Choosing the right provider for your Italian cooking classes in London and knowing what questions to ask is not straightforward nowadays.
Should you go with providers that do this with an industrial/cheap but soulless approach or turn to mom-and-pop offerings shops that will rarely meet your expectations in terms of variety of recipes?
Is it better to have single lessons with multiple, specialist providers or go on a weekend intensive course in the countryside?
I recently met an old friend of mine who has been working in Italian restaurants for a long time, and checked her preferences about Italian cooking classes in London. She told me that she would personally go for individual cooking lessons with private chefs. They are the most effective, she (and whoever tried them) believes. However, key rules to choose the best option among all Italian cooking lessons in London came out as follows:
* Italians do it better. Italian food should be taught by Italian people that have good food in their genes, not by British chefs that “discovered” Italian cuisine by accident or out of boredom. It sounds a little limiting, but is makes a big difference.
* customise the menu to your needs. No point in learning how to cook spaghetti in six different sauces if you would rather try lasagne or gnocchi. Check what are options at your disposal, but also find out if they offer customised combinations of appetiser, main course and a dessert. Combinations of best suited Italian wine is obviously a plus.
* understand what is included and what is not, like ingredients, tools and the rest. In some cases, there might be hidden costs that you do not want to find out as surprise at the end of the lesson.
* favour simplicity and timing, The booking process for your Italian cooking classes in London should be really simple, and lessons should not be too short (at least 2 hours) but not too long (all-afternoon plus dinner could be really tiring)
* beware of too cheap and too expensive lessons. The first ones are probably held with too many people (and therefore ineffective), the latter ones are probably held by so-called celebrity chefs that are celebrity only for their bills (real celebrity chefs need to take care of their restaurants and have no time for individual cooking lesson)
* if you have a decent kitchen and ready to host a chef, follow the suggestion of my friend chef. Go for the comfort of your own kitchen. Italian cooking classes in London should mean just that, and how to beat your own place in terms of convenience and familiarity? Costs will not be an issue, and results are guaranteed. And, last but not least, you will not have to have lunch or dinner with complete strangers, but you will be able to enjoy the result of your lesson with family and friend. What the best way to check the quality of what you learned.