When it comes to cooking, my family and I are all at different stages. My mother is a phenomenal cook. My siblings and I love to whip up a meal, but we also appreciate the convenience. (Let’s just say I’m good friends with the air fryer.) When we’re all at home together, we often take personal cooking classes, try our hand at making fluffy croissants, or cook up authentic Pad Thai. My mom is a big fan of Capital-a activities, and the experiences are three in one: a new skill, quality time together, and a filling meal.
But my dad’s version of making dinner is lining up at UberEats or popping a frozen pizza in the oven. With Father’s Day just around the corner, what better way to improve your cooking skills with an in-person or online cooking class that brings us together whether we’re physically together or not.
Cooking classes force us to switch off in a way that a recipe doesn’t. In the test kitchen, we tend to opt for more elaborate or elaborate dishes – luxury that we wouldn’t otherwise afford. They are also educational. Every cooking class my siblings and I have taken makes us feel more empowered — no matter what our skill level — and feel closer. Psychological studies also teach us about effort heuristics: We give more value to things or meals that we prepare ourselves. All in all, they have what it takes to make a wonderful Father’s Day gift for all of us to enjoy, no matter what month of the year. (Or no matter where we all end up.)
Thanks to the wonders of technology, families from all over the world can cook together. Many chefs, restaurants, brands and retailers have put their courses online. With my family scattered across cities and time zones, the virtual cooking class is beneficial in bringing us all together while still giving Dad a chance to tweak his chops. Here’s my eye on June 18th and beyond.
Virtual cooking classes bringing the family together on Father’s Day
Sur La Table, Online Cooking Classes – $29.00
My family attends face-to-face classes at Sur La Table and they keep coming back. The instructors are friendly, the dishes are challenging but doable, and emphasize how to effectively reproduce your results later without anyone guiding you through the process step by step.
Your virtual classes maintain the accessibility and excitement—and with a delicious result. Better still, their price (starting at $29) is per household, which means you can cram as many people into your kitchen as you want for the Zoom course. I’m Watching This Online Spanish Favorite: Paella & Gazpacho Course.
AirBnb Experiences – $14.00
We browsed AirBnB vacation experiences and thought about location-specific tours and activities. When they went online, the options were surprising and exciting; We could “journey” together from our kitchen, recreating global cuisine. Think: A Tiramisu Hour in Venice ($22/person) that looks absolutely delicious. Or a chai tea class ($14/person) from Jaipur, India? With hundreds of different hosts, you can easily shop within your budget. Most courses cost per person.
Master Class with Gordon Ramsey – $25.00
Who would we be if we didn’t include the man, the myth, the legend, Gordon Ramsay? This multiple Michelin-starred chef is best known for his scathing criticism in his hell kitchen and master chef shows – but we promise his MasterClass is a lot friendlier. My dad thinks he’s hilarious. At $25/month, the MasterClass option is also easy on your wallet.
Nonna Live – $99.00
For $49/class per connection, you can learn the craft of making homemade pasta from an authentic Italian grandmother. Nonna Live is run by founder Chiara Nicolanti and her grandmother Nerina Tamanti from their small village outside of Rome.
From Thursday to Sunday they offer a different type of pasta every night, with Nonna Nerina encouraging you every step of the way. Before that, you will receive their translated notes to help you prepare. If you prefer to schedule your own appointment, you can book privately ($399 for up to 10 connections, $599 for up to 20, etc.) or take a pre-recorded on-demand class. For every class attended, they donate a meal to a child in need.
In the last two years, they’ve hosted over 4,000 travelers in their kitchen and even created a “La Famiglia” subscription ($99/month) if you want unlimited monthly classes. My family just signed up to make gnocchi alla sorrentina.
Cozy Meal – $29.00
Whether you’re pampering dad with online mixology classes or a private dining experience for him and mom, CozyMeal has you covered. There are virtually endless shopping opportunities so you can find a gift that matches your dad’s abilities, expectations, and interests.
If you’re going the digital route, CozyMeal starts at $29 per device, making it an affordable way for families across states or time zones to celebrate together.
Zest Cooking – $10.00
This early-stage app claims to be the “Duolingo of Cooking” that teaches you maintainable and buildable cooking skills every day. The goal? To bring you into your kitchen. For the family that doesn’t need an elaborate event but prefers a shared routine, Zest ($9.99/month) is an excellent option that demonstrates the power of consistency.
Better yet, the app keeps track of what ingredients you’ve bought and schedules recipe cycles so you use them all up. Goodbye rotten products! Zest is still expanding its library and is currently only available for iOS, but we were impressed with the quality of its explanations.
Well+Good “Cook with us” YouTube series
Not to brag, but we’re pretty proud of ours Cook with us Series in which a professional chef guides you through healthy meals in 30 minutes or less. Oh, and did we mention it’s free? Check out this playlist of summer dinner recipes to get started. (My personal favorite: Easy Chicken Tostadas.)
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