Food writers are often asked many questions about food, ranging from the technical (How do you boil an egg?) to the flavourful (What spices can we use on sweet potato?). Recently, a dinner table discussion about the finer points of egg poaching turned into a question as to where in Cairo one could get a culinary education. We agreed that there is a distinction between a professional culinary education and cooking classes. Some people want to improve their repertoire of dishes beyond microwave pasta, while others want to have a repertoire to begin with. A few others already know how to cook domestically but want to learn how to cook professionally– two very different things. And so, we bring you the fruits of that admittedly short but informative discussion:
Sarhan is a pioneer in bringing cooking expertise to the masses ever since opening her doors to the gastronomically challenged almost ten years ago. Her cooking school offers courses for the hobbyist cook, children, and even professional grade classes for those interested in a career in cookery. The website contains a handy calendar of what courses are offered at her cooking school in Heliopolis. Courses are offered in the afternoons or in the evenings, and typically last for 3 hours with a maximum class size of ten eager minds. Course fees are generally in the 400LE range, and include a recipe binder, hands-on training and the use of all necessary tools and utensils for your culinary education. Also, if you and a group of friends would like to tailor a course to your tastes (forgive the pun); they will be able to accommodate your request.
Not content with being purveyors of fine ingredients, Gourmet Egypt also offers classes on how to cook them. Instructed by a certified professional chef from South Africa, class sizes are limited to 6 to 8 people offered in both day and night time classes. The 250LE-fee per class includes a recipe binder, among other goodies, and the English language courses are conducted at the Amr Helmy Designs showroom in Maadi. The target audience typically consists of home cooks interested in Mediterranean and Fusion cuisine. Classes are held at: Amr Helmy Designs ’Classics Showroom‘Villa 46 on Road 9, Maadi
With a special set of classes targeted for children, The House of Cooking places a large emphasis on the joy of cooking, designing the cookery classes according to which dishes will be prepared, and teaching technique through their preparation. However, it’s not just for kids, and Nasr City residents will be happy to know that this small cooking school is situated behind the International Park. Courses last for 4 classes at a duration of 2 hours each, and range from 590LE for beginners to 790LE for advanced level cooks.
The CSA is a vibrant and essential part of the expat community here in Cairo, and to that effect have organized a series of regular cooking classes to give its participants a taste of international cuisines. A cursory look at their handy online calendar brings up 16 different cooking classes held either at the CSA’s premises or at a popular Cairo eatery as part of their Restaurant Series. Each class is priced individually, and typically takes place after 6PM, although there are also quite a few morning classes on weekdays as well. Unfortunately, these courses are only available to members of the CSA, who must possess a foreign passport to join.