80% of millennials believe meals that are home-cooked are a good way to live but have little to no confidence in their ability to cook. One of the reasons for this lack of confidence includes busy homes where the skill of preparing a home-cooked meal was simply not taught. Also, home economics classes in schools have seen a reduction of 40%. So where does a person turn to learn how to cook without spending an arm and a leg as well as the years involved to enrol in classes at a culinary school? Wouldn’t it be great if you could learn from a professional chef in your own kitchen, in your own home? Wouldn’t it be even better if you could invite a few friends to take part in the class and make it a party? This is where in home cooking classes come into play.
The power of food to connect people
There is just something about food that connects people to one another.
Some of my fondest memories growing up are the large family gatherings that involved food.
A kitchen that was alive with activity. Laughter, stories and conversation around the dinner table. Sharing a delicious meal and sweet treats for dessert.
Social events typically involve appetizers, small plates or even full meals because of the magical power of food to bridge whatever gaps exist between people.
So, what happened to the skill of home cooking?
What has happened to those large family gatherings and events?
Busy lives and demands on our time
In today’s hustle and bustle world with dual-income families, single-parent homes and the flurry of activity with kids, it appears the art of a home-cooked meal has given way to the convenience of take-out, and fast food.
People would like to cook but who has the time?
Many millennials and people who identify as Gen Y grew up in homes where cooking skills were not passed down because of the busyness of life.
And as mentioned earlier, schools have cut back on offering home economics classes, which is where many boomers and Gen Xers learned the finer points of home cooking.
The rise of cooking shows on cable and YouTube
Even though life is insanely busy and time seems to be in short supply, there seems to be a rising interest in cooking and learning to cook.
Food Network and the Cooking Channel have risen in popularity with their full line up of cooking shows that span from competitions to “how to make it at home” programming.
Many chefs also have YouTube channels that draw our thoughts and intentions toward the kitchen.
Bobby Flay, Alton Brown, Ree Drummond, Giada, Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsey and others all make it seem so easy to make their mouth-watering creations in our own kitchens.
It should be simple. I have a cast-iron frying pan, a stove and an oven.
It looks easy enough to copy what they are doing.
But somehow, our kitchen creation is on par with a kindergartner’s colouring project rather than the masterpiece entrees and desserts whipped up by our favourite celebrity chefs.
Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a chef come to your home to teach the fundamentals of what it takes to truly cook an amazing meal in your own kitchen?
Believe it or not, there are in home cooking classes that can actually make that happen.
The teacher comes to you
In-home cooking classes eliminate the need to enrol in classes at a culinary school.
There are a variety of classes that can be taught in the comfort of your own home, using the equipment and utensils you have right there in your kitchen.
With in home cooking classes, the teacher comes to you.
Make a party of it
In-home cooking classes can be held for just yourself, yourself and your significant other, or for yourself and a group of your friends. The choice is totally up to you.
If the size of your kitchen can accommodate having a few of your fellow “foodies” participate, then, by all means, make it a party!
The laughter, commotion, and conversation that takes place with a group taking in home cooking classes make for an extraordinary time that is fun for all.
Do I need any special equipment or ingredients to host a class?
For most in home cooking classes, all you need is a few pots, pans, knives, bowls and a couple of other items.
Typically, when you sign up to host a class, the chef who will be your instructor will get in touch with you a week or so prior to the class to go over the menu, as well as the ingredients and equipment that will be needed.
Any equipment you may not have, the instructor should be able to supply as part of the class.
You might need to go shopping a day or two before the class to pick up the ingredients from the list that you and the instructor had discussed the previous week.
What can I expect to learn from in home cooking classes?
Most in home cooking classes focus on the basic methods and techniques needed to prepare a variety of tasty meals in your very own kitchen.
Just like anything else, once you learn and master the basic techniques and culinary skills, you will be able to unleash your creativity on the stovetop, bringing to the table the kind of meals you had previously gone out to enjoy.
The skills you can expect to learn are sauteing, searing, roasting, sauce making, knife skills, seasoning, breading, frying, pasta making and other skills depending on the type of class you are wanting to take.
At the end of the class, you (and your friends if you decide to go the group class route) can expect to have learned enough of the basic methods of cooking to make your time in the kitchen an enjoyable experience.
Once I learned the basics of searing and saute as well as how to make homemade pasta, I found that I would much rather cook at home than go out to a restaurant.
The meals prepared at home taste just as good at a fraction of the cost of going out.
Okay, you have got my attention! What is the cost and time commitment for classes?
The cost for in home cooking classes will differ based on the choice of cuisine, the number of people attending the class, the level of experience of the chef teaching the class and the cost of ingredients as well as any other items you may need to purchase for the class.
Some chefs charge by the hour.
Some charge per person, others have classes that are priced at a flat rate.
Prices range from $25-$100 (USD) an hour with the average cost of in-home classes being about $45 (USD) per hour.
An example of a flat rate class would be the classes taught by Home Cooking NY.
Their rate is $325, plus the cost of groceries, for classes of 1-3 people.
A group of four people would cost $400 plus the cost of groceries.
The time involved for in home cooking classes depends on the type of class and can take 2-4 hours for the class, not including the time to shop for ingredients and clean up.
Having a class with a group of friends (and a good bottle or two of wine) can make cleaning up as much fun as the class.
How to find in home cooking classes
A quick internet search for in home cooking classes or private chef cooking classes is a sure-fire recipe for finding a class you would like to take.
Here is a list of resources to check out.
Thumbtack.com is a service that pairs people with the professionals they want to hire.
To find in home cooking classes on Thumbtack.com just enter “cooking classes” in the search bar on their homepage.
This will bring you to the landing page for cooking classes.
From the cooking classes page, you can refine your search by filtering for the type of class. For example, basic cooking, knife skills, grilling, soups, baking, sauces, etc.
There are even classes for pastries and desserts. How sweet is that!
Another filter is the skill level.
Are you looking for a beginner, intermediate or expert level class?
Simply filter for the skill level you desire.
You can also filter by the number of people in the class.
You can select a class that fits your needs and budget from the filtered results.
2. Table At Home
Table At Home is a site that has a network of private chefs that teach in home cooking classes.
Serving the areas of Washington DC (including sections of Maryland and Virginia), Chicago, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Chicago, San Diego and Los Angeles, Table At Home has the best private chefs ready to share their kitchen secrets with you and your friends.
The process of booking a class is simple: request your meal, select your chef and enjoy!
Do you want to learn how to make homemade pasta?
Perhaps you have a passion for Thai food or traditional cuisine.
Table At Home has a chef that can teach you and your friends how to make those meals at home.
The chef who will be your instructor for the class will arrive with all the ingredients in-hand, and will also take care of cleaning up.
3. Hire a Chef
Hire a Chef is a tremendous resource for finding a chef to teach in home cooking classes.
Whether you are located in the United States or Canada, you can be confident in the skills and ability of the instructor for the class you will be hosting in your home.
As a member of the USPCA (the United States Personal Chefs Association), Hire a Chef has strict standards that all of their private chefs must meet before becoming part of Hire a Chef’s roster.
To find a private chef in your area that teaches in home cooking classes, just go to Hire a Chef’s website and select Chefs from the menu bar located at the top right of their site.
Then enter your city, zip code, province or postal code.
This will bring up a list of personal chefs in your area.
Read through the descriptions for each chef in the list and contact the one that fits the criteria for the type of class you would like to host.
4. Big City Chefs
Big City Chefs has been around for 20 years and knows the business of cooking.
Established in 2000, Big City Chefs has the distinct honour of being featured on Food Network’s reality TV show “Private Chefs of Beverly Hills”.
With a roster of exceptional chefs in 20 states, located in 33 major cities and their surrounding areas, Big CIty Chefs offers classes that cover artisanal pizza, gastropub fare, several Asian cuisines as well as Italian and Spanish menu options.
For chocolate lovers, there are classes that include delectable offerings such as Mocha Hazelnut Mousse, Dark Chocolate Truffles, and Milk Chocolate Fondue with Tropical Fruit.
To find out more about classes and prices, go to Big City Chefs cooking classes page, click on the class topic for a detailed description.
Then click on the link at the bottom of the page to get a quote or give them a call at 1-866-321-CHEF to book a class.
5. Regional and local class options
There are dozens of private and personal chefs teaching in home cooking classes that are located near to where you live.
Google, Bing, Craigslist, local culinary schools, and technical colleges are places to get information regarding private chefs in your area that will teach cooking classes in your home.
There are some truly talented chefs in your locale who put on excellent classes.
What about classes in the United Kingdom?
The United States is not the only place where you can find in home cooking classes.
The United Kingdom has given us some of the world’s most renowned chefs.
Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsey, Robert Irvine, Nigella Lawson and Clare Smyth, who is the only female chef to operate a three-Michelin Star restaurant in the UK.
The United Kingdom has a rich tradition of producing amazing chefs.
There are a number of options for finding in home cooking classes in the UK.
Here are a few for your consideration.
1. Chef’s Compliments
Chef’s Compliments is based in London and started back in 2007.
They have been in business for a long time and know what it takes to execute exceptional in home cooking classes.
Head Chef Daryl Breen has a roster of 46 hand-picked chefs.
This means a class from one of Chef’s Compliments instructors will be a flavorful, mouth-watering, appetite satisfying experience.
The class offerings from Chef’s Compliments include lessons on cooking meat or fish, classes on barbequing, as well as how to prepare vegan meals and how to make amazing desserts.
Be honest, who doesn’t like a perfectly prepared pudding?
Classes are typically three hours and you will prepare 2-3 dishes under the expert instruction of a professional chef.
Chef’s Compliments offers in home cooking classes not only in London but also across the United Kingdom.
To book your class give them a call for a consultation to find out more.
2. Tara Cookery
Located in London, Tara Guinness is the driving force behind Tara Cookery.
Tara’s background of cooking in restaurants located in the United Kingdom as well as hotel kitchens in India has provided her with a diverse food experience that translates into in home cooking classes that explore cuisines from around the world.
The classes available from Tara Cookery include Indian, Thai, Moroccan, Greek, Pub fare, Sunday Lunch or whatever style of cooking you would like to learn.
Depending on the room in your kitchen and your budget, Tara Cookery can accommodate classes of one to eight people.
Some of the classes are for small groups only.
Give Tara a call to discuss the type of class you would like to take, the number of people and your budget.
Then set up a class and enjoy some incredible food that you had a hand in preparing.
3. Galor Personal Chef Services
Another great resource for in home cooking classes in London is Galor Personal Chef Services.
Whether you are a beginner who struggles with how to boil water or is advanced in your kitchen skills, Galor has a class that will fit your needs.
The staff at Galor understands that each client has different levels of experience and will match the right chef for your in-home class.
Galor is the brainchild of Yuda Galis.
Yuda’s passion for great food can be traced all the way back to his childhood watching his grandmother working in the family bakery.
That passion has led him to study under some of the most well-known chefs in Europe.
That same passion is carried out by Galor’s staff of private chefs.
To start the process of booking an in-home cooking class with Galor Personal Chef Services, get in touch with them to talk over the experience level of the people taking the class as well as menu choices.
Tie on that apron and get cooking
As you can see, fast food and budget-busting meals at restaurants are no longer your only options for good food.
Through in home cooking classes, you can start cooking GREAT food at home for a fraction of the cost of dining out.
You can learn the skills, methods and techniques that will take you from having little confidence in your cooking ability to becoming a bona fide home chef.
It all starts with reaching out to one of the recommendations in this article or by finding a private chef offering in home cooking classes through a search on Google, Bing or other search engines
You may just discover that deep inside of you is a great cook that has been waiting for the right opportunity to come along.
Bon appetit, my friend!