Cooking Classes Around the World

If there is one thing I love more than anything when traveling, it’s experiencing the amazing cuisine. It’s actually quite funny because growing up I was the pickiest of eaters, and now I will eat just about anything you put in front of me. What turned me from picky, to a foodie was travel. I started to try new things on my first trip to Europe while on an exchange in high school, and my eyes were opened to all the delicious things I had been missing.

A set table at Beit Sitti in Jordan

Food is one of the greatest ways that you can really learn about a culture, and there’s nothing that connects people together more than sharing a good meal together. Knowing this, when I travel I always try to look for some sort of food experience like food tours, or cooking lessons like the ones below. I’ve had such fantastic experiences through my years of travel, and these are just a few I wanted to share with you.

Cooking lesson at Beit Sitti in Jordan

Beit Sitti – Amman, Jordan

One of my favourite cooking lessons was in the capital city of Jordan, Amman, at Beit Sitti. This adorable converted home, turned cooking school, was started by three sisters who wanted to keep their grandmothers legacy (and recipes) alive right in the original home of their grandma.

The space is absolutely adorable and you feel right at-home as you learn how to cook some local favourites. On the day I was visiting, we made a fresh and delicious salad, some baba ghanouj, a rice dish called Ma’aloubeh, and a delicious dessert.

The menu changes based on the class you sign up for, but they offer a range of classes from a traditional Jordanian breakfast, a vegetarian menu, to other traditional dishes.

Read about my experience here

Cooking lesson at Petra Kitchen in Jordan. Girl holding up bowl with ingredients in it

Petra Kitchen – Petra, Jordan

My experience with Petra Kitchen was actually quite funny, as when I arrived I was told that I was going to be joined with 30+ middle-school kids from an international school in Amman. They did do their best to try and arrange a different night for me to come but unfortunately this was the only time that worked with my itinerary. However, it ended up being a ton of fun!

Using local produce and a group of local chefs, Petra Kitchen is a great experience to have while visiting Petra. Each night participants will cook a full Jordanian dinner with hot and cold mezzes (appetizers) and a main course. Since the group I was a part of was so large, every table had their own tasks to help put together the meal.

Dishes at Petra Kitchen

During the night we had lentil soup (shourbat adas), tahina salad, a cucumber and yogurt salad (salatat khyar), a cucumber and tomato salad (fatoosh), a Bedouin-style pizza, and the list went on. Seriously we got to try and make so many items while at this class. The staff made this experience unforgettable, and even though I was cooking with a ton of kids, they didn’t water down the experience at all. I left full and satisfied.

Read about my experience here

Girl making tortillas with My Mexican Kitchen in Bucerias, Mexico

My Mexican Kitchen – Bucerias, Mexico

My mom is a big fan of Mexico and travels to the Pacific Coast of Mexico every year. In her time she’s spent in Bucerias, she’s done multiple cooking classes with the guys at My Mexican Kitchen. My Mexican Kitchen is run by partners Edgar and Travis, and they have a ton of different cooking lessons available that you can take. Isn’t Mexican food just the best food!?!

On the day I took this class with my mom, we made:

  • Aguas fresca
  • Enchiladas with a salsa verde
  • Sopa tarasca (black bean roasted tomato soup)
  • Mole poblano with Mexican rice and rajas poblanas
  • Sweet plantains with Mexica cafe de olla coffee
Lauren cooking tortillas in My Mexican Kitchen in Mexico

Everything was absolutely delicious. It’s BYOB and at the end of your cooking experience with a small group, you all sit down around a table and share the meal you helped create. Every night they have different courses and themes that range from things like the above menu to salsas and appetizers.

Even though these menu items were a bit more time consuming than what I’d recreate at-home, I still have the recipes and maybe one day I’ll try to make my own Mexican fiesta in my Toronto kitchen!

Read about my experience here

Rajni giving tourists a cooking lesson in her home in India

Rajni Cooking Class – Orchha, India

This was one of the most intimate cooking lessons I’ve ever had while abroad and it was in Orchha, India. Orchha is a rural town in Northern India, and Rajni welcomed our small group into her home where we sat around on her floor in front of two burners that she whipped up several Indian dishes on in what felt like minutes.

Our meal at a cooking lesson in Orchha, India on a metal platter

In the cooking class we learned how to make masala chai (tea), eggplant curry, cabbage and potato curry, boondi raita, mixed vegetable rice, fried dahl, and two types of bread (puri and chapati). Our job was primarily to help prep ingredients while she cooked and let us know step-by-step her tips on how to create the perfect dishes. The meal ended with her relative doing henna tattoos on our arms. It was truly an incredible experience and one that you don’t find in very many places.

This experience was done on a G Adventures tour, however, Rajni is on Instagram and you can reach out to her directly.

Read about my experience here

Making Momo's in Nepal

Throughout my travels, I’ve had some great other experiences that were a little less formal when it came to cooking lessons. I’ve made momo’s in Nepal with human trafficking survivors through a project that was supported by G Adventures called Sasane. I’ve also learned how to make the traditional tajine while at a hotel in Morocco, and empanadas in a woman’s house while in El Paredon, Guatemala. If there is one thing I recommend when traveling it’s really finding ways to immerse yourself in their culture, and through food can be a great way to do just that.

Making dough in a woman's house in Guatemala

Have you ever done a cooking lesson abroad? Tell me about your experience in the comments below!

Read More About My Cooking Experiences Below:

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