Italy has such a strong gastronomic tradition and it’s famous all over the world for popular dishes like pasta, pizza, risotto, or the Fiorentina steak. However, Italy has several regional culinary traditions that are much less famous and are even unknown abroad, such as those from the Roman cuisine.
If you are going to plan a trip to Rome and you are interested in gastronomic tourism, here is a guide for you about how to choose the best cooking classes in Rome and discover more about Roman cuisine traditions, ones that have been updated and modernized in order to please different palettes.
How to choose the best cooking classes in Rome
First of all, the best place to start is by asking for information about who the chef is. Is he or she a ‘starred chef’, a self-made cook, or a cooking enthusiast? The professional level of the lessons mostly depends on the professional level of the teacher. It would be a good idea to ask your guide about the qualifications of your chef on this tour from the outset, and then you’ll be able to figure out what level of cooking you’re comfortable with. In this way, your cooking classes will be beneficial not only to you but also to the people teaching you.
If you are looking for an informal experience but you want to learn to cook like the Romans do, the best cooking class in Rome is one with a professional chef. They will allow you to access a professional kitchen equipped with the most technological appliances, and they’ll also take you through the whole process of preparing an authentic Italian meal.
The second question that you should definitely ask is: what do the lessons include?
The Internet is full of blogs and videos on how to cook Cacio and Pepe pasta or where you can find the recipe for Jewish-style artichokes (Carciofi alla Giudia). They are both famous Roman dishes and you can learn how to prepare them just by sitting in your kitchen. However, if you take part in a cooking class in Rome you will be introduced to the secrets of these recipes. For example, the best cooking classes in Rome involve not only the preparation and creation of the dish but also the choice of the ingredients.
We suggest that you choose a cooking class that includes a walk through the local food markets under the teacher’s wing. He or she will introduce you to local vegetables, fruit, meat and cheeses, and will explain how you can decipher the freshest local and seasonal ingredients that will make your dish great. They will tell you what to look for and what to avoid while shopping for fresh produce. Through this experience at the market you will be able to fully participate in all of the decision making, instead of standing idly while someone else does all of the work for you. Hands-on learning is the point of this experience, so be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty!
Finally, don’t forget to ask for information about the meal itself and whether or not you’ll be eating your dish alone or in a group. Some of the best cooking classes in Rome include a lunch or a dinner together with all the participants in the lesson.
This is a great opportunity to meet people from all over the world and to meet some of the locals as well. If you love Italian culture don’t miss out on the opportunity to sit at a table with the locals and get a feel for how they share meals with other people. By talking to them and understanding more about Italian traditions and the gastronomic culture, you’ll be able to get firsthand knowledge about etiquette, how to set the table, and the rules and norms of sitting down to eat in Italy.