It’s cooking time! Pants are optional!
Gilio Cooking School: Private Class
This cooking school, virtual or not, will always have a special place in my heart. Marcella is the owner of the school based in Florence and a close friend of mine, whose classes I took during my brief stay in the quaint Italian city. When signing up for the private virtual class, Marcella asks what dish, from a long list, I was interested in making, giving me full reign to choose what I was interested in. I chose eggplant parmesan, a dish that my mom and I often make, yet have never perfected. Shortly after choosing the class, Marcella’s team sent me a list of ingredients and the recipe to look over for our prep. On the day of the class, we entered our Zoom room to see Marcella’s smiling face along with a second view of her work station, which definitely helps you follow along. She is also equipped with a microphone so that we can easily hear her instruction. The benefit of having Marcella all to yourself is that you can ask her as many questions as you’d like and even inquire about her recent trips to Gilio or current life in Italy. This class was approximately 1.5 to 2 hours long, which was just enough time for our eggplant parmesan to cook! This class is a perfect gift for a loved one or a great way to spend a rainy afternoon. The best part? Lunch is prepared!
Emmy Squared: Private Group Class
I had the privilege of attending this pizza making class through a social program that my work hosted this past winter. The ingredients and truly everything you need to make both the delicious pizza and cocktail are included in the package that gets delivered right to your house. I am talking ice cube tray and even pizza pan! This class was taught by Emmy herself, who runs down the pizza making process and answers any questions about her famous NYC pizza empire. The great thing about the ingredients she sends is the already prepared dough as well as the ingredients for the dough, so that you can make your pizza ASAP without waiting for the dough to rise. During the class, however, she walks through what the dough making process looks like, so you leave the class with a dough all ready to go for tomorrow. This pizza was incredibly tasty, which I credit to both the instruction as well as the fresh ingredients sent. Because this was a company bonding, Emmy also hit us with some pizza trivia that was a fun aspect of the class, for sure. The pizza was yum, instruction was expert, and cocktail was refreshing. Overall rating 11/10.
The Institute of Culinary Education: Group Class
Having taken an in-person mixology class at The Institute of Culinary Education before, I was excited to try out one of their virtual classes just a few weeks ago. I always like to attend classes where I am learning something entirely new and challenging- bagels seemed like a good fit. In registering for the class, I was sent a list of ingredients for the course, which included bagel, egg salad, and bloody mary ingredients. I purchased the ingredients beforehand and also prepped some of the measurements, as to not waste time during the class. The morning of, I entered my Zoom room and was welcomed by our instructor as well as 25 other people. There was something so comforting about seeing other passionate bakers from across the globe in their own kitchens ready to make some bagels! We started the class making ur bagel dough, so that it could proof during the two hour class. Our instructor also had a pre-made dough to show us the technique of making the bagels, just in case her dough didn’t rise in time. The instruction was a bit rushed, yet this class was the first that our teacher was teaching virtually- all things considered she did quite well. We all had fun showing the camera our doughs and having our instructor give her comments on them. Everything that was made during the class was so delicious and the experience was really fun. My mom and I ended up making three batches of bagels that day, so we had plenty left over. Although I think I will be buying the majority of my bagels in the future to save some time, this was a great at-home activity that was well worth the $50 dollars!