The list of things we can’t do right now is seemingly endless, but recently I’ve been trying to focus on the positives and appreciate the new activities I can participate in. Number one on this list is the virtual cooking classes I have had the opportunity to enjoy with my friends and family during COVID. Not only do these provide an awesome way to interact with and learn from iconic chefs, but they’re a unique way to stay connected with my family back in California and eat phenomenal food with my roommates. Though I have my moments, I can’t exactly call myself a great cook. However, I am amazed by the delicious outcomes that I’ve helped prepare from the comfort of my kitchen. Whatever you are craving or want to learn how to make, I guarantee that there’s an exciting cooking class out there that you can hop on with your friends and family, no matter where they are. 

Renee Bunszel

Saba is one of my favorite restaurants in New Orleans, so when I found out Alon Shaya was hosting a series of virtual cooking classes, I jumped at the opportunity to support a local business and eat some amazing food. While at home with my parents, I learned how to make pizza, pita, and latkes from his amazing recipes while hearing more about this legendary New Orleans chef. The food we made was next-level delicious, and I learned so many tips and tricks I never would have figured out on my own. I dream about the creamy pizza sauce and fluffy pita daily, and now that I’m back in New Orleans I am right around the corner from getting it from the source himself. If you love Saba as much as I do, you should check out some of his cooking classes, like the upcoming gumbo class. The great thing about these classes is that the ingredients come as part of the package you purchase, so you don’t have to worry about searching for them. Check out the rest of Saba’s March cooking classes here: Saba Cooking Classes 

On the pricier side but worth it if you’re looking to treat yourself for a night, The Truffle Shuffle cooking classes had me eating some of the best food I’ve ever had, without leaving my house. Sushi-making has been a passion of mine for years, and I was able to share that with all my friends through a virtual sushi-making class with a renowned chef and plenty of fresh fish. We made enough delicious sushi for six people and had tons of leftovers.

Renee Bunszel

We also joined a Snoop Dogg-themed class and made Wild Mushroom Fettuccine Alfredo. This involved making pasta from scratch, lots of Snoop’s 19 Crimes wine, and to our surprise: Snoop Dogg showing up to decide the best ‘pasta’ roller. Fair to say, you can still have some pretty fun nights even without parties and bars. If you have a special occasion coming up and it’s the perfect time to splurge, I recommend doing it on one of these awesome classes: Truffle Shuffle Class 

I know that some of these cooking classes are on the pricier side, so I investigated some student-friendly ones that can be a perfect and affordable substitute for going out to dinner maybe one night a month! The New Orleans School of Cooking hosts a huge variety of classes on exciting local dishes. Also, Airbnb now offers extremely affordable virtual cooking classes across all types of cuisine. There are even free opportunities through social media: for example, @christinatosi on Instagram live streams baking lessons, and Michelin star chef Massimo Bottura, @massimobottura, shares secrets on how to best use leftovers on his IGTV. The opportunities for cooking in quarantine are endless, you just have to go looking for them! They are a great opportunity to safely increase your social interactions and are perfect for date nights, cooking with friends, connecting with your family, or bringing a big group, like a club or Greek organization, together in an exciting new way. 

Renee Bunszel

Feature Image Credit: Renee Bunszel

Renee Bunszel

About Renee Bunszel

Renee Bunszel is a sophomore from the Bay Area, and an English major and SLAMM minor. Renee loves reading, writing, and eating all the delicious food in New Orleans!