant and each chose our dishes to learn from a vast menu of options. When we arrived for our class a few hours later we received copies of all the recipes, including details for adding meat, if desired. The vegetables and curry paste were prepped. Everything was ready for mixing and cooking. The hours-long class was hands-on.
Each student-cook assisted whoever was cooking their dish, with On’s guidance. Students learned all the dishes, and no one was ever left bored or without anything to do. On is the most cheerful person I’ve ever met in my life. Her small body holds an immense amount of passion for both her craft of cooking and her joy in making others smile. After hours of learning new recipes, dancing, laughing, and tasting wonderful food, we sat at the table and enjoyed a meal of our delicious efforts. This class is highly recommended!
9. Thai Cooking Class at Spice Spoons, Anantara Resort in Phuket, Thailand
Contributed by Allan from Live Less Ordinary
Cooking classes are simple enough to find in Thailand, and I have joined a handful through the Kingdom in the past. However, our cooking class in Phuket is definitely the most memorable of these experiences, when we were given a 1-hour private cooking class at Spice Spoons at the Anantara Resort. At the time I was not quite new to Thai food; I often cooked with local grannies in the rural parts of Thailand.
What stood out at Spice Spoons were their innovative recipes, techniques, and ideas, which are kind of invaluable in progressing from the usual rough and ready approach of traditional Thai cooking. It was quite technical and precise at times when we did things like skinning galangal, and de-seeding limes, which thankfully were surprisingly fun. We had a varied list of recipes to choose from, sharing the familiar sweet, sour, salty, and hot signatures of Thai cuisine, such as som tam, papaya salad, and the seaside favorite of tom yum goong, hot and sour prawn soup.
We opted instead for the lesser known and more exciting dishes, such as poh pia sod, fresh spring rolls, which are a bit like Vietnamese ‘summer rolls’ (a personal favorite) only with unique Thai twists using slices of sweet mango, and a fiery chili dip on the side. And in all, we prepared 4 Thai dishes, including a tom yum soup (we had to share at least one fresh seafood dish), khao soi curry, a famous noodle curry from the north, and finally kluay buad chee, a sweet banana in coconut milk for dessert.
The dishes were then served to us directly to our private pool villa, along with the entire cookbook, and complimentary chopping boards and aprons. It was a rather fancy affair.
10. Vietnamese Cooking Class at Vietnam Cookery Centre in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Contributed by Markus from The Roaming Fork
I conducted a reasonable amount of research before I made the decision to complete a cooking class with the Vietnam Cookery Centre, in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. For me, there were two compelling reasons for this particular class. First, included in the morning long class was a personalized guided tour of the food section of Ho Chi Minh City’s Ben Thanh central market. Second, a chance to cook snake, which I hadn’t done before. Turns out I had misread the menu and that I wasn’t cooking snake but “snake-head fish” as the main ingredient of the day.
The Vietnam Cookery Centre is inside an air-conditioned space but with a wrap-around balcony where they grow lots of herbs and vegetables, which is a nice touch. Each dish on the menu was delicious and gave opportunities to not only learn how to make that dish, but how to apply those skills when cooking related dishes. For example, cooking the ingredients for the canh chua ca loc, sweet and sour snake-head soup, was easy enough. But getting the balance of the sweet using ingredients such as pineapple, and sour such as tamarind was a skill worth learning.
The other new skill for me was making a caramel sauce, and then using it to cook the fish in. This dish, ca loc kho to, was my favorite of the day, and is one dish I cooked for family and friends when I arrived home. I still do. The other dishes for the morning were goi cuon, fresh spring rolls, and che chuoi xao dua, sautéed banana in a thickened coconut milk, which were both tasty and easy to prepare.
The Vietnam Cookery Centre has a variety of classes to suit all levels of cooks. The chefs and presenters were very skilled and patient with the students and I have recommended this class to others.
11. Vietnamese Cooking Class at Nam Hai Cooking Academy, Four Seasons Resort in Hoi An, Vietnam
Contributed by Julianna from The Discoveries Of
I’m always a fan of learning how to cook the local cuisine. One of the first things I did on arriving in Hoi An, Vietnam was book a cooking class at Nam Hai Cooking Academy at the renowned Four Seasons Resort Nam Hai.
Vietnamese cuisine is unique – a balance of delicate flavors and fresh ingredients with some punchy kicks thrown in here and there. Understanding those flavors and learning how to balance them was as much a take away from that class as cooking the recipes themselves.
We popped into a local market to gather the ingredients. The chef explained the uses of the array of produce clustered high on the stalls. We took the ingredients back to the cooking school. The next few hours were a frenzy of chopping, frying, boiling, and, of course, tasting. It was such an experience.
My favorite dish was the simplest: the summer rolls, prawns and shredded vegetables wrapped in rice paper and dipped in a dipping sauce as you eat them. It’s a dish I’ve made again and again at home: the best reminder of my time in Hoi An.
Cooking Class in Africa
12. Moroccan Cooking Class at Khadija’s Kuzina in Essaouira, Morocco
Contributed by Michele from Legging It Travel
While travelling we always try and do a cooking class to learn about the food culture of the country we are in. One of my favorite classes remains, Khadija’s Kuzina in Essaouira, Morocco, as it was such a unique and personal experience. Khadija’s holds classes in her home so you’re learning how the recipes are done in a traditional way. The class I did was one on one, so I had a good opportunity to ask questions and learn about cooking, daily life, and the challenges of being a woman in Morocco. The other bonus of this was enjoying the cooked meal with Khadija’s husband and son after we finished cooking.
In total, I did three classes as I enjoyed the experience so much and they were such good value at 300dh (about $32 USD). In the two to three hour classes, you learn how to make a main meal such as chicken and caramelized onion tangine, couscous, or pastella, a pie wrapped in flaky pastry, and dessert-like date biscuits. I still make a fennel and orange salad and couscous recipes quite often and always get compliments when I serve them. I have also converted some of the recipes to use in a casserole dish as I don’t have a tangine. For some reason, they don’t taste quite as good. I’m sure part of that is I’m not sitting in Khadija’s Kitchen sharing the meal with her.
Cooking Class in the Caribbean
13. Jamaican Cooking Class at Yaaman Adventure in Jamaica
Contributed by Vanessa at Wanderlust Crew
If there is one thing better than eating jerk chicken in Jamaica, then it has to be learning how to cook it yourself. When you return home, you can relive your journey over and over again in your own kitchen. During my week in Jamaica, I had my fair share of jerk chicken, which I quickly fell in love with. I knew I had to learn how to make my own, along with other traditional Jamaican fares. I signed up for a cooking class with Yaaman Adventure, where I got more than I bargained for.
We took a tractor ride through the old plantation in the rain. We made our way up the winding hill to the old plantation house where we were greeted by amazing smells and scenery. Our cooking class took place on the grand porch of the old house with smoking grills awaiting.
We learned to mix spices for the jerk spice. The aromatic flavors of garlic, cayenne, onion, thyme, paprika, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and the classic scotch bonnet pepper that defines jerk seasoning were rubbed on the chicken. While it smoked, we learned to make festival, a traditional Jamaican bread made from cornmeal, sugar, and flour, then fried in oil. We made callalou, a mixture of collard greens, onions, carrots, and garlic sauteed together. We cooked delicious coconut rice made with powdered coconut milk, which I stocked up on before going home.
Our instructor walked us through each step and ingredient. You can tell she has a love for her country and the cuisine. When our chicken was done, we put everything together and topped it off with some strong Jamaican ginger beer. This was an amazing experience and now I love to cook Jamaican food at home!
Cooking Class in Central America
14. Guatemalan Cooking Class at La Tortilla Cooking School in Antigua, Guatemala
Contributed by Claire from Tales of a Backpacker
I didn’t know what to expect from Guatemalan food. I love learning about and eating local dishes wherever I go, so I was excited to find out more. La Tortilla Cooking School in Antigua, Guatemala offer cooking classes taught by local women. The ladies who teach the class don’t speak much English, so we had a couple of volunteer translators who explained what we needed to do. The class was about 3 hours long, including time to eat everything we had cooked at the end of the class. Free-flowing wine was included, which was fabulous!
We learned to make traditional Guatemalan dishes including a chicken stew made with pumpkin seeds called pepian, together with the accompanying rice, beetroot salad, and tortillas. For dessert, we made fried plantain balls filled with chocolate called rellenitos. The food was easy to make, once you had all the ingredients together. The school also sold packets of Guatemalan spice mixes so you could take the ingredients home with you and may be difficult to find outside of Guatemala. As I continued my journey for a couple of months afterwards, I didn’t buy the spices. But I do regret not making the dishes again. The rellenitos were my favorite dish of the day, I’m a sucker for chocolate so couldn’t get enough of the sauce. The other great thing about the class is that we shared out the leftovers to take home, so I had a yummy lunch the next day too!
Cooking Classes in Europe
15. Macaron Making Class at Le Foodist in Paris, France
Contributed by Kate from Our Escape Clause
I am a little bit obsessed with macarons. I’ve always had a soft spot for the delicious, colorful cookies with their distinctive shells and soft filling. When the opportunity presented itself to learn how to bake them in Paris, France I was all over it.
I participated in a basic macaron baking class with Le Foodist, where we made four different flavors of macaron filling (chocolate, chocolate-coffee, traditional vanilla, and lemon), and several different brightly colored shells. The process itself was tons of fun. We started with making the filling before moving onto the shells themselves, careful to be as precise as possible along the way.
The macarons finished baking and came out perfectly. It helps to be in a controlled setting with a great teacher. Our group sat down to the most fun part of all: eating them. I wisely didn’t count how many macarons I ate that afternoon. After class was over, we each got to take home a box of a few dozen leftovers. I was sad on the day that I devoured the last one. The experience of baking macarons in Paris was so much fun that I may even go back and do it again next time.
16. Pastry Class at Pâtisserie à la Carte in Paris, France
Contributed by Pamela from Travel Like a Chieff
There are plenty of cooking classes around the world, but Paris is the perfect place to learn how to make pastries. I looked for a fun activity that both my husband and I could enjoy while in Paris and came across Pâtisserie à la Carte. The classes are offered in English throughout the week and sometimes on weekends. The baking school is a 15-minute walk from Montmartre so you can combine the pastry making with sightseeing.
Some of the class offerings include making macaron and ganache filling, French eclaire and choux pastry. Or enroll in the croissant and French breakfast pastries class. The class lasts three hours. We were lucky to have the teacher to ourselves since the third person never showed up. The teacher explained the techniques and walked us through the steps, which we then repeated. Little did I know that making croissants and pain au chocolat would be so tricky!
It turns out that layered yeast-leavened dough is one of the most technical doughs to make. My husband excelled since desserts are his forte but mine didn’t come out too bad. Ingredients and tools are on-site, and no preparation required before the class. It’s recommended to attend the class hungry so you can enjoy the freshly baked croissants and pain au chocolat while they’re warm. If you can’t finish them, pack them up and bring them with you. That is what we did! There is nothing better than strolling along the streets of Paris while savoring the delicious French pastries you made!
17. Irish Cooking Class at Dunbrody House Cookery School in Wexford, Ireland
Contributed by Grace from The Idyll
The wild Hook Peninsula in Ireland’s Co. Wexford is an idyllic setting for a cookery school. This is where you’ll find Dunbrody House Cookery School, surrounded by 300 acres of parkland. The school offers courses to suit all abilities in the kitchen. So whether you want to learn the basics or perfect a specialty, there will be a class to suit you.
When I stayed at Dunbrody House, which is also a hotel, I had the chance to spend an hour and a half in the cookery school with Julien Clemot. Julien, the cookery school chef, makes learning new recipes fun. His enthusiasm was infectious that day and he showed endless patience when I couldn’t get the hang of piping pastry. He showed me how to whip up an easy smoked salmon and caviar to start with. We ended the class with delicious profiteroles, brushed with a simple lemon glaze.
At Dunbrody House Cookery School, the chefs focus on seasonality and locally sourced produce. The ingredients we used were either grown in the hotel’s herb and vegetable gardens or bought from local producers. For me, knowing that the dishes were fresh and wholesome made the experience extra special.
18. Italian Cooking Class at Juls Kitchen in Colle Val d’Elsa, Italy
Contributed by Chris from Explore Now Or Never
Taking a private one-day cooking class with Giulia Scarpaleggia from Juls Kitchen in her childhood home in the Tuscan countryside at Colle Val d’Elsa fulfilled a bucket list wish for me. The class is located an hour’s drive from Florence. Giulia offers one, two, and three-day classes and can accommodate vegetarian or gluten-free diners.
Our class began with a market visit to taste local meats and cheeses and plan our menu for the day and ended with a leisurely lunch enjoying the fruits of our labors.
In between, we fried delicate squash blossoms and sage leaves, made a traditional savory chickpea cake with zucchini flowers, and rolled out homemade pasta that was served with a simple sauce of asparagus, zucchini, garlic, and stracciatella cheese. After that, it was on to roasted mackerel with dill and potatoes and then fresh ricotta and berries for dessert. It was lovely to hear all the stories behind the traditions of Giulia’s homemade limoncello and green walnut amaro that we sipped after the meal.
19. Italian Cooking Class at Context Travel in Florence, Italy
Contributed by Katy from Untold Morsels
An important part of every visit to Italy is discovering local food. Every region in Italy has its own specialties and favorite dishes, and the food from Tuscany is some of the most famous. We took a market tour and cooking class in Florence with food writer and cook, Patrizia, from Context Travel, to discover how to prepare some of the region’s classic dishes.
Visiting the Mercato Sant’Ambrogio was an important part of our experience. After learning our food preferences (mainly feed us everything except offal!), Patrizia scoured the market stalls for the best cuts of meat and freshest fruit and vegetables for the recipes we would prepare.
We took a gentle stroll through the streets of Florence back to her apartment. She shared some old family recipes for beef peposo, fresh pasta with tomato sauce, and crostata, a delicious Tuscan jam tart. Peposo is a 600-year-old beef stew recipe that is said to have fed the workers making tiles for Brunelleschi’s dome on top of the city’s beautiful Duomo (cathedral). The meat is slow cooked, tender, and flavorful which was the highlight of our meal.
Over the half day we spent with Patrizia we learned how to cook some classic Tuscan dishes. They have been easy to recreate at home. We also learned about the history and character of Florence from the heart of the city over a delicious meal. It’s an experience I’ll never forget.
20. Italian Cooking Class With Chef Fabio Bongianni in Rome, Italy
Contributed by Sherrie from Epiphany to Travel
Attending a cooking school while we took a holiday in Rome, Italy was my husband’s idea, since he is the cook in the house. I’m open to having new experiences, so I was in. Our school began with meeting Chef Fabio Bongianni at his restaurant, “That’s Amore.” This was a semi-private cooking class. A group of us headed to the market to pick out the ingredients we needed to begin our cuisine collaboration. I was happy that my favorite food, carciofo, also known as artichoke, was included.
We headed to Chef’s actual home, which was equipped with everything we needed. The atmosphere was relaxed and fun-filled. We laughed, made mistakes, and learned a lot. Making the actual pasta from scratch was something I have never done before. I loved learning Chef Bongianni’s techniques.
Within 3 hours from start to finish we had a lunch set for kings and queens. Spinach and zucchini ravioli with tomato sauce and basil, carciofi alla Romana, baked eggplant with tomato and basil, and bruschetta with fresh tomato and basil. To end this delicious meal, we dived into strawberries with balsamic. Delicious!
21. Italian Cooking Class at Cantina Goretti Winery in Perugia, Italy
Contributed by Andrew and Brenda from Dish Our Town
Taking a cooking class was never my thing. It always felt like a social event in which I’m rushed through, rather than getting an education. During our last trip to the region of Umbria, in the town of Perugia, that all changed. While there, we visited a family run vineyard named, Cantina Goretti. The estate is sprawling, and the aesthetic a hybrid of medieval architecture and James Bond chic, replete with brick tower structure and helicopter launch pad. There are private rooms for tastings and parties in the tower. Near the fields, there is a wonderful glass structure in which cooking classes are held. Of course, there are the beautiful vineyards themselves.
We were introduced to the matriarch of the family, Nonna Marcella, who was in charge of the cooking class. Her granddaughters, Giulia and Sara, who now run the company, joined us and helped navigate us through some of the language barriers. We learned about their wines and served what they recommend to pair with them. We also received some background on the actual products that we were using that day to cook, from their own olive oil to the herbs we picked from their garden.
Before we were able to touch a rolling pin or put on an apron, I felt my family and I had already received more education than any other cooking class we had taken previously. When we did get to cooking, Nonna was patient, yet strict to how we approached the materials and products. There was no timeline other than not stopping until we arrived at the recipes perfectly. We made a few things that day. The one that stands out most was a simple flatbread recipe that came out tasting like no other bread product I had ever tried making.
It was a lesson in patience and the use of good products. It was simple, but the most satisfied I’ve been when it comes to cooking classes.
22. Seafood Cooking Class at Sapori e Saperi in Viareggio, Italy
Contributed by Ann from Ann The Adventurist
Sapori e Saperi, located near Viareggio, in the Tuscany region of Italy, was worth every nickel and dime. I took the 6 hours cooking lesson in May 2017. Our chef’s name was Gabrielle. She is Italian and has lived in Italy throughout her life. We first met up at the pier at 9am and spent approximately 20 minutes there. Gabrielle brought some freshly caught seafood from vendors and showed us some of the sea creatures for sale. We saw a fisherman’s boat used to catch prawns. The following is a list of fresh seafood items purchased at the pier: mantis shrimp, eel, sea snails, cuttlefish, mussels, small local fish, grey mullet fish, and prawns.
The cooking lesson was somewhat hands-on. Gabrielle did the majority of the cooking while we assisted with the preparation. For appetizers, we had marinated eels, stuffed mussels, sea snails, broiled prawns, and white bread. The stuffed mussels and prawns were delicious. I loved the eel the most. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it blew me away.
The first course was spaghetti with mantis shrimp. It was so scrumptious that I had a second plate. The second course was a seafood stew, which included mussels, cuttlefish, prawns, and some kind of fish with a simple lettuce salad. The cuttlefish was tough to chew. The salad needed more ingredients to conceal the bitterness. Dessert was strawberry sauce with ricotta and cream which I enjoyed. Simple and quick to make. Choice of beverages were homemade limoncello and Pecorino terre di chieti.
If you love seafood, I recommend this lesson. This was one of my top highlights in Italy.
23. Asian Cooking Class at Culinary On in Bucharest, Romania
Contributed by Violeta Matei
If you visit Bucharest, the capital city of Romania, and have one evening to spare, join the Culinary On cooking classes. I attended an Asian food cooking class which was both useful and entertaining. We were 20 people, split into teams of 4. Each team had its own cooking bench. The ingredients were already selected by the staff, so we only needed to peel, chop, and prepare them.
In the beginning, a professional chef explained to us what we had to do. He showed us how to handle the cooking utensils. I learned an easy way to peel ginger roots with a small spoon. I also learned that you can remove the stone of an avocado by sticking a knife blade into it and twisting it a little.
We cooked California maki, spicy soup with ginger and lemongrass, pasta, and sticky rice. This was for the first time in my life I made pasta, and I was impressed with the outcome. You need to mix eggs and flour, and then let the dough rest for 30 minutes to one hour. We had a pasta making machine, so the process was fast. At home, I’m going to do this by hand, so I expect it to take a bit longer.
The cooking class started at 7pm, and ended at midnight. The cooking part took less time, but we also had dinner together to enjoy the results of our work.
24. Spanish Cooking Class at Mimo Cooking School in San Sebastian, Spain – PERMANENTLY CLOSED
Contributed by Anisa from Two Traveling Texans
**Note: This cooking school is closed as of March 2020
We took a Pintxos cooking class at the Mimo Cooking School in San Sebastian, Spain, and I cannot say enough good things about it! I loved that it was a small class with several chefs to coach us. San Sebastian is known for its pintxos which are Basque-style tapas. We made five different pintxos and then dessert. The cooking class was scheduled for four hours, but we were having so much fun it lasted almost six!
My favorite thing that we made was the croquetas. We made croqueta de txangurro which has crab, but you can adjust the recipe to make mushroom, ham, or any other kind of croquetas. I always thought that croquetas had potatoes in them, but I learned that isn’t the case. The inside of the croqueta is made of butter, flour, and milk.
The class included unlimited adult beverages which we enjoyed after preparing the ingredients. We received the recipes for the dishes we made during the class. I’m a little embarrassed to say that we haven’t made any of them. I guess when I’m at home I tend to cook simple dishes.
Cooking Classes in Middle East
25. Jordanian Cooking Class at Beit Sitti in Amman, Jordan
Contributed by Ayngelina from Bacon Is Magic
Jordan is home to breathtaking deserts, awe-inspiring ruins, and incredibly friendly people. But people often forget to mention the delicious Jordanian food. One of my favorite experiences was taking several cooking classes in Jordan and one that stands out is Beit Sitti, which means “my grandmother’s house.” It’s been running for eight years and started by three sisters who wanted to pay tribute to their grandmother.
Beit Sitti is located in one of the oldest neighborhoods in Amman, Jabal Al Weibdeh, which is now known as an artists neighborhood. Maria runs the weekly classes and shares gorgeous vintage photos of both her grandmother and her mother in the house. It’s comfortable and feels like you’ve been invited into someone’s home to make traditional Jordanian cuisine.
I loved learning how to make my favorite dishes like the mouttabal, roasted eggplant dip, along with siniyet kafta, which is similar to a meatloaf topped with potatoes and tomatoes.
26. Turkish Cooking Class at Turkish Flavours in Istanbul, Turkey
Contributed by Clemens at Travellers Archive
Istanbul is one of our most favorite cities in the world. It’s diverse, bustling, and full of surprises. After having traveled to this Turkish metropolis for several times and eaten our way through the little alleys and along big roads, we wanted to get an insight into daily life in Istanbul, into the pots, and into cooking. Hence, we decided to meet a true local and to spend one day with her. Selin grew up in Istanbul and she loves cooking. Combining both, she started organizing her own cooking classes at Turkish Flavours. We met Selin at the spice bazaar in the morning. Neither was it busy back then nor felt as if we met a stranger. Together with Selin, we bought spices that we needed for our meal.
An hour later, we took the ferry from the European to the Asian side of Istanbul and found ourselves right in Selin’s living room. It felt as if it was our home; it was cozy and super nice. We started cooking and made a three-course meal. We loved how passionate our Turkish host was about the music she played, the wine we drank, and the dishes we cooked.
In the end, our group of 10 sat down at a big table. We listened to Selin’s stories about her Istanbul, her kitchen, and Turkish food. It was a truly magical experience that we’ll never forget. Thanks to the little recipe book we received as a present, we can now cook some Turkish dishes at home. The whole class included transport, nice spices tasting at the bazaar, cooking four dishes, and wine and water. It took around 5 hours and costs $100 USD.
27. Arabic Cooking Class at Al Maeda, DoubleTree Hilton in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Contributed by Aneesha from Om Nom Nirvana
One of the fun things to do in Dubai, United Arab Emirates is to try out an Arabic cooking class at Al Maeda in the DoubleTree Hilton at Jumeirah Beach Residence area. Chef Lawrence Al Najjar has a different theme for delicious Arabic food every week. These classes happen every Tuesday for 199 AED ($54 USD) per person that lasts over 3 hours, but you can get them on request too.
You’ll spend time making a selection of 2 starters, 2 main courses, and a dessert, which is quite a lot. It’s a group style cooking class, so everyone helps each other out and helps out the chef in a rotation process. Arabic cooking is usually a long and laborious process, so I thoroughly enjoyed Chef Najjar’s hacks on how to cut short time as much as possible. I particularly loved his kunafa recipe, it’s my favorite Arabic sweet and I’ve relished it time and time again. You can also choose to make use of the hotel’s pool and facilities, which is a nice benefit.
Cooking Class in South America
28. Chocolate Making Class at Chocomuseo in Cusco, Peru
Contributed by Thais from World Trip Diaries
In a lot of Latin American countries, you’ll find this lovely and delicious place called Chocomuseo. They’re all great, but – and trust me, I’ve visited almost all of them – the one in Cusco, Peru is the best. When we were there, we tried the workshop called Bean to Bar. We learned how chocolate is made, from the cacao beans to the incredible chocolate bars. The workshop lasts around 2 hours and it runs quite a few times every day.
Besides making the chocolate, we also had the chance to try a few drinks made with cacao, including one drink from the Inca period and the lovely cacao shell tea. In the end, we molded and packed our chocolates to take home.
It was an incredible experience, that everyone can enjoy. Chocomuseo offers other kinds of workshops and cooking classes too, and they vary depending on the location, so it’s worth to check each of them. The Peruvian chocolate was, by far, the best we had in all Latin America!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this list of 28 amazing cooking classes around the world that you can take on your next adventure.
Which cooking classes from the list would you want to take? Have you taken a class before on your vacation? Let us know in the comments below.
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