Cook at home with top chefs: Czech culinary masters now streaming live to your kitchen

Virtual cooking classes teach people new culinary tricks while supporting out-of-work chefs; we tried one!

Samantha Tatro

Written by Samantha Tatro
Published on 10.12.2020 11:54 (updated on 10.12.2020)

Chefs in Prague are taking their skills online to teach virtual cooking classes, giving local foodies a chance to try their hand at a number of dishes.

While restaurants in the Czech Republic reopened in early December, the situation remains precarious; online cooking classes are a great way to practice social distancing and learn how to make everything from traditional Czech Christmas cookies to high-end plates from renowned Prague chefs.

Several companies have launched virtual experiences that teach you how to make cuisine from around-the-world from your very own kitchen; we tried one and have rounded up a couple others to bring you this overview.

Czech restaurant professionals bring together chefs, specialists, and sommeliers

Chef Christian Chu prepares food on a recent
Chef Christian Chu prepares food on a recent "Cooking With..." virtual Zoom cooking class.

"Cooking With..." offers local chefs, specialists and sommeliers the opportunity to showcase some of their favorite dishes in accordance with an evening theme.

Marc Lucas, the owner of the high-end seafood supplier Caviar Club, helped start the brand new "Cooking With..." where chefs teach themed dishes to a small number of residents on Zoom.

"The main difference of our concept is that we emphasise on having fun, simply having a good time and at the same time learn a few new tricks and recipes, without being a too technical cooking class," Lucas told Expats.cz.

He's had the idea in his head for several years, but during the second wave of pandemic, when restaurants were forced to close their doors for a second time, the project finally launched.

Participants can buy their own ingredients beforehand (the company also has a partnership with Rohlik to buy all the ingredients at once) and once the class launches, all you have to do is follow along.

A number of high-profile chefs have already signed up to teach including Chef Stephen Senewiratne from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Chef Jan Kvasnicka from la Gare restaurant, and Chef Matteo de Carli from Casa de Carli. In the coming weeks, they plan to add a Mexican chef, a Paleo expert and a meat specialist as well.

Some chefs approached by Lucas and his colleagues can be hesitant, especially due to the technical aspects of the event. But many of the chefs appreciate the chance to keep cooking and honing their skills in a group setting, Lucas said.

"And of course, it is also a way to connect with their social media fanbase and gives them some sort of publicity which can then also translate into restaurant visits later on," Lucas added.

Lucas hopes that participants in "Cooking With..." have fun in the kitchen, above all else, especially during these trying times.

"I mean, where else do you have the chance to cook together with a famous chef from the comfort of your own home? It's not just watching some YouTube videos. You can actually talk, ask questions and be in direct contact with the chef," he said.

"Cooking With..." has a number of classes coming up in December, including sessions on preparing seafood, as well as game. You can book through their website.

Food tours company pivots to online cooking classes from across Europe

Eating Europe, is normally a food tour company, but is currently hosting interactive cooking classes featuring cuisines from across Europe including the Czech Republic. The Italian-based company is known for their pioneering food tours, one of which launched in Prague back in 2014.

Eating Europe offers a wide variety of classes, from more traditional recipes to session with professional chefs sharing their favorite recipes at home.

One current baking class is led by local Prague tour guide Eva who will teach you how to make classic Czech Christmas cookies. Other classes include a session with two London drag queens as well as Italians in pajamas making coffee!

In one upcoming class, participants can learn how to make some of the famous dishes from one of Rome’s most acclaimed Slow Food restaurants, Spirito di Vino.

For Eating Europe classes, guests need to shop for their own ingredients beforehand, and once the class has finished, you'll get a copy of the recipe by email. Dates remain for a virtual European Christmas Tour of Lisbon, Prague, and Rome through Jan 2.

Try your hand at making authentic Korean food, ingredients included

Korean food may be some of the trickiest food to nail at home. The Korean Embassy and the Korean Food Promotion Institute is jumping into the home cooking sphere by offering a one-time-only live Korean food cooking class on Dec. 12. Learn how to make bibimbap, bulgogi and more with chefs from Pocha Korean Restaurant in Prague through Zoom.

Registration for the class goes until Dec. 9 and the price of the class, unlike most options, includes a meal kit. If you pick up the meal kit for the cooking class from Praha Pocha, you will receive a 200kč voucher. Click here to register.

During the pandemic, restaurants, sommeliers and chefs have struggled to stay afloat amid closures and restrictions. Virtual cooking classes will continue to provide a supplemental form of income for many across the industry, said Lucas whose project also invites sommeliers to talk about wine and includes farmers market vendors.

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"Projects like these support the badly affected gastro scene in the Czech Republic and elsewhere by offering them an income stream when their usual workplace is closed," Lucas said.

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