The Best Travel Souvenir Abroad: Cooking Classes
Why Take a Cooking Class Abroad?
Experiencing local cuisines is easily one of the best reasons to travel. Not only does it provide an opportunity to learn about regional cultures and flavors and improve culinary skills, but meet other travelers who share similar passions and interests.
During a recent trip to Lisbon, Portugal, we teamed up with Filipe Cordeiro, a well known global tour guide, jack-of-all-trades, and owner of Cooking Lisbon to partake in one of his infamous 3.5 hour cooking classes.
Consistently ranked as one of the top in Lisbon, Cooking Lisbon provided a fun and unique way to experience Portugal, while allowing our group to take a piece of the country home with us.
Why Choose Cooking Lisbon?
Led by Chef Tomas Borges, we rolled up our sleeves, toasted with full wine glasses and hearts and got down to business in their full on-site kitchen.
An appealing aspect of this Cooking Lisbon class is that it’s friendly to anyone at any culinary skill level. Some of our classmates knew their way around the kitchen, while others struggled to decipher sugar from flour. Chef Borges was patient and attentive to everyone’s comfort levels and skills.
What We Cooked
After nibbling on baskets filled with crisp bread and herbed olive oil (a speciality of the region), and sips of Encruzado and Douro reds, we rolled up our sleeves to make our first course and a Portuguese favorite: codfish with cream — a speciality of Chef Borges’s hometown, the fishing village of Cascais.
While we stirred and seasoned the cream and boiled the cod, others in the class claimed their duties. Some de-skinned sausage links to make fried sausage balls, while others fluffed and whipped fresh cream for our dessert of choice, sweet cottage cheese pie.
Everyone in the class worked in perfect harmony, chatting, laughing, and sharing stories of their homelands and families. In the end, the reward was a hearty dinner and new friends.
For wine connoisseurs, Cooking Lisbon provided tastings of an array of some of Portugal’s most popular vinos that are perfect pairings with all dishes served.
From sweet Port to frizzante rose, wine lovers were not disappointed. In fact, many of the wines tasted throughout the dinner are for available for sale (we took advantage of this).
After The Class
As an added bonus (if the wine wasn’t enough) the chefs provided participants with a virtual database of all of their recipes on a Google drive after the class was completed.
Guests leave with in-depth knowledge about Portuguese cuisine, a new found freedom for cooking at home, and a souvenir they can experience time and time again after they leave.
There’s definitely an added bonus in being able to cook for friends and say, “it’s a dish I learned how to make while in Portugal.”
Register for a Class
For less than the price of a fancy Portuguese meal, Cooking Lisbon provides something a meal at a regular restaurant can’t: hands on experience and a direct glimpse into how Portugal’s culinary culture has evolved over hundreds of years.
To learn more about this class or to book other hands-on experiences offered through Cooking Lisbon such as market tours, baking classes, and wine tastings, visit www.cookinglisbon.com, and show them some love on Yelp and Trip Advisor.
— Justin Ticky contributed to this write up.
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