You may be someone who burns water or a seasoned home cook, ready to take your knife skills to MasterChef. Either way, there are plenty of reasons to do a cooking class when you’re on holiday.
Here are some of the justifications you may not have thought of… other than it’s great for Instagram.
1: You’ll impress the shit out of a date
I’ve done cooking classes across quite a few South-East Asian countries, parts of Europe and Australia.
Every. Single. One. Has had a dish I call the “date pleaser“. You know a dish that is relatively easy to throw together but leaves people thinking you’re a culinary champion?
“Oh I threw that Nuoc Mam together in 5 minutes,” you say as you pour it over a fresh home-made rice vermicelli salad.
Guaranteed to get you laid.
2: You get to eat a crapload of food
For about $35 AUD in Bali, you can spend a lovely morning collecting fresh ingredients from the market, learning about what’s great and what’s going to make you green, learn how to prepare it, cook it, serve it and then EAT IT!
I’ve done a few lessons in Bali, namely since the food there is so freaking delicious and every time I have stuffed my face with no less than 8 courses of food.
You’ll leave utterly stuffed.
3: You learn how to make sauces
This might not seem like such a perk but bear with me.
Other than impressing suitors, knowing how to make good sauce levels up your culinary skill by about 100 points. It’s an instant life upgrade.
If you have even the most basic ingredients on hand you can be the Dictator of Dressing with lashings of taste upon your adoring guests (that’s how it works right?).
4: You’ll absorb some culture
I’m not just talking about some new gut flora.
Not only does a trip to the market open your eyes to how locals live, work and eat (and how they definitely don’t store meat in Bali – shudder), it’s an education that can’t be picked up by watching a doco or… reading this blog.
You can’t smell the incense wafting out of the family temple we cooked aside, or the chicken in the sun on the chopping block.
Being invited into someone’s home or life to bond for a few hours over food invites conversation that leads to deeper cultural insight and knowledge.
5: You’ll make some new “best friends”
Possibly the most beneficial tip to solo travellers, or people sick of talking to travel mates. Unless you book a private class, you’ll meet a diverse group of travellers and cooking enthusiasts.
Sure, some people can still be dicks. I once had a class with a guy who refused to stand anywhere near onions. Not because he was allergic or disliked them, but because he didn’t want to change his clothes to go out that night… yawn.
I’ve put together this (totally lame but it makes me smile) video of my recent class at Jambangan Cooking School in Ubud, Bali. If you find yourself that way you won’t be disappointed jumping into a class.