We're all guilty of it: those trusty recipes we churn out again and again, taking them from delicious to dire. And given we're all cooking at home every night right now, hands up if your dinners are lacking a little chutzpah? Whether you're already a pro or more on the calamity spectrum of things, a cooking class is bound to provide inspiration – and thankfully there are now plenty online.
Let's face it: Instagram and YouTube videos can only do so much. We're talking about getting the professionals involved. From free online offerings to proper courses where you'll receive a certificate, these virtual cooking classes will give your meals a serious boost.
You can nail baking; learn how to make sushi; or boost your plant-based cooking – no matter what your heart (and stomach) desires, these places have got you covered.
And when the homework involves eating lots of good food, that's the kind of work we can get on board with. Keep reading for our pick of the best online cooking classes to try right now. Still not feeling it? Order one of these restaurant meal kits – you still do a little bit of cooking, but most of the hard work is done for you.
5 of the best online cooking classes to whip you into shape
1. The Avenue Cookery School [pictured]
Fun, family-run and with a slew of diverse virtual classes on offer, The Avenue offers something for little ones, big ones and everyone in between. The Live Online Private Sushi workshop is a 1.5-hour long affair – and to make things seriously easy, the school delivers everything you need to make the sushi direct to your door.
2. Made in Hackney
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Made in Hackney is a community cookery school with a mission. Or several missions, in fact: to feed a growing population in an ethical way; to tackle chronic ill health, particularly among low income, vulnerable and marginal groups; to support local, ethical food entrepreneurship; and bring together diverse communities. And that all sounds pretty great to us. Its online cooking classes range from 'winter warmers' to plant-based West African cooking classes to vegan Italian masterclasses. It costs around £20 for a 2.5 hour Zoom class, but many classes are free or pay by donation.
3. Leiths School of Food & Wine
£1,495 for a 24-week course
Want to get your cooking prowess certified? Leiths School of Food & Wine does the business. Leiths is one of best-known cooking schools out there, with alumni including the likes of Gizzi Erskine, Olia Hercules and Tomek Mossakowski, founder of The Dusty Knuckle. How's that for food glitterati? The online classes range in experience level from enthusiastic beginner to aspiring professionals, and after 24 weeks – yep, it's long but this is the real deal – you'll get a certificate to attest to your new know-how.
4. The Devilled Egg
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The Devilled Egg has been running for a decade, which just goes to show how good it is. Head chef Barbara Ormerod trained at Leiths (natch) before setting up her own cookery school, with the belief that anyone can learn to cook. It's a one-stop shop and essential learning resource, with downloadable recipes and masterclasses that range from beef wellington how to fillet a fish. And during the Covid-19 pandemic, The Devilled Egg has made all it's content FREE. Isn't that nice?
5. Learning With Experts
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Learning With Experts, erm, helps you learn to cook with experts. There's the Art of Chocolate with Paul A. Young; Indian cooking with Atul Kochhar; baking with Richard Bertinet; and even the River Cottage Cooking Diploma, where you learn from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and his team. It's very reasonably priced for some big names, with slightly more interesting offerings that'll take your skills to the next level.