BOOST YOUR SKILLS WITH VIRTUAL COOKING CLASSES IN GENEVA
by Alana Dunsmore
I’m not the best cook and we were getting a bit bored with take-aways, so I was looking around for ways to pep up our home menu when I discovered Allcook.live – a Geneva-based company offering virtual cooking classes. They offer the chance to learn from a chef, virtually, in a small group setting. This sounded like a great idea and it also sounded like the perfect solution to another problem I had: I was looking for ways to celebrate my Canadian friend’s 40th birthday with her in COVID with an ocean between us. She’s a keen chef and I’m more of a beginner. It meant we could be together, albeit online, on her big day plus it gave me a chance to support the Swiss gastronomy sector.
THE COUPLE BEHIND ALLCOOK.LIVE
During the first lockdown, Benoit (a Geneva-based chef) and his wife (a marketing expert) brought family and friends together through live lunchtime cooking events. Under his direction, the virtual groups created a dish rich in flavours and textures. These weekly events were extremely popular and the couple realised they were onto a good thing. They invited fellow chefs to join them to create Allcook.live.
The online company offers cooking enthusiasts a chance to experience Swiss gastronomy through live cooking sessions with 8 Swiss chefs –with a total of 30 years of cooking experience between them.
Their idea is to bring together cooking enthusiasts, adults, kids, friends, colleagues, or families for fun virtual cooking sessions. They also want to help people find balance through a mindful cooking experience in these difficult times by allowing them to plunge into the world of culinary art with all five senses. It offers them the opportunity to forget about the crazy world we live in, even if it’s just for a couple of hours. Plus…at the end, you have a great meal to enjoy! Why not make your next family Zoom call more interactive, fun (and tasty)?
HOW IT WORKS
- Select your recipe or menu
- Invite your fellow cooks, min 4 participants per course
- Purchase ingredients
- Join the chef on Zoom for your private live session
- Cook and enjoy your food together
They offer a wide range of recipes for all ranges of diets, as well as desserts and pastries.
The standard price per session is 29 CHF (with tax) per screen. With a minimum of 4 devices or 116 CHF. More than one person is allowed per device (so your partner can be your sous-chef!). Recipes are provided after the experience as well as a 25% discount for your next experience.
Allcook.live offer company events. Contact them directly to find out your options.
For an extra cost, you can get a personalized video of the event available to all participants. Also, Allcook.live offers the option for ingredient delivery within Switzerland and North-Western Europe. Since my friend was in Canada, we just decided to shop on our own, so you pay for the ingredients you use. Since the recipe is provided you know exactly what to buy and we easily found everything we needed in local shops.
We choose a wonderful fish dish featuring cod, baked bell peppers, and artichokes. We substituted the artichokes with chicory because artichokes are not in season. The menu was a great choice because it was not something either of us would normally cook and a chance to learn new cooking skills from a professional. My friend said she finally learned to use her broiler without setting off the smoke detector. LOL!
I was happy to learn a new way to prepare chicory as I’ve always wanted to learn new ways to eat this vegetable, and it was so easy I am sure I will put my new skills to use in future.
My husband polished his plate so I must have followed directions properly! We agreed we’d enjoyed a restaurant-quality meal, and for the first time, it didn’t arrive at the house in a takeaway tray.
WHAT ABOUT THE BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION?
Benoit was great at taking moments to propose a toast to my friend throughout the course. After we’d completed the preparation of the meal, we said cheers one more time and my friend and I were left to enjoy a perfect birthday dinner together, virtually. The hosts allow you to continue to use their zoom channel to eat your meal together (virtually) after they sign off, or you can switch to facetime or some other platform if you prefer. We ended up chatting well into the evening.
Whether you are a newbie or an experienced home chef, online cooking experiences with Allcook.live is the perfect event to connect with friends, near or far! Benoit was patient and great at checking in, progressing slowly, offering advice when you needed it in a fun and friendly manner! He asks you to show your dish to see how you’re getting along and to offer suggestions. In my case, my red peppers were not charred enough and Benoit advised turning up the temperature.
This virtual event comes highly recommended – as a birthday treat or just for fun with your family and friends.