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Add to stay-at-home cooking expertise at classes online


Quarantining and the shutdown of favorite restaurants have caused many of us to discover – and rediscover – the joys of cooking at home.

Like many of you, I have revisited my favorite cookbooks and flipped through some of my dog-eared food magazines to find and prepare new and not-so-new recipes every day. Now that the prime growing season is underway and farmers’ markets are filled with beautiful produce, it might be time to “up your cooking game.”

I love to take cooking classes whenever I travel. In fact, all of our Goût et Voyage trips include at least three cooking classes with local chefs in each “Taste of ...” location.

Given the current travel restrictions, these hands-on classes are not feasible. With travel plans scrapped, many of us long to visit dream vacation spots and indulge in armchair travel. Fortunately, a number of chefs are offering classes online.

These are not recipe snippets you might see on Instagram or Facebook, rather they are multi-hour classes to create a full meal or a selection of popular dishes and introduce participants to local culture and flavors.

The virtual classes are a fun way to get together with family and friends for a productive and delicious activity. Or consider taking a class on your own with others from around the world. All of the classes are available in English, although instruction in other languages may also be available.

Rafaella of Let’s Cook in Umbria offers live, interactive streaming classes in Italian cuisine five days a week from her kitchen in Italy. A current class menu includes panzanella salad, hand-made ravioli with fresh tomato sauce and a crostata cake with almond cream and fresh fruit.

Learn to make macarons, those light and heavenly French or Italian meringue cookies, with a Parisian pastry chef from Appart Paris in a private class.

The Santa Fe School of Cooking has celebrated the cuisine of New Mexico for over 30 years with a full roster of hands-on and demonstration cooking classes. The school is now offering hour-long virtual classes hosted by popular regional chefs. Sample class menus include classic green chile stew with blue corn muffins, authentic Mexican enchiladas with drunk beans and classic New Mexican green chile chicken tamales and pinto beans. New class offerings are added regularly.

Compadre Cooking School in Lisbon, Portugal offers an online class in spicy Piri Piri Chicken. During an interactive hour-long class, you’ll learn about the history of this traditional Portuguese dish while watching a step-by-step preparation.

Details on all classes can be found on the schools’ websites.

Martine Bertin-Peterson of Fountainville is owner of Gout et Voyage, LLC a boutique travel company specializing in gourmet adventures to France, Italy and Portugal.