Cook like a local around the world

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

The way to the heart is through the stomach, and the most delicious way to learn about a culture is through its food.

Make adorably delicate dim sum dishes in Hong Kong, whip up Dutch pancakes in a chef’s Amsterdam home, and shop for ingredients in the Prague Market while tasting Moravian wine along the way. Here are 9 hand-picked cooking classes around the world that will surely delight, satisfy, and make you feel a little more like a local. ¡Buen provecho! Dobrou chut´! Bon apétit!

Czech Cuisine Fresh from the Market

To experience authentic Czech cuisine, wend your way through Prague Market’s produce section, filling your basket with seasonal ingredients like potatoes, sausage, and marjoram. Bring your appetizing treasures to your Czech culinarian’s kitchen and begin to chop, blend, and simmer your 3-course feast. Acquire new culinary skills and experience the joys of cooking the Czech way. Whether you prepare dishes like fruit dumplings or garlic-infused soup with ham chunks, you’re sure to delight in creating and eating this hearty Bohemian cuisine. Toast your labors with samples of complex Moravian wines perfectly paired with each course.

Mi Cocina es tu Cocina

The terrace at Chef Claudia’s Cancún hacienda is the ideal spot to explore Yucatán cuisine. Sip on spiced Mexican coffee (taste those notes of cinnamon?) and sample Mexican pastries like pumpkin empanadas and polvorones, nutty cookies with powdered sugar. Then step inside the warm, welcoming glow of Claudia’s cocina,kitchen, to learn about Mexico’s rich food heritage. Slice into smooth avocados and grill juicy prickly pear paddles as you prepare a traditional Yucatán meal. After cooking, enjoy your sumptuous lunch along with a tequila-infused drink.

Creative Dim Sum

Discover the secret to delectable dim sum in the heart of Hong Kong. This Cantonese culinary tradition involves small, delicious artisan dishes that together make up a full meal. Experienced chefs will teach you dim sum-making skills as you prepare bite-sized dishes that are almost too cute to eat, including dessert dumplings that look like tiny penguins and deep-fried spring rolls pretending to be miniature squid. When you finish cooking, refresh yourself with a cup of traditional Chinese tea to go along with your dainty dim sum and enjoy a chef-prepared Chinese meal.

Organic Street Food in Vietnam

Are you a street-food fiend? Then dive into Vietnamese cooking in the family home of your hospitable and knowledgeable Ho Chi Minh City chef, Lan Anh. Chop organic produce like mint and lemongrass, and then fry fresh tofu or grill local chicken. Learn the art of transforming these locally grown ingredients into succulent street dishes like bún bò, an umami beef soup with rice vermicelli. Savor your finished product and then top it off with bánh chuối, a sweet banana cake.

Dutch Pancakes in Amsterdam

Try your hand at Dutch cooking with a complete culinary experience. Accompany your local chef to his favorite spots to pick up some of Amsterdam’s freshest ingredients. Then, head to his homey apartment where you will prepare sweet or savory pannekoeken, large, thin pancakes that may include bacon, cheese, or apples. Whether you jump in and get your hands doughy or take a more observational approach, you’ll learn useful Dutch culinary tips. Bask in the rich smell of baking pannekoeken as your chef regales you with stories and history.

Baking Parisian Pastries

If your idea of paradise is a Parisian pastry excursion, then you’ll find heaven on earth in the kitchen of this chef pâtissier’s flat. Chef Marthé shares divine pastry recipes as you mix and roll dough. Learn some tricks to try at home as you bake delicate French desserts such as tangy apple turnovers or silky chocolate mousse. After you discover the secrets that make French desserts so scrumptious, complete your pastry education with lots of dessert tasting—letting that chocolate cherry clafoutis or carmelized apple bite melt in your mouth. And there’s no need to miss out if you’re gluten-free. Take a cooking class with Chef Dominique to bake delicious, flaky pastries you’ll hardly believe are gluten-free!

Thai cooking class on Bangkok’s Tha Chin River

Take a Thai riverboat down the Tha Chin River and embark on a one-of-a-kind gastronomic adventure. Aoy, an experienced Thai chef, will pilot you down the waterway, past lush vegetation to her home outfitted with a studio kitchen. Explore Aoy’s family recipes as you dice tender eggplants and crisp bok choy. Breathe in the aroma of fresh ginger, basil, and curry as you prepare authentic Thai cuisine. What better place to devour your pad phuk tong, stir-fried pumpkin, than along the verdant banks of the picturesque Tha Chin River as small boats ply its waters?

Barcelona’s La Boqueria & Tapas Tasting

Begin in Barcelona’s lush market, La Boqueria, exploring beautifully arranged mounds of mouth-watering Spanish goods like cherries, saffron, and olives. Before your immersive cooking class you’ll taste 10 distinct tapas, representative of Spain’s unique culinary regions. Next, Chef Teresa will guide you through the subtle joys and spices of Spanish cooking from the comfort of her own home. Learn more about the role of saffron and olive oil in traditional Spanish cuisine and in Barcelona’s Catalan region. After your paella simmers and soaks up the flavors of fresh seafood, taste your signature Spanish dish along with textured Rioja wines and other Spanish dishes such as tender Iberian ham cutlets and Catalan crème brûlée.

Japanese Wagashi Sweet-Making

Satisfy your sweet tooth and indulge your artistic impulse in Tokyo as you learn to make wagashi—Japan’s intricate, exquisite desserts. You’ll craft beautiful, melt-in-your-mouth confections from mochi to azuki bean paste while your hosts explain the meanings behind specific ingredients. Cherry blossom pink and edamame green are typical springtime colors. Plate your small treats elegantly on lacquered platters for Instagram-worthy photos. At last, relish these sweet delights along with a cup of traditional matcha tea.

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