My parents are immigrants from Taiwan, so I was fortunate enough to grow up on my mom’s great cooking. Now you may not think this is such a big deal since you’ve probably had Chinese food countless times, but after venturing out into every Chinese food restaurant I could find, I quickly realized that I never found my mother’s dishes at any of the Chinese restaurants here in the US.
You see, my mother’s dishes were deliciously unique and family friends always complimented her cooking, often asking for recipes and tips. But if you weren’t friends with someone like my mom, how could you taste authentic cuisine from far away countries? Well we’ve found something that will surely give your taste buds a treat.
For people looking to try authentic cuisine and learn how to cook it themselves, The League of Kitchens may be what you’re looking for. The League of Kitchens “provides talented, immigrant home cooks with cash and New York foodies with a chance to do more than just sit in the kitchen and listen to stories of the old country.”
Founder and chief executive of The League of Kitchens, Lisa Gross, is the daughter of a Korean immigrant and a Jewish New Yorker. Always having been interested in the way that food can bring people together, Gross was inspired her to create a place where foodies can learn how to make Afghani, Argentinian, Bangladeshi, Greek, Korean, Indian, Lebanese and Trinidadian dishes from women who grew up eating and cooking the cuisine themselves.
More than 100 immigrants go through an interview process to determine if their homes and kitchens are suitable for the program’s requirements. Their English also needs to be proficient enough for them to teach effectively for five-and-a-half hours at a stretch. The cooks are paid $25 an hour and are fully reimbursed for the food costs and supplies that goes into the preparation and clean-up process.
The small class size and even smaller New York kitchens provide a more leisurely and intimate atmosphere and makes it seem less like a strict, formal cooking class. The five-and-a-half hour classes are held on weekends and cost $149 per person with no more than six students. There are also two-and-a-half hour classes available for $95. Be sure to check the official website for more details.
Feature photo courtesy of leagueofkitchens.com