10 Tips for Hosting great Cooking Classes
Hosting a cooking class can be great fun - most home cooks have some great meals and dishes that they love to prepare, and which their family and friends rave about! But the thought of teaching strangers in your own home may be a bit daunting at first. Here are 10 top tips to make your cooking classes a great success!
1.Keep it Simple
It is tempting to try to teach a lot to demonstrate your great cooking skills, but our Eataway cooks' experience shows that guest prefer to learn one thing properly rather than be hurried and overwhelmed trying to learn several things at the same time. So, as a cook, concentrate at first on your signature dish or meal - something simple that you can cook or prepare reliably time after time. Although most cooking classes last around 2 to 3 hours, this is only enough time really to properly take care of learning one thing. Make the best cheesecake? The perfect curry? Brownies to die for? These would be ideal subjects for a cooking class. If you have several things you'd like to host classes for, keep them as separate classes - don't try to squeeze them all together in one class.
2.Choose a Catchy Title
With many cooking classes to choose from, guests will have to make a decision. So choose a title that grabs attention and encourages the guest to click and find out more. For example, if you can teach people how to make pancakes, a title like 'The Perfect Pancake Masterclass' will be much more effective than 'Pancake Lessons'. Think like a newspaper and how it writes headlines to attract readers. Their goal is simply to get readers to go to the articles and find out more, and the same principle aplies to cooking lessons. 'Super Sushi', 'Biltong for Beginners', or 'Macaroon Masterclass' are good examples of catchy titles. And if you need help coming up with a title, feel free to contact us!
3.Choose Great Photos
Like the title, super photos are a great help. So make sure to take photos of your dish at every stage and use them to illustrate the class. Keep the photos simple and not too cluttered. Form ingredients, to preparation to the final product, choose the best to help encourage people to join your class. It is great if some of your pictures also include your kitchen, photos of yourself or other participants, members of your family. They don't need to be professional photos, but they should give a good overall impression of what a guest can expect to see and do during their class. Once more, feel free to contact us if you need help choosiong your pictures!
4.Adjust Your Price
Chossing the price for your cooking class can seem difficult. Our recommendation is always to start with a lower price to encourage people to join your classes. Once they have visited you, you will get reviews, and this will make people more likely to choose your cooking classes in future. So don't make too high a price for your first cooking class. You can always adjust the price later, to find the right level to attract your guests.
5.Tell Your Friends
Once your cooking class is online, spread the word! Eataway cooking classes are aimed at people in your neighbourhood, so do use social media, local notice boards and any other means to let your circle of friends and colleagues know - they in turn can share the message further. Eataway also promotes your classes to people in your area, but a combined effort from Eataway and the cook themself always works best.
Make sure to do all your shopping and other preparation in time, so that there is no undue stress before the class. For example, make sure that you have enough tools for all your guests - ie chopping boards, knives, aprons or whatever is necessary. It is not always essential that everyone is doing the same thing at the same time, so you do not necessarily have to have a lot of everything on hand. For example, if you are demonstrating dim sum, one or two guests can be preparing the dough, while others are preparing the filling, then they can swap around after some time, if you do not have enough rolling pins or boards, for example. Just be prepared and think things through forst. Even better, do a test run with some family and friends, and ask for their feedback. That is also a great opportunity to get some good photos! In addition, make sure your bathroom, kitchen and open areas are clean, and that there are good facilities for washing hands hygienically.
The most important thing about Eataway is community and bringing people together. Eataway cooking classes are a great way for cooks to share their skills, but also themselves and their homes. So, forst and foremost, enjoy yourself! One of the most exciting things about Eataway is the chance to meet new people - people from your neighbourhood, or the other side of the world. Guests are not expecting a Cordon Bleue or Gordon Ramsay experience. What they most enjoy is learning simple, home made food and chatting with the cook and other guests. So pour out some wine and make the class a fun and happy time together!
8.Start the Class Slowly
Once your guests have arrived, don't rush into things. Guests will necessarily arrive at slightly different times, so offer everyone a cup of coffee, introduce yourself and let everyone get settled in. It's a great idea to have a chat in general about the food that you are going to teach, and outline each stage, so that everyone has a rough idea of what to expect. It is also a great idea to offer some simple snack (a slice of cake or bowl of soup, for example), both to welcome people and also keep them from getting hungry during the cooking class!
9.Tell Your Story
The best cooking classes are more than just step-by-step instructions about ingredients and procedures. Eataway cooking classes can create real expereinces that live long in the memory, and they do this when the cook shares more than just their recipes - they share their story. If you are teaching, for example, how to make incredible pasta, explain the story behind it. Is it your grandma's recipe? Does it have a family history behind it? How do the ingredients used relate to the local history and environment? These are the stories that guest will remember, as well as encouraging them to share their own. So, remember to go beyond the food. Be open, be yourself, and you will naturally create a great experience for your guests to remember.
10.Be a Good Neighbour
Once the cooking class is over (and the food eaten, no doubt!), think of ways you can still help your guests. A great way to do this is to provide the recipe(s) - either by letting them know where they can find them online, or simply giving them a simple printed version that you can prepare yourself. if your guests are from afar, it is also a nice idea to give them suggestions for good places to visit during their stay, and help them get to where they are going by ordering a taxi or helping them with local directions.