What to Know Before Taking Your First Kauai Cooking Class

What to Know Before Taking Your First Kauai Cooking Class

As a culinary connoisseur, what better way is there to create memories, cook beautiful food, and meet new people than with a Kauai cooking class? We can't think of one! Even if a cooking class isn't your typical vacation activity, it can still be a great way to learn about the culture, food, and even history of the place you're visiting! 

You don't have to pay thousands of dollars in culinary school or try your luck with the latest cooking tutorials on TikTok to have a memorable culinary experience! To make your first Kauai Cooking Class both educational and fun, we have some tips to help you feel more confident in the kitchen and get the most out of your experience... 

  1. Schedule your class for the beginning of your trip 

  2. Explore the local market or grocery store first 

  3. Learn some basic cooking skills 

  4. Connect with chef instructors before your class

  5. Be considerate and have fun!

Schedule your cooking class as one of your first planned activities

Starting your trip with a fun cooking class means that you'll be more familiar with the dishes you might find in local restaurants and the delicious foods you're eating throughout the rest of your stay! You can think of your cooking class as a peek into the kitchen of the restaurants you'll be eating at, and it may even be easier to understand your menu now that you're more familiar with popular dishes – this will make eating out even more enjoyable!

For example, you may have heard of Hawaii's famous spam musubi and wonder what exactly it is and if it's even worth trying! Classes like the Provisions Kitchen’s, "Kauai Local Favorites" cooking course are a great way to familiarize yourself with these delicious dishes. Classes like this will teach you what these foods are, why we love them, and how you can make them yourself. This way, you'll be confident throughout your vacation as you sample these delicious dishes and local delicacies.

Psst! Curious about spam musubi? You can learn all about this local favorite and its history in an upcoming blog post! 


Explore the local food types, markets, or grocery stores

This will give you some ideas of the most popular items used in households in the areas you're visiting and familiarize you with some of the ingredients you'll be eating and cooking with during your class. Some markets and grocery stores even include a bit about where each ingredient was harvested from, helping you to learn something new and boosting your confidence when you arrive at the cooking class. 

In some places, your cooking lesson may not even begin in a professional kitchen, but at the store or market where you'll pick out your ingredients and get to interact more with local vendors. You'll have the chance to learn about the local food types and variations that you may not have at home!


Learn some basic cooking skills, or not… Either way, you will have a blast!

Sometimes when you enter a professional kitchen, it's like the people in there are speaking a foreign language. Just like with any skill, there's a lot of lingo you may hear during your cooking class. And while a good instructor will make sure to provide you with plenty of cooking tips, it doesn't hurt to get familiar with the kitchen lingo beforehand! This way, you'll be able to follow along closely throughout the cooking process without getting lost in all the jargon. You may hear these nine terms in cooking tutorials during your class...

  • Beat: stirring ingredients together quickly typically with either a spoon, whisk, or mixer

  • Braise: a cooking technique usually used with meat and vegetables that starts with browning and then lightly simmering with liquid

  • Dice: cutting your ingredient into very small cubes typically between 1/8 and 1/4 inches

  • Fold: combining at least two ingredients using an over-and-under motion typically with a spatula to thicken your mixture 

  • Mince: chopping food into pieces smaller than diced cubes that are similar in shape and size 

  • Puree: blending ingredients together into a liquid – typically used when making soups 

  • Sauté: to fry quickly on a stovetop, usually with fat but can also be done in oil 

  • Simmer: when liquid is bubbling but not quite boiling 

  • Stir-fry: a cooking method that cooks small pieces of food (usually vegetables) over high heat while consistently stirring all ingredients 

You should also know the common cooking utensils and basic cooking techniques involved in using them properly. Doing so means you can prioritize kitchen safety and keep up with your instructor and classmates. 


Connect with chef instructors before your class (especially if you have dietary needs)

Maybe you're wondering if a cooking class is the right choice for you because of dietary restrictions or something similar. Before investing in a class, know that most instructors are happy to help you modify the recipe in a way that stays true to the original and honors your diet. You may not be the first person in their cooking course to have dietary restrictions. Plus, you can usually find a cooking course that is vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, or focused on more healthy foods.

However, it's best to ask these questions beforehand. You can look at the frequently asked questions on the cooking class website, read reviews, or even get in touch with the business owners and ask them personally before the class. 

Psst! At Monkeypod Jam, we would love to have you join our classes – no matter what your diet is! Get in touch with us before booking your spot in our class and we'll be prepared for when you arrive. 

Some cooking classes are also open to families and couples so anyone can join! If you want to accommodate a larger group or a group of people, look for a business that is open to a personalized and hands-on cooking class experience. From a basic cooking class suitable for children to corporate groups and team-building exercises, you can find cooking courses that suit your specific needs! 


Be considerate and have fun! 

You're on vacation, it's time to unwind! But that doesn't mean your 'pleases' and 'thank you’s' have to log off, too. Remember that you've signed up for this cooking class to learn something new. Keep an open mind! Pay attention to everything your chef says, from food safety lectures to basic techniques for holding a knife. If you want to make your cooking class even more memorable, don't be afraid to ask questions to learn more, understand better, or improve your culinary skills. Your instructor will appreciate your sincerity and politeness. 

Your manners can even be reflected in the way you dress. Come prepared! When you're at a cooking class, you're going to get your hands dirty, and that might spill over onto your shirt, pants, and shoes. We suggest opting for close-toed shoes and an outfit you wouldn't mind getting a little dirty.


Are hands-on cooking classes in your future?

Now you're all ready to join your very first cooking class on your next vacation! If you find yourself visiting Kauai, sign up for one of Monkeypod Jam's cooking courses where you can learn about local Hawaii dishes or sit in on a guest expert class with one of our visiting professional chefs. Our classes cover everything from holiday specials to local recipes to functional medicine and improving your gut health. Learn more about our experiences here!

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