If you’re looking for something fun (and COVID-19 friendly!) to do with your team, look no further. We caught up with Jack Deane, the Head Teaching Chef at The Jamie Oliver Cookery School to discuss their new virtual cooking courses.
Tell us a bit about Jamie Oliver Cooking School. What was the original concept?
At the Jamie Oliver Cookery School, we take the spirit of Jamie and bring it to life through our teaching. Like Jamie, we’re passionate about celebrating food from around the world and making recipes fun, simple and accessible.
How has this transformed during COVID-19?
Like lots of businesses around the world, we’ve had to adapt and for us that has meant taking the cookery school online. It’s been a great success, with some amazing feedback from participants who can now join from all over the world. Ultimately we offer the same friendly, fun and food-focused experience but we’re actually able to teach in the home kitchens of our participants which is brilliant.
How have you found teaching online rather than live?
We’re loving it! It’s been a huge learning experience but we’ve been amazed with how much we can offer online. In many ways, we’re able to offer a more personal experience as our guests are in their own homes, using their own equipment. It’s been really joyful for our chefs, as everyone really gets into the spirit of things, even enjoying a sip of wine as we cook!
What’s the plan moving forward?
We’re really excited about 2021. Our online classes have proved so successful that we hope to continue running them even when the cookery school re-opens for in-person classes. This year has taught us that we can teach people anywhere in the world and that’s been hugely rewarding.
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So, what actually is a virtual cooking class?
The best way I can describe them is like a live cookery show you’d see on TV – but with the added bonus of being able to interact with the chefs, ask questions, show them your results and have fun with them and the other participants as you cook! We pride ourselves on how open, talkative and interactive the classes are – you really can ask anything you like.
Why is this a good activity for remote teams?
Our online cookery classes are a great experience to share with friends, colleagues or loved ones – there is nothing like food to bring people together. It’s a really fun team activity because you’ll all learn a new skill or recipe and get to eat it at the end. Plus it’s something a bit different after months upon months of Zoom quizzes!
What technology will I need?
Just a laptop or a tablet, and an internet connection!
What ingredients and equipment will I need?
It depends on the class you pick! Some have very few ingredients and equipment – like our Pasta Master class for example which just requires flour, eggs and water! Others are slightly more complex, but no matter which class you choose you will be provided with a full ingredient list so you can be prepped and ready to go on the day.
What’s your favourite cooking lesson, and why?
Gosh it’s so hard to choose! We take great pride in our classes, and anything we’re not in love with – we won’t run! If I had to choose, it would be Pasta Master. It’s such an invaluable life skill which is really easy to learn but totally delicious.
We’re party people at Spacehuntr. What drink pairing do you suggest with the lessons?
It really depends on the class! I love a good beer with our Indian & Thai classes but if it’s an Italian class, it’s got to be a juicy glass of red. But if you’re unsure, Prosecco is always a winner – who doesn’t like bubbles?