Leafing through a new cookbook is one of my favorite ways to pass the time. When the newest edition of Bon Appétit magazine hits my mailbox, I often squeal with delight. And Food Network has always been my background TV channel of choice for as long as I can remember. But even with all of these sources of cooking inspiration, I feel like my home chef life can still become stagnant; I find myself lacking desire to cook anything new. A busy life filled with work, play, soccer practice, PTA meetings, and regular day-to-day parenting will do that to just about anyone.
Enter the solution to reinvigorate even the most despondent home cook:
A cooking class!
I took my first cooking class with my husband on Father’s Day 2014, after we welcomed our first daughter. I thought it would be a fun experiential date night to get us out of the house and trying something new. We went to Central Market for a tasting class, or what we have now dubbed “like watching Food Network live.” It was a fantastic brewery-hosted pairing class, and we watched and sipped as the chef explained tasting notes and made our food on the spot.
Since then, my husband and I have taken an Italian dinner class, and I have taken a kolache making class with my mom—both at Central Market. During the pandemic our little family took a virtual cooking class with Kenji Lopez-Alt, one of our favorite chefs. We made dumplings together, inspired by his book Every Night is Pizza Night (an adorable read!).
I’m always on the lookout for a new cooking class or an excuse to take one. This time, I rounded up three of my best friends from high school, and we experienced an Eataly cooking class together! Believe it or not this was actually my first time ever walking through Eataly (at NorthPark), and I can promise it is far from the last. I could live there with the mountains of cheese, fresh cannoli, and bottles of jammy Italian wines. I would have loved to peruse the aisles a little longer before our class had we not been cutting it close to the start time.
Our Eataly Cooking Class Experience
Once we got to our class, we were seated with another duo and poured both a red and white wine option that would pair well with the pizza we’d be making. We learned about the history of Eataly as a company and their founding locations, which was a nice inviting peek into the culture of the business. They discussed pizza dough and the basics of what makes a dough delicious. We learned about where every ingredient was sourced and the style of pizza we would be making.
Then, we headed on over to the large communal butcher block area and all found a spot around it. We stretched our dough, slathered on bright red sauce made fresh on-site, and topped it all off with salty mozzarella (also made fresh that day!). We walked as a group to pop our pizzas in the oven while also getting a tour of the facilities. By this point, my group had made friends with another couple in the class who actually lived in our neighborhood! Such a small world! This is another one of the reasons I love cooking classes: meeting people and talking about delicious food.
After our pizzas were out of the oven and we were seated back in the classroom, our glasses were topped off with wine and our pizzas were topped with freshly torn basil. This pizza was absolutely incredible, and I cannot wait to replicate the recipe at home. The best part? If I don’t want to make the dough myself, I can always pop on over to Eataly and get a kit made fresh that day.
After our class, my crew walked the mall a bit, but we came back to Eataly to finish the night with a freshly filled cannoli and a final glass of wine. It was such a fun experience, made all the better with the company I got to enjoy while making my pizza!
Have you taken a cooking class before? Have you experienced Eataly in Dallas yet? I would love to know what you like!