Last year I tried my first cooking class. My boyfriend had surprised me by booking a cooking class for us to do together. We had both never tried a cooking class before but thought it would be something great to try!
Since then I have done several more cooking classes. The two companies in Calgary that I have tried cooking classes with are Atco Blue Flame Kitchen and The Cookbook Company. Both are great companies but are unique in their own way.
So far I have taken the following cooking classes at the respective companies:
- Pizza – Atco Blue Flame Kitchen
- Sushi – Atco Blue Flame Kitchen
- Sushi – Cookbook Company
- Vietnamese – Cookbook Company
- What the pho! – Cookbook Company
I’ll start by talking about Atco Blue Flame Kitchen (“Atco”). I took my first class at this company and it was pizza. At the class we learned how to make a pizza dough that was easy to prepare and can be frozen for quick use at a later date. The dough we made ended up making us 20 balls of dough, which makes 20 pizzas! At Atco, the recipe you make you get to take home to enjoy at a later time. After you are done making the recipe you sit down with the other program participants and you are served a few dishes that are related to the class you are taking. For the pizza class we had calzones, which we chose the stuffing and folded before they made it for us, and for the sushi class we were served sushi and miso soup. The instructors are very helpful and knowledgeable. Overall, the Atco experience is fun and enjoyable.
The Cookbook Company (“Cookbook Co.”) is a bit more expensive for the class; however, you receive two glasses of wine that is paired with the menu you are preparing. For the sushi class it was sake that was served instead of red or white wine. A main difference in this class compared to Atco is that you work together with the other class participants to complete dishes. At first I was a bit confused by this and wondered how it was going to work, but I really enjoyed being able to work together with other members to create the dishes. At the end of the class you get to enjoy the dishes you make together and it was very rewarding to see what our hard work had made! The instructors at this company are so interactive, friendly, and provide little tips to help group members be more confident in preparing these dishes at home or purchasing the ingredients for other recipes. This was very important in the vietnamese classes, as many items are bought from ethnic supermarkets and many group members are not frequent shoppers at those establishments. My favourite instructors are a mom and daughter duo who teach the vietnamese cooking classes. I find that the menu the class is cooking is a bit more extravagant than the ones I have cooked at the Atco classes. At Atco I may cook one dish to take home and be served three. In the Cookbook Co. classes you are making multiple dishes and its quite the meal afterwards – I am often leaving very full and some left overs to spare.
Overall, both classes offer talented instructors who are passionate about the cuisine they are teaching in the class. If you are looking for more of a group setting where you work together to create the menu, the Cookbook Company is the class for you. It is also more of a full experience as you eat what you make and has the addition of wine parings offered with the class. If you prefer to learn the cuisine, take home the dish you make and then be served a meal created by the instructor the Atco Blue Flame Kitchen classes may be more preferred. Both classes offer a great experience, however, it just depends what you may prefer! Check out the photos below for some dishes I have made in the classes: