In-home or group cooking classes are an inventive way for foodie families, groups of friends, and even co-workers to connect over a shared experience—learning, tasting, sipping and conversing over a delicious meal they made together.
We chatted with Chef Amanda Cushman of Chapel Hill Cooking Classes to get a sense of the current trends for cooking classes in the Triangle.
More Adventurous Eaters
As you might expect, people are a lot more adventurous these days. “They often want to try new cuisines—ethnic food, such as Indian and Moroccan,” Chef Cushman shares. “Right now, the movement is towards eating organically, shopping locally, and cooking for friends at home as opposed to going out all the time.”
Chef Cushman trained in NYC and has cooked professionally for 35 years; she currently teaches hands-on and demonstration cooking classes to the community, calling the Triangle “the best new food area on the East coast.” After living all over the country, she enjoys sharing her knowledge of world cuisine with an emphasis on fresh herbs, spices and organic ingredients.
To get started, she sends her clients a list of 30 menus from which to choose from countries across the globe; clients can then mix and match as they please. She can also teach specific dishes that people are interested in learning, “such as Crème Brûlée or Butter Chicken, which is very ‘in’ right now,” she says.
Entertaining on a New Level
Dinner parties have, and always will be, a popular trend. In fact, many people decide to purchase a home based on the space it has for entertaining! Cooking classes are a great party idea and a different way to spend a Friday or Saturday night with friends, but they also give you skills you can take home and use for future dinner parties, impressing your guests.
For those who might be a little insecure about their kitchen skills, a private class can give you a safe space to learn at your own pace and the confidence to put those skills to use—whether learning the basics or a more complex technique.
Being More Health Conscious
People are also more health-conscious, and cooking at home allows you to be in control of the ingredients, which is especially important for people watching sodium and sugar intake as well as people with food allergies.
Chef Cushman teaches people the importance of shopping locally and avoiding GMO’s and pesticides for health reasons, as well as to protect the environment. “I grew up this way, so for me, it comes naturally and eating organically is an important step to avoid cancer and auto-immune disorders. The farm-to-table movement also makes sense for the farms themselves and the local economy,” she adds.
Gifts for Home Cooks
Cooking classes are a trend in gift giving as well. Chef Cushman’s classes are for groups of two to twenty and rates vary according to the size of the group. It’s most cost-effective with a larger group as most spilt the expenses with the host so it runs about $55 per person. One-on-one classes are also popular and a discounted package is available for the purchase of three classes.
You can also enjoy Chef Cushman’s favorite recipes, such as Thai Summer Rolls with Shrimp and Avocado or Roasted Curried Cauliflower and learn do-ahead tips and substitutions to make cooking a breeze. Her cookbook, “Simple, Real Food: Delicious Clean Food Prepared Simply” is now in its third printing and is currently available through her website, at her cooking classes, and on Amazon.
Best of all, you can earn up to five entries to WIN a signed copy of “Simple, Real Food” via the Rafflecopter contest below! (Enter by Wednesday, Nov. 9th)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Note: This is a sponsored post that contains information Bites of Bull City wrote and chooses to share because we believe it is of interest and relevant to our audience.