How do chefs and cooking schools pivot when they can’t teach us in person? They teach us online. By tuning in to a cooking or mixology class, you can virtually connect with a chef or bartender and learn everything from pinching the perfect gnocchi to making a proper Manhattan.
Classes are affordable and you can often get real-time answers to all your questions throughout each session. And, yes, like everything else these days, the culinary experience unfolds in the comfort of your own home, er, kitchen.
Here are 12 interactive options, from chef demos to culinary school faves.
Bouchaine Vineyards: This Napa winery’s noontime “B Together” online series, which features chefs such as One Market’s Mark Dommen, launched just in time. As part of the daily series, the winery is offering a Mother’s Day themed class on May 3, so you can perfect your paté a choux in time for May 10. Chef Wendy Sherwood of La Foret Chocolate and Confections will offer the basics of the pastry and demonstrate its versatility as both a savory – gougeres – and a sweet, namely profiteroles with ice cream and La Foret chocolate sauce. Email email@example.com or call 707-252-9065 to reserve a spot. www.facebook.com/BouchaineVineyards
Bay Area Italian Events: La dolce vita goes online. This female start-up, based in San Jose, is now hosting virtual “Cook Like an Italian” classes featuring Bay Area experts such as Oakland’s Rosetta Costantino, the Calabria-born cookbook author; Poesia restaurant of San Francisco; and the team from Gio Gelati, the folks scooping in San Ramon. Coming up May 8 is “Italian Cocktails,” a chance to learn how to make negronis, bellinis and Americanos. Tickets, $20-$30. www.bayareaitalianevents.com
ChefsFeed: This San Francisco-based start-up and app is offering livestream classes with hot chefs and bartenders from around the country, including “Top Chef” Season 15’s Joe Sasto (“Unlock the Secrets of Gnocchi”) and famed former San Francisco mixologist Nora Furst (“Slow Cocktails for Quarantine Time”). Other class topics: “Paella-ish” and “Help! I Have No Flour But Desperately Need Chocolate.” Classes are $20 each and all proceeds go to the host and their staff. https://experiences.chefsfeed.com
Cozymeal: After years of matching professional chefs with beginning cooks or intermediates who want to up their game, Cozymeal is now offering that expertise via classes hosted on Zoom. The 75-minute, interactive sessions range from family-friendly options (“Handmade Fettuccine for Kids”) to topics tailored for these times (“Immunity Boosting Foods”). And after learning how to make “Crispy Orange Chicken” at home, you’ll never need to buy that frozen entree again. Classes are $39 each. www.cozymeal.com/online-cooking-classes
Airbnb Online Experiences: The online lodging giant has gone virtual with its international tourism experiences, offering cooking classes in addition to tango, yoga, meditation and more. There’s “Cook Mexican Street Tacos with a Pro Chef” from Mexico City; “Curry in a Hurry with a Malay Food Bro” from Cape Town; and “Cooking with a Moroccan Family” — hello chicken tagine — in Marrakech. Classes are 1 to 2 hours and start at $9. www.airbnb.com/s/experiences/online
You may not be able to partake in an Airbnb experience, like a Marrakech cooking class, in real life, but the company — and its users — have begun offering virtual cooking classes and other experiences. (Courtesy Airbnb)Kitchen on Fire: This East Bay cooking school is offering free 10 minute-ish cooking demos with its team of chefs. “In the Kitchen” videos include “Mega Easy Cabbage Side Dish” and “Zucchini Boats (Kid-Friendly!” And you can learn the classics, like the art of the basic omelet, homemade mayonnaise and the building blocks of soup. Official online cooking classes coming soon. www.kitchenonfire.com
Chef Olive and Berkeley’s Kitchen on Fire cooking school will be offering online classes and video demos. (Doug Duran/Bay Area News Group)18 Reasons: A member of the Bi-Rite Market family, this nonprofit community cooking school has launched a series of relevant Zoom cooking classes for April and May sheltering-in-place, from “Easy Vegetarian Working from Home Eats” (May 10) to “Make it Work: Pantry Panzanella” (May 23). Gotta love these people. Classes are start at $35 and run 1 to 2 hours. https://18reasons.org/calendar
CIA at Copia: Nothing like a hands-on cooking class in the heart of downtown Napa. For now, check out the state-of-the-art teaching kitchen from home with a free 30-day membership via DISH. The platform features online demonstrations with CIA chefs, special interviews with instructors, technique tutorials, CIA tested and approved recipes, e-books and more. https://join.ciafoodies.com
The CIA at Copia in downtown Napa has begun offering chef demonstrations online. (Victor M. Samuel Photography)Sunday Supper with J Vineyards & Winery: Executive chef Carl Shelton leads viewers through free, live cooking demonstrations — including Venezuelan cuisine — paired with the Sonoma winery’s pinot noir, rosé and more. Join live on Instagram at @jwinery Sundays at 3 p.m. Those looking to stock up on wines to follow along with the tastings can head to www.jwine.com/shop. Free shipping on three or more bottles.
Avital Tours: Just in time for Cinco de Mayo and the alfresco dining days ahead, this Bay Area company has come out with a series of “chefinars” and virtual culinary experiences on a food fiesta theme. San Francisco mixologist Christian “Suzu” Suzuki will be shaking up his classic margaritas, Tacolicious’ Sara Deseran will share the secrets to her orange sauce. Plus, there are group/corporate options to hang online with chefs Daniel Tellez from Sausalito’s Copita and Eduardo Ruiz of L.A.’s Chicas Tacos. Log-ons, $25-$50 per session. www.avitaltours.com Related Articles
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#WeCook Initiative: Although there are probably enough Food Network shows to last the millennium, those celeb chefs have gone virtual too. The “Chopped” judges are challenging each other and home cooks to the #ChoppedChallenge on social media to share the dishes they make from a mystery basket of ingredients. Alex Guarnaschelli and Geoffrey Zakarian are creating “pantry-pull” meals on “The Kitchen” TV show. And Michael Symon’s doing a different entree every day on the Food Network’s Facebook page. Grilled Chops with Bourbon Glaze? Yum.
Pigs & Pinot Tutorials: For the last 15 years, chef Charlie Palmer’s annual philanthropic Pigs & Pinot weekend in Healdsburg has been a delicious celebration of all things porky and pinot noir-ish. The 2020 event may have been sidelined, but its spirit has moved to Instagram, where Palmer, chef Scott Romano and four Sonoma winemakers began doing free cooking demos — Cavatelli and Italian Sausage, for example, and Coffee Charred Pork Tenderloin — and wine pairing suggestions in early April. https://pigsandpinot.com