Up Your Kitchen Game with Virtual Cooking Classes

By: Karen Dybis | January 4, 2021

Challah baked by Pam Turkin. Photo courtesy of Pam Turkin.

Over the past year, people have been cooking more at home than they likely have in the past decade, making the kitchen one of the most important rooms in the house. Newer home cooks likely felt a bit out of tune with what tools and tricks they needed to know, and that is where virtual chefs have stepped up to help out with online cooking classes. 

Learning to cook is a basic skill everyone needs to know, but there are ways to make mealtime prep fun and relaxed rather than stressful. A classically trained chef knows a lot about how to prepare a well-balanced meal, and longtime home cooks with a passion for savory or sweet dishes can pass along their knowledge from multiple generations and their own research. 

Pam Turkin’s Virtual Home Cooking Classes

Pam Turkin is a home chef who turned her love of cupcakes and baking into a business. Now, she is cooking from home and turning her immense knowledge about food into a virtual cooking school that she runs out of her kitchen. The Oak Park resident specializes in Jewish delicacies such as Babka, Challah and Rugaluch, all made from her kitchen to yours via a Zoom class. 

What makes Turkin’s classes fun is that she is approachable, loves questions and will talk about food and its preparation for hours. She also lightens the feeling that a home cook needs to be perfect – she believes that making food is about showing love, and that can never be wrong. Plus, any mistakes she makes in the kitchen go to feed the deer that live around her house, so she says it is a win-win for everyone. 

“I actually am teaching almost every day now and I’m working with a few organizations too to help bring something fun into people’s homes that are very isolated,” Turkin said. “Facebook is the way I am marketing. It seems like a great platform to get to the people most interested. There is such a movement of home bakers of all kinds. It’s fun to see.”

Here are some other home cooks and professional chefs who are doing virtual cooking classes for family, friends and anyone else who needs to up their cooking game. 

Mabel Gray

Chef James Rigato is an award-winning chef whose Mabel Gray restaurant is considered a must-visit location for anyone who loves food and adventuresome recipes. He also will teach you how to cook basics as well as more advanced courses in his virtual classes. For example, in the entry-level class, Chef James will go over must-have spices for your pantry, how to use and store herbs, basic knife skills, how to make a chicken stock, how to make a simple butter sauce and what tools are his favorite for cooking at home.

Sister Pie

These classes with Chef Lisa sell out fast, so sign up for the newsletter to be notified of when classes are available.  In these classes, you will learn how to make pie crust, sweet or savory hand pies and more. You’ll enjoy a fully-packed virtual demonstration held over Zoom. There will be plenty of time for questions and conversation, and you’ll receive a digital copy of the recipe and a recording of the Zoom meeting once the session is complete. All you need to do is log in, sit back and watch Lisa and her crew bake.

Mirepoix

Mirepoix is Holiday Market’s premiere cooking school run by Chef Robert that’s uniquely designed to celebrate the chef in everyone, no matter how well you cook. Its state-of-the-art cooking and entertaining is online for now, but when it reopens for in-person events it offers everything from cooking classes to wine tasting parties to private events. 

Kung Food

The Kung Food Market studio is a private dining space located in the heart of Detroit’s Historic Eastern Market. Inside, you will find just one dining table; set with the help of artists and artisans from Detroit and around the world. Typically, Chef Jon features tasting menus, bookings for small functions and guest-chef collaborations. Now, you can see him cook via YouTube and learn how to make food just like he does.