News & Advice
Italian Cooking Classes
By Bridget Reed
Dec 6, 2021
Italian cuisine is hard to beat, especially when it is cooked up by some of the world’s most renowned Italian chefs.
For years, the allure of great Italian cuisine has drawn people around the world to take foodie vacations to Italy so that they can have the chance to learn and eat from the very best.
The flavours of Italy are hard to match, with simple dishes made extraordinary delicious with family traditions and culinary techniques that few people outside of the country ever get to learn.
However, one way to fully get immersed into the tasty parts of this culture is through Italian cooking classes. This is where Italian trained chefs share their top recipes, techniques, and secrets with their students as they guide you through serving up an authentic Italian meal.
With this temptation, combined with the warm and hospitable nature of Italians, signing up for one of these classes should be at the top of every person’s bucket list. And with a variety of options that allow you to cook with the best Italian chefs no matter where in the world you are, connecting with the Italian culture through food has never been easier.
While travel restrictions to and from Italy may continue to be in flux for quite some time, there are some consistently exceptional classes on offer for you to consider. So get ready to say ‘Ciao’ to your Italian food cravings and ‘buen appetito’ to the best Italian food you’ve ever made.
What Are Italian Cooking Classes?
An Italian cooking class is an opportunity for people that vary in their culinary skills to learn how to make authentic Italian cuisine. Think pasta, pizza, burrata, risotto, and polenta.
In short, Italian food is sensational. And these cooking classes allow you to connect with an important part of this country’s culture—even if you are not able to visit Italy in person just yet.
Whether the classes take place virtually or in person, an Italian cooking class is structured in a similar way, which consists of an overview of the class, a breakdown of the recipe and steps, and then time to enjoy the dish that was just prepared.
How To Take an Italian Cooking Class
Taking an Italian cooking class has never been easier! The first step is to determine what your time availability is, along with your budget. If you are someone who has a jam-packed schedule, then signing up for an Italian cooking class online will allow for more flexibility in your day and less worrying about logistics, as these classes can be done in your own kitchen at home.
If you do have more time and the funds to travel internationally, you can also attend an in-person cooking class in Italy. Prior to the pandemic, this was one of the most up-and-coming trends of tourism to Italy, with people wanting to learn from the masters themselves on their home turf.
Whatever way you choose to take an Italian cooking class, one thing will remain the same—you will cook and eat absolutely delicious food!
Online Italian Cooking Classes
We pride ourselves on offering some of the best online Italian cooking classes with special collaborations led by Michelin-star chefs.
One of the most recent Italian cooking classes we offer is a pasta-making class with Theo Randall, who is the chef-patron of the United Kingdom’s best Italian restaurant, which is aptly named after him and based at the Intercontinental.
When you take this online class or others with us, we aim to give you the best cooking experience possible. In general, our Italian cooking classes work as follows.
1. Sign Up for the Class You Want To Take
We continually offer new collaborations with Michelin-star chefs. Some courses are only one lesson, where others—like the pasta-making class—are four lessons.
2. Select the Date(s) That Works for You
The benefit of online classes is that you get to select the dates that are convenient for you. When you sign up for the class, you pick the date and how many people will be joining you in your own home kitchen to follow along. Pro-tip, these classes make for a great date night or family activity.
3. Get Your Ingredients Delivered
Taking an online cooking class at home is easy because we do all the preparation work for you and send the Italian cooking kits directly to your door fresh and ready for the day you selected. Cooking with food kits has been one of the biggest trends to come out of the last year and a half and allows you to follow the recipe exactly. And if you selected the wine pairing when you signed up, you will also get those in the delivery too—because everything tastes better with accompanying wine, especially Italian food.
4. Receive Exclusive Video Tutorials
While some online classes livestream the cooking classes, our Italian cooking classes provide you with a step-by-step video guide that is led by our Michelin-star chef. Most of our classes will teach at least three to four different dishes and the videos are on-demand, meaning you can start whenever you are ready and pause whenever you need to.
5. Enjoy a Beautifully Cooked Italian Meal
To wrap up the course, you will get to indulge in the delicious Italian food you have just made. Whether it is enjoyed with your significant other, your family, your friends, or just by yourself, we can guarantee it will be a meal you will certainly remember and savour for a very long time.
Cooking Classes in Italy
Taking a cooking class in Italy is a worthwhile splurge that we also fully support. Food is a critical part of experiencing a culture such as Italy, and getting to experience authentic Italian food and learn from locals is an experience of a lifetime.
The types of cooking classes that you can take when you are in Italy vary greatly. There are celebrity pop-up events, cooking school courses, and even more boutique local experiences that you can find on places such as AirBnb Experiences.
When it comes to selecting the type of cooking class you want to take in Italy, you should let both your budget and goals drive the decision. For example, if you are craving a career change to become a chef yourself, then you should look for a class with an Italian culinary school and enroll for at least four or five weeks’ worth of classes.
If you have come to Italy wanting to simply taste the variety of techniques and cooking processes for fun, then you should look for classes hosted by local restaurants or families themselves.
There is no bad time to take a cooking class in Italy, as the food remains delicious all year long. We’d recommend doing it whenever your savings account allows you to.
What You Will Learn in an Italian Cooking Class
You will learn a range of recipes, techniques, and family secrets during an Italian cooking class. Regardless of where or how you take your class, one consistent thing that is taught in nearly every Italian cooking class is that simple is best when it comes to cooking like an Italian.
Here are some other things you can expect to learn in Italian cooking classes.
1. Ingredients Italians Love
Regardless of the recipe, there are some staple ingredients found in most Italian recipes. These include olive oil (seriously, they use it for everything), balsamic vinegar, garlic, onions, oregano, tomatoes, pasta, capers, basil, and mozzarella. You will likely have most, if not all, of these ingredients included in an Italian recipe you learn to make.
2. How To Knead
Whether it is pasta or pizza, Italians are the masters at kneading dough. And it is no surprise, as kneading is the golden rule to making exceptional pasta or pizza! During an Italian cooking class you will likely learn how to make dough using flour, water, and olive oil, discover how long you should wait to let it set, and then the proper techniques to knead it to perfection.
3. Savouring Simple Meals
Another thing that will likely be taught, as we actually alluded to earlier, is that the best Italian meals are often the simplest meals too. Generally, the ingredient list will be quite basic and the process very straightforward. Great Italian chefs are made when they learn how to master the simplicity of cooking.
4. Pairing Italian Wines
With our online Italian cooking classes and likely others as well, you will learn the art of pairing wines with each dish served during a meal. For example, you will discover that white wines or a light red are generally served at the beginning, with the wines getting darker as the food progresses and gets richer. In Italy, wine is used to enhance the flavour of a meal and makes sitting at the dinner table possible for hours on end!
5. It’s a Family Affair
In Italy, cooking is not just reserved for one person in the house. In fact, for most Italians cooking is a family affair. You will learn in your cooking class how making Italian food is more fun when there are more people in the kitchen. The process of making dinner is often just as enjoyable as sitting around the table together.
Italian Cooking Terms To Know
To help you prepare for your Italian cooking class, you should familiarize yourself with some of the terminologies commonly used and found in the recipes. Some key terms to know are as follows:
1. Al dente: This is often how Italians describe cooking pasta. The literal definition of this means ‘to the tooth’ but is the type of texture that both pasta and vegetables should have to know it is cooked just enough, but not overcooked to the point of being mushy. If you have cooked something ‘al dente’, you have cooked it to perfection.
2. Antipasto: This is the phrase that Italians use to describe a dish being served as an appetizer. Normally an antipasto in Italy will consist of meats, cheeses, and bruschetta with bread.
3. Bianca: Literally meaning ‘white’, this term is used in Italian cooking to refer to a type of pizza. If a pizza is referred to as Bianca, then it means that there is only cheese and no tomato sauce. Instead, olive oil, garlic, and herbs provide the flavour to this type of pizza.
4. Arancini: Literally meaning ‘little orange’, these refer to scrumptious little risotto balls that are deep-fried and stuffed with cheese. They are often served as an antipasto or at a cocktail party. Chances are it will be hard to only eat one of these!
5. Ceci: This word is used to describe the chickpeas or beans that are being used within a dish, such as soup or pasta. While the word itself is small, it signifies that the dish will be jam-packed with delicious protein.
Hopefully, by now you are craving an Italian cooking class.
As mentioned, there are a variety of classes you can take—whether that be virtually from your own kitchen or in the grand country of Italy itself.
Taking an Italian cooking class provides you with an opportunity to learn and master new skills, socialize with other people who love food as much as you do, and feel a connection with a beautiful culture.
Whether you are new to cooking or confident in the kitchen already, there is something new to learn for everyone who takes one of these classes. Plus, when led by some of the most well-regarded Italian chefs in the world, you would be crazy to pass up on the opportunity.
So what will you be signing up to learn how to make first? Penne pasta? Margherita pizza? Italian eggplant parmesan? Tiramisu?
Whatever you decide to learn to make next, know that you are in for a wonderful world of flavour, lots of laughs, a memorable experience, and Italian food that you will be savouring for days, weeks, months, and even years to come.
5 Top Cooking And Foodie Vacations In Italy For 2019 | Forbes
Food Trends For 2021: Cooking Along With A Kit| Forbes
Keep it simple: what I've learned from cooking with chefs online | The Guardian