There is a refreshing shift taking place in America. We, as a nation, are rediscovering the age old comforts of home and hearth. Home cooking is once again in fashion, and many Americans are expanding their collection of recipes to include their old favorites and add new ones for the new way that Americans eat.
Many experts have coined the word ‘nesting’ when it comes to the way Americans are now living their lives. The kitchen is the heart of the home once again. In this busy, hectic world, we are finding solace in the simple pleasures of cooking for our family, loved ones and dear friends.
Due to the popularity of television stations such as the Food Network and magazines ranging from Cooking Light, Martha Stewart and Gourmet, Americans are embracing new ways to cook, eat and experience new foods and cuisines. One of the best ways to do this is to experiment with new choices in cooking.
The culinary industry has exploded in the last several years. If you are looking for cooking lessons your choices are truly unlimited, from the novice cook to the experienced gourmet there is a class tailored just for you!
When you are researching different cooking lessons, keep in mind the following questions: Do you want to learn basic cooking skills 101 or do you want to learn more difficult techniques as found in French or Japanese cuisines? Is healthful eating your goal, or are you looking to increase your entertaining abilities?
Do your homework on the school that you will be attending. Many schools provide all the food and utensils necessary and include this in the fee charged to their students; other schools require that you bring your food items with you. Some classes are hands on and some simply a demonstration of cooking technique. Find out what works best for you.
There are many places to attend cooking lessons by a professional chef, including culinary schools, community colleges, gourmet markets and even some chef owned restaurants. There are professional chefs that will also come to your home for a lesson for yourself or a group of students. Of course, this type of lesson typically costs more than attending a class held at a school. Many clients of this type of lesson turn the lesson into a party such as a bridal shower or ‘girl’s night in’. This is also a great notion for an engagement party. The lesson doesn’t have to be for extravagant fare, lessons range from making the perfect omelet, to pizza, or the guy’s favorite – BBQ!
Another way to get truly immersed in a cuisine is to take a culinary vacation, such as a tour group to such locations as Tuscany, France, Spain or Napa Valley, California. There are also several cruise lines that offer culinary excursions. Several travel agencies specialize in this type of travel. Vacation, relax and learn all at the same time. For those that like to multi-task this is the best of both worlds!
There is also a new concept related to this industry: ‘pre prepared home cooked meals’. This new idea is great for families with young children, or couples that work late hours and are too busy to prepare a home cooked meal each night. The way that most of these facilities work is that the customer chooses their meals – usually from 6 to 12, each meal feeding four to six people. The client then schedules a time for their lesson. When the client shows up at the center all of the prep work has been done, including chopping of vegetables, portioning out the meat and poultry and setting out measuring spoons and spices. The client then assembles the meal according to the provided recipe. The meal is placed in a heat proof container to either be refrigerated or frozen. The meal can then be cooked at the client’s convenience at their home. This way, there is always a home cooked meal available to be prepared in under the time it would require to order take out.
Another point to keep in mind is that with the added emphasis on healthful eating, many people are using home cooking as a tool against the nations rising rate of obesity. In home cooking the cook can control the ingredients to fit around a healthier lifestyle. From low fat, low carb/high protein, vegetarian, and whole foods, Americans have abundant choices when it comes to styles of food preparation.
With today’s numerous choices in culinary adventures there are boundless possibilities to increase your knowledge of cooking. Taking lessons from a professional chef will boost your skills and confidence whether your goal is to get weekday dinners on the table quicker or to impress and astound your friends at your next dinner party.