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Eat Your Way Around the World With a Virtual Cooking Class

May 28, 2020

Take live, interactive cooking classes with experienced chefs and home cooks all over the world.

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Photo: Avital Tours

How to Travel Through Cooking

So much can get lost in translation when American restaurants recreate traditional dishes from Turkey, Japan or Mexico. But there's a shortcut, of sorts, to discovering new meals and making them authentic: cook them yourself, with the guidance of a local expert.

As we're all spending more time at home and revising international travel plans, guides and tour companies around the world have adapted to offer personalized online cooking classes. Instead of just watching a YouTube video, you can seek advice, get a history lesson and peek into the homes of chefs all over the globe who are eager to share their culinary secrets with you.

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Cook With International Chefs in Your Own Kitchen

Avital Tours, the Traveling Spoon and Airbnb are just a few of the companies now offering online classes with chefs who will answer your questions as you cook, like this Spanish tapas class from Viator. Many hotels, restaurants and tourism boards are also offering free, live demonstrations on social media. So grab your laptop, pick a class and head to the kitchen to let the delicious smells of simmering spices transport you to another world.

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Learn how to make hot chocolate soup, bunelos and a popular lime dessert with a Mexico City-based chef, Antonio, and his son, Raja. They'll guide you through the process of making each one and you'll be able to ask questions along the way. Want to "visit" more than one place around the city and make a day- or weekend-long itinerary of events? Airbnb is also offering a coffee masterclass taught by the CEO of the city's Borola Café. Ricardo will teach you how to understand flavor variations using simple ingredients you likely already have at home, like cinnamon, fruit, sparkling water and, of course, coffee.

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Japan is thriving as a travel destination in no small part because of its amazing food. You can learn how to make several kinds of traditional Japanese dishes and desserts from home via Airbnb's experiences and airKitchen, which is offering dozens of virtual cooking classes hosted by chefs across Japan.

This Airbnb experience will guide you through making mochi, a sweet rice-based dessert that's often filled with sweet bean paste. (In the U.S., you're more likely to find mochi in your grocery store's frozen dessert aisle; in Japan, it's often wrapped around ice cream.) Miyuki, a certified instructor for Water Confectionary Art in Tokyo, will guide you through the process. Looking for something more savory? Take an udon noodle cooking class or one focused on sushi.

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