The Learn to cook without recipes classes are not your regular cooking classes were you are taught a recipe. We won’t do that, and if you want to learn what we do instead.. Here’s what you can expect at our cooking classes.
The goal of our cooking classes
The goal of the Learn to cook without recipes classes is to help you see recipes as an inspiration, not a strict rule book.
We think that recipes are merely this one person’s way of describing how you could make that dish. There are many ways to get to a similar end result, and in our classes we will focus on that. Just so you will understand how you can derive from a recipe and make any dish the way that works for you!
In our classes, we will dive deeper into 1 subject, and won’t be following a recipe (everyone else is already doing that!). We will literally play with ingredients, techniques and seasoning, and do experiments you probably wouldn’t do by yourself. Read on for an example taken from our butternut squash soup class.
After you signed up
After signing up for the online cooking class, you will receive an automated reply to confirm your spot in the kitchen. Those can be a bit different per channel (our website uses Square, but you could also have found us through Eventbrite or another class platform).
For now, we won’t be sending out reminders, although your sign up platform might do.
No class without homework, right? 😉
Around a week before class, we will send out an email with all the information you will need: the Zoom link, your grocery and tools list, and sometimes homework too. That could be some prep work, or you will be asked to study the subject a bit or look up a few different recipes of the dish we are making so you know what we will be talking about ~ as we don’t send out a recipe.
So make sure you read the email carefully and reply to the email if you have any questions.
The day of the class
Make sure you have collected all ingredients and tools that are recommended. Have Zoom installed on your device and think about how you can set it up in your kitchen so you can see the screen, and ideally the chef can see you (or your workspace, if you don’t want to appear on camera).
For some classes, you will be asked to do some prep work. Often that is only washing all ingredients that need it, but sometimes it is a bit more than that. It will be all in our email.
About 10 minutes before class starts, the doors (aka Zoom link) will be open. That will give you some time to set up your camera, and we can collect/clean the last items together.
Then the class starts with an introduction of your chef, the subject and the program of the class. All classes are interactive, so feel free to share your questions and experiences, as we all can learn from each other.
Cooking experiments: play with your food
The goal of our Learn to cook without recipes classes is to help you understand recipes and learn where you can let them go and follow your own path. Our starting point is to figure out what the anatomy of a dish or a cooking technique is.
Let’s take butternut squash soup as an example. We start the class by trying to summarize in one sentence how to make it, breaking the dish down to its bare bones. We could end up with something like this:
“Butternut squash soup is made from cooked butternut squash that is pureed and thinned with a liquid to a soup consistency.”~ the anatomy of butternut squash soup
Describing the dish like this will tell you that there are three important elements:
* cooked butternut squash,
* the pureeing and
* the liquid.
See how you can decide for yourself how to cook the butternut squash and what liquid to use? And you can play with seasoning and garnishing to make the dish even more ‘you’.
After the theory we will cook butternut squash in two different ways (see picture above), so we can compare how the cooking technique affects the taste and texture of the end result. And you will notice there will be a difference in pureeing too. Together we will talk seasoning, using the ingredients you have in your pantry, inspiring each other.
After class has ended, you can enjoy your creation.
Not only butternut squash soup
This is merely an example. You can treat any dish like this and ask yourself: what do you minimally need (to do) for this dish to be still this dish? So far we have done this with butternut squash soup and a classic Dutch dish called stamppot, but will use this method for upcoming classes too. All the rest is seasoning, flavoring, cultural heritage and personal preferences. Don’t read us wrong; these are all important, but they are the ones you can (learn to) play with.
Are you ready to make Monday Night your play with food night?
For all curious home cooks who really want to learn how to cook.
Our upcoming classes
Check our full cooking class calendar.
~ This post was created in December 20th, 2022, and will be edited when needed.