When it comes to cooking I am halfway to becoming the next Keith Floyd. I drink a lot of wine while burning something on the stove. I never thought I’d see the day where I would actually buy a cook book rather than use it to fix a table with a short leg. Over the past year or so I have gone to a number of themed cooking events with various restaurants, hotels and catering companies and have found them to be an excellent way to meet people, try new dishes and learn a bit about cooking in a less formal environment.
The less formal part is, for me, the most important. The idea is that it’s meant to be a fun night out. If you had some Gordon Ramsay-type screaming at you because your white sauce resembles cement, it wouldn’t be that enjoyable. Unless you could punch him in the throat but violence is frowned upon in the kitchen. Generally, an evening will see a group of people work in pairs. Each pair will be given the recipe, ingredients and tools that they will use to prepare a certain dish. Once all the dishes are prepared, the group gets to sit down and enjoy a feast.
The best part about these types of classes is that there is always some assistance, so when you accidentally add sugar instead of salt, or add 1 litre instead of 100 millilitres of milk, the assistant chef always helps get you back on track. Or sends you to the nearest takeaway to buy a replacement dish.
Finding a cooking class to attend is simple – all you need is Google. And if you keep an eye on social buying sites, you’ll often find discounted offers.
Here is a look at some of the classes I have been to.
Sushi School at The Hilton
Making sushi is far from easy! I managed to make maki, arguably the easiest sushi to prepare, look a rice-wrapped TV antenna. They run sushi-making classes every Friday night at The Hilton Hotel in Sandton – booking is a must.
Karma Cooking School
If you like curry, korma and chocolate samoosas, this Greenside based restaurant offer classes you will love. They run monthly events and have a few menu options. Booking is essential.
Based in the Weltevreeden Park area, this cooking school is a winner when it comes to variety. They offer a wide range of events, from Romantic Couple’s Evenings to Creative Cupcakes.
And if you are looking for food and drink related classes with a difference, try one of the following:
Lindt Chocolate Studio – based in Johannesburg and Cape Town, they run a number of workshops that will teach you how to work with chocolate. Expect to hate the scale after attending this one.
Beer School – usually, people skip school to drink beer but I doubt anyone will miss a single minute of this Woodstock based school that teaches brewing basics.