There are a lot of things we love about food here at Experience Days - and I mean A LOT! However, one of my personal favourites has to be that you can go around the world with food. You can experience tastes and flavours from every nation, without ever leaving the country.
Let's face it, it's not enough to simply eat a dish that’s cooked for us and think no more of it; our thirst for knowledge is insatiable. When we try a new food that we love, we want to know where it came from, who made it, the history behind the dish, the ingredients, and most importantly, how to make it ourselves!
Another culture’s food can tell us a lot about the history of a country, as well as the people who live there. Food is steeped in traditions, but it’s also something that’s always being adapted. Learning to cook another culture’s cuisine doesn’t necessarily only mean following a step-by-step recipe (although that does sometimes help). If you've ever been on a cooking lesson before, you'll know you learn a lot more than how to cook!
Food trends come and go, but every day people are coming up with new exciting ways to cook, and cooking lessons are a great way to experience modern cooking as well as draw upon traditional techniques. Either way, you'll be learning from the best!
If, like me, you can’t get enough of the local food while
you’re away, and return to England dreaming of all the mind-blowing cuisine you no
longer get to eat, there is an answer… learn to cook it yourself!
There’s a certain satisfaction that comes from having cooked something yourself, and with these 10 cooking lessons from around the world, you can learn how to perfect dishes that you’ll be serving up regularly for years!
Apparently, our tastes in food are evolving! The last five years have seen Thai cuisine slowly become one of the UK’s favourites, with Thai chain restaurants in the UK such as Giggling Squid and Rosa’s Thai appearing left, right and centre; and we are not complaining, because let’s face it, Thai food is delicious. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of chatting to someone who travelled around Thailand on their gap year, I doubt they could shut up about the exceptional local food.
So, why does Thai food taste so good? There’s actually a kind of science in the taste of Thai food. It’s all about the balance of sweet, salty and acidic, and it’s not as easy as it sounds to get that balance spot on!
Thai is one of those foods that’s pretty darn good, even when it’s bad! However, as soon as you’ve experienced really good Thai food, you can’t keep going back to those Lloyd Grossman jars from the local supermarket. So, if you’re ready to cook the real deal, this 3-Hour Cooking Lesson in Gloucestershire will teach you all you need to know. With some delicious classics such as Tom Yum Soup, Spicy Salads, Pad Thai and Red or Green Curry, you’ll soon be creating Thai food at home with ease.
If Thai’s your thing but you don’t live anywhere near Gloucestershire,
no fear, we’ve got a few locations covered!
The Taiwanese Gua Bao is one of the latest food trends to hit the UK, and if you ask me, the ultimate street food. As opposed to other forms of bao dumplings, these beauties are made from steaming the flat dough, folding it together and adding the fillings after – similar to a sort of sandwich, but a whole lot fluffier!
So what does bao actually mean? The closest translation to English of the Chinese word bao is ‘treasure’ or ‘precious’ and if you’ve been lucky enough to try one yourself, you’ll know that’s a pretty fitting description.
This bao making class is run by one of London’s top cooking schools. Safe to say, you’ll be in the hands of a bao expert for the three hours it'll take to create your cloud like masterpieces. You’ll learn specific bao making techniques including how to make and work the dough. You can then get a little creative with the fillings, while also being taught how to make the best sides to compliment your precious creations.
If you don’t love bao’s quite as much as me, here are some more of my favourite Asian cooking lessons around London:
Indian curry has been one of the UK’s best-loved foods for decades, even being named as a British national dish in 2001. Always a firm favourite when it’s time for a takeaway, a recent study has shown that Indian food is also one of the most popular cook-at-home dishes in the UK - so why not learn how to do it right?
This Indian cooking class in Birmingham offers you the chance to choose which aspect of Indian food you’d like to master… perhaps a regional cuisine from Rajasthan, Punjab, Mumbai or Calcutta? Or maybe you’re ready to take on the Tandoor with a Tandoori Masterclass? How about India’s savoury answer to the pancake? Made from lentil flour and stuffed with curry, the South Indian Dosa is a hard one to perfect!
If Manchester’s a bit of a stretch, check out some of our other best-selling Indian cooking lessons across the country:
Once you’ve experienced fresh homemade pasta, the dried stuff from the packet just doesn’t compare! Pasta is a hard food to perfect; you can’t put a set measurement of ingredients into a bowl and expect the right result every time, you need to learn how the dough should look and feel for the ultimate outcome. This pasta making course in Devon will teach you not only how to make pasta dough like a Michelin-star chef, but also the best sauces to match your homemade dishes. Learn how to make all types of pasta, from spaghetti to ravioli, and master an Italian classic. You’ll even get to delve into the world of sweet pasta (– that’s if you aren’t already stuffed)! Try the delicious dish of Orillettes (deep fried pasta coated in powdered sugar) accompanied with a Monbazillac dessert wine.
If you love the sound of learning how to make fresh and authentic Italian food, you might like to check some of these out too!
Brazil is the fourth largest country in the world, but here in the UK we massively overlook their complex cuisine. Influenced by Portuguese, Italian, Middle Eastern, Indian and German migrants, traditional Brazilian food is full of history (and a hell of a lot of flavour!)
This cooking class in Glasgow will fully immerse you in the Brazilian culture, with complimentary caipirinha cocktails, followed by a three-course menu of some of Brazil’s most-famous dishes. It all begins with Kibe (pronounced kee-bee) Beef Croquettes, made from minced beef and seasoned with some mint, cinnamon and of course, garlic! They’re only sometimes stuffed with cheese, but always deep fried. The second course, and my personal favourite, is Feijoada. Eaten religiously across Brazil, think of this dish as the Brazilian Sunday roast. Feijoada is a flavoursome stew, brimming with black beans and multiple cuts of pork such as chops, belly and sausage, to name a few. Finally, dessert is a passionfruit mousse, the perfect end to a hearty meal.
Learn something completely new, and embrace a diverse cultural cuisine that you may never have considered before!
French food is known globally for it’s precise, methodical approach. Any fine dining restaurant you may have visited in the past is likely to be run by classically trained French chefs, and that training has certainly paid off!
This classic French cooking lesson in Kent is hosted in the beautiful Lympne Castle, with breath-taking views of the Kent countryside. This is a full day cooking lesson, covering a range of different classic techniques and how to apply them to a modern way of cooking. You’ll get to sit down and enjoy a lunch of your own culinary creations, before returning to the kitchen for yet more cooking.
If you're more interested in french pastries and desserts, then this might be the lesson for you:
If you're more interested in french pastries and desserts, then this might be the lesson for you:Full Day French Baking Course in Dorset
The cuisine of the Caribbean islands will vary from country to country, but some of the most common foods from across the seven thousand islands that make up the Caribbean include: rice, coconut, beans, peppers, and cassava. With influences from every continent, Caribbean food is a medley of culture and flavour.
This family-run cooking lesson in Birmingham will bring the colour and liveliness of the Caribbean to the kitchen. After travelling from the Grenadian island of Carriacou to the UK in the 1960’s, Monica has since delighted in bringing the food of her heritage to the people of Britain. Accompanied by her daughter Lee, the duo hosts a range of different classes, covering specific regional cuisines, popular street foods and veggie/vegan Caribbean classics.
If a half day isn’t quite enough for you, we’ve also got a full day course here!
The word 'Africa' is unfortunately, often used as a general term to describe a vast and complex continent. A continent full of many different, countries, cultures, and people. This ‘Taste of Africa’ cooking experience allows local food-lovers the opportunity to sample and cook a variety of dishes from across the African continent. Food from around Africa will vary depending on region, and this class will teach you, through food, how different one part of Africa is to another. Although probably one of the UK’s least explored continents in terms of food, each country has a diverse cuisine to explore. Africa boasts a multitude of different people and cultures, and this is clearly reflected in the food, as you travel from one part of the continent to the other. With this full day cooking experience, you’ll receive a small taster, as you are invited to travel from region to region. Starting with North African classics from Morocco such as a fragrant tagine, you’ll then move on to explore a West African rice dish and a peanut stew, before ending with some of South Africa’s best salads. You know you’ll be in good hands at the Jean Christophe Novelli Cooking Academy, with a trusted chef who claims to only use recipes passed down from family, friends and generations of cooking knowledge.
Hit American TV show Man vs. Food introduced us to an incredible showcase of gut-busting, indulgent food, and one of the most frequently featured cuisines on the programme was, of course, American BBQ. With this American Style BBQ Cooking Class in Glasgow, you can finally get to have your very own Man vs. Food experience. Expect slow cooked brisket, pulled pork, fried chicken, plus the classic beans and corn to accompany your juicy barbecued meat.
Tapas must be one of my favourite ways to eat food: Small dishes, and lots of them! In Spain, where tapas originated, the Spanish will only ever eat tapas in bars, alongside lots of wine - whereas in the UK, we love to indulge in a full meal of tapas (also alongside lots of wine). Taking the best dishes from multiple countries along the Mediterranean Sea, this two and a half hour cooking class in Islington covers a wide range of cuisines, and you’ll even get to learn all about how they each influenced each other through decades of trading and migration. Expect to see Spanish classics such as patatas bravas and gambas pil pil, before travelling across the ocean to North Africa where you’ll try your hand at kofta tagine and tzatziki and flatbread.
If your friend loves tapas, but they're indecisive, why not give them a choice! Tapas Cooking Class - Spanish or Indian
A cooking lesson is a fun and interactive way to engage with
food, meet like-minded people, and learn new skills that you’ll put to use
frequently. Whether it’s a delicious midweek dinner, or an impressive dish to
whip up at dinner parties, cooking lessons teach you how to perfect dishes that
will serve you for life! So why not explore a new culture hands-on, and get
stuck into a whole new world of food?
If you’re still searching for the perfect cuisine for you or a loved one, check out our complete list of cooking lessons here.