What to Do in New Orleans: New Orleans School of Cooking
Remember the awesome New Orleans Food Tour by Destination Kitchen that we did? Well, our last tour stop led us right into a hidden gem in NOLA: New Orleans School of Cooking. Karla and I have actually done local cooking classes in our past travels and vowed to do one in each destination we’ll do in the future. So when we found out that the New Orleans School of Cooking offers two experiences, we just had to jump in. Unfortunately, we couldn’t fit in the hands-on cooking class into our last-day schedule. So we decided to go with the 3-hour Cooking Demo Class the next day instead. Which turned out to be a smart idea. All we had to was sit back, listen, then eat! No sweat, no spillage, no room for our intrinsic clumsiness. So here are top 3 reasons why you should book a class at the New Orleans School of Cooking.
Organized and Well-Thought-Of Demo Classes (Reason 1)
Our demo class at the New Orleans School of Cooking was set at 10 AM, so our call time was at 9:45 AM. When we arrived, it was already packed with guests roaming around inside the store. Shortly after, our instructor Chef Michael (in his mad scientist costume), called everybody’s attention. And one by one, called participants to come up to the cooking room upstairs, according to the order of booking.
Tip 1: When class is over, be sure to come back to the general store. Stock up on their spices, herbs, and whatnots so you can also recreate their well-loved dishes at home!
It was quite a climb as the room was in the 3rd floor but happy to see a well-lit, audible cooking room with table and comfortable seats for everyone.
I also appreciate the fact that the demo table had a mirror on top so everyone can see how Chef Michael was doing things. We were then offered hot, oven-fresh biscuits shortly after being seated.
Along with some refreshments like coffee, lemonade, and the traditional Southern sweet tea. Oh, and don’t forget that wonderful Abita beer at the end too!
Fun, Informative, and Interactive Classes (Reason 2)
The New Orleans School of Cooking wasn’t kidding when they said that fun is a primary ingredient in their kitchen! As Chef Michael totally lived up to that expectation, from start to end!
Before classes began, he gave us some brief rules on the class. As well as a little history of NOLA and its food. As he started with the preps, he explained the difference between cajun and creole food.
And as we went through with the class, Chef Michael was very generous in his explanations and cooking tips. And the best part? Chef Michael was fun, witty, and entertaining. Making sure to insert sensible humor while educating us.
Great Creole Menu and Excellent Cooking + Food (Reason 3)
I myself love to cook but I seriously didn’t mind taking the backseat this time around. Karla and I wanted to recreate the best of NOLA food so we did the Gumbo-Jambalaya-Bread Pudding-Pralines demo class. And it was certainly one for the books!
Everything was soulful, tasty, and had a nice comforting feeling to it. The gumbo was tasty and had good consistency (not too thick). The spiced sausage also added a great peppery flavor. Jambalaya was seasoned right and was very filling. While the Pina Colada added a fun spin to the bread pudding. Pralines were sweet but perfect as they are.
Now, I finally understand why locals would candidly say, “the best of NOLA food can be found at home”. And lucky for us, we get to recreate all four lovely dishes at the comfort of our own homes. As the New Orleans School of Cooking was thoughtful enough to hand each participant printed copies of all the recipes.
All in all, 5 stars for the experience and would totally recommend it to anyone visiting NOLA. Total great value for money! Thanks Chef Michael and The New Orleans School of Cooking! Hope to be back!
Tip 2: There’s more than enough food for everyone. So don’t be shy to go for seconds if you want! And don’t forget the delicious condiments for everyone to try!
About the New Orleans School of Cooking
Located at the heart of the French Quarter (524 St. Louis Street), the New Orleans School of Cooking is a family-run business that has introduced countless visitors from around the world to the wonderful food and rich culture of New Orleans and Louisiana as a whole since 1890. In our first visit, Karla and I got impressed by their delicious pralines. As well as the quaint but wonderfully-put general store of all things cajun and creole cooking-related.
Another thing that the New Orleans School of Cooking takes pride in are the classes they hold. To say that fun is a primary ingredient in their kitchen is an understatement! For one, Cajun / Creole experts teach New Orleans specialties such as Gumbo, Jambalaya and Pralines, seasoning them with history, trivia and tall tales! They can accommodate individuals, private group classes, special events, as well as off-site events. Check out their calendar for a list of daily menus and to book your next class.
The store is open for business 9am – 6pm Monday-Saturday and 9am – 4 pm on Sundays. If you’re out of town and can’t stop by, check out their online store!
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