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Behind Every Great Meal is an Awesome Cooking Class

I’ll freely admit that I’d rather eat food than cook it. Ask any of my friends— if we’re talking on the phone and they say, “Right now I’m cooking…” I will hang up the phone before they finish that sentence and roll up their driveway in a flash.

However in my quest to find foodie-kingdom, I realize in order to really get to know food, I’ve gotta have a basic knowledge of cooking. So when my younger bro asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I told him I wanted cooking classes.

My research online lead me to Hipcooks. There were a variety of classes offered— some of which included Indian, Thai, Italian, Greek, Mexican cuisines. And… What’s this? All levels welcome? No measuring of any kind? Cooking with love and confidence? What is this madness? I had to find out!

I signed up for the Healthy, Fresh, and Zingy class. I quietly slunk in, certain that everyone would detect the invisible “no experience” sign hanging around my neck. I wasn’t given a chance to remain nervous for long thankfully. After being greeted warmly by the instructor Allison, I was whisked off to store my things, get an apron on, wash my hands, and fill my glass of refreshing iced mint tea.

After quickly introducing ourselves, we dove in with a knife skills mini lesson. I never knew how important it was to invest in good knives! I realized how much energy I had wasted using my cheap knives back home. My slicing and dicing skills were much to be desired, but after glancing around at the other students I felt much better. I was doing better than half the people in the class— yipee!

The menu of the night: tri-colored potato, green bean, basil, and pine nut salad, scallops with anchovy-lemon rosemary sauce, lemon rice with roast fennel, and a raspberry-walnut roll. Hmmm. Don’t know about this food. It sounds too healthy, too fresh… but could it be delicious?

One of the things that I loved was we were all involved in cooking every dish. I got to see how each course was put together, from beginning to end. Another huge plus was that we were able to eat throughout the class, rather than eating one big meal at the end of the night. (Good thing too— I was starving!)

Allison was knowledgeable, funny, and very helpful. She told us to be fearless with our cooking, and encouraged us to taste the food constantly. I could feel my inner-vegetarian goddess pouring fourth as I chopped, sauteed, mixed, and whipped my way to foodie nirvana.

I thought the best part of the class was being able to sit around a big, beautiful table with our heavenly-food and wine, and getting to know some really great people. The very next day I received the recipes of all the food we made the night before via email. Thankfully, the recipes came with exact measurements (for those of us who still need to rely on them).

Hipcooks has schools in Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, and San Diego. Whether you’re living on the West Coast or simply visiting, I highly recommend diving into this great experience!

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An educator by trade, traveler by choice, wine sommelier at heart, Tanya Harry brings all of her passions together in her blog, Global Souls. The daughter of immigrant parents (an Asian mother and Caribbean father), Tanya has turned her life-long exposure to global culture into a career of sharing her diverse experiences. Whether she’s in the classroom educating students or exchanging perspectives online, her goal is the same: leave others with a better knowledge of what the world has to offer.

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