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Anna Tabrah, Staff Writer

Take your tastebuds on a travel adventure from the comfort of your home with a virtual cooking class – the next-best thing when hopping on a plane is off the table.

Thanks to skilled chefs around the world, you can perfect your paella and finesse your pho all without leaving the house. Here is our pick of the best online cooking classes.

Spanish with Chef Ana

Join skilled Chef Ana live from her home in Spain for a detailed cooking lesson introducing some of the country’s favourite dishes. There are four specialties to choose from: seafood paella, chicken paella, tapas party, and tapas essentials, which covers classics such as tortilla de patatas and gazpacho.

Simply select from a class session that works for your timezone and make sure you have your ingredients ready. A virtual personal kitchen assistant (who reviews your shopping list and hosts a 20-minute kitchen prep session before your class), step-by-step coaching and recipe booklet are provided.

Italian with Natalina’s Kitchen

Passionate Italian Natalina has been sharing her heritage and love of food live from her cooking school in Canada since 2011 – but in 2018 she decided to take her classes online for everyone to enjoy. Originally from Southern Italy, Natalina’s mission is to get people ‘cooking like an Italian Mamma’ from anywhere in the world.

Everything is pre-recorded, so you can watch the videos as many times as you need to perfect your dishes. Choose a mini-session making classic potato gnocchi and pizza, select a full four-course menu, or enroll in the extensive Classic Italian Program, which includes recipes for braised beef in red wine, bruschetta, risotto and more.

Japanese with Keiko Yamamoto

Learn the art of sushi with self-professed ‘Sushi Queen’ Keiko Yamamoto, who has honed her talents during stints at prestigious London restaurants and featured on UK TV show Food Chain. For the past 10 years she has impressed clients across the globe with her sushi and teppanyaki classes and sake tastings.

Over the course of 90 minutes, follow Keiko’s on-demand video as it takes you through skills such as preparing sushi rice, slicing raw fish, creating nigiri, California and futomaki rolls, and cooking miso soup. Lifetime video access and a certificate on completion are provided.

Mexican with Gabriela Cámara

Join internationally acclaimed chef and restaurateur Gabriela on an exciting journey through Mexican cuisine, learning about her sustainable twist on time-honoured traditions along the way.

The owner of famed restaurant Contramar provides a library of educational videos that bring the taste of Mexico City’s street-food tacos, vibrant tomatillo and spicy salsa brava to your kitchen. Many of her videos include versatile components that can be used in a variety of dishes and are easily stored to avoid waste.

Vietnamese with Andrea Nguyen

Learn to prepare traditional Vietnamese pho with the help of Andrea, a Vietnamese-born American teacher and cookbook author.

Her easy-to-follow tutorials include a video on building an Asian pantry – including an immersive virtual market tour that will set you up with the right ingredients to create authentic dishes. Learn to make rice paper rolls that look as good as they taste and uncover a handy 30-minute shortcut to delicious beef and chicken pho. Plus, Andrea shares her tips on throwing a successful pho party, meaning you can share your newfound skills with friends (virtually, or in person).

French with Stephane

YouTube sensation Stephane is a self-taught chef who studied cooking techniques taught in France’s most exclusive culinary schools – and is now sharing them with the world. His relatable and unique approach has earned him more than 20 million views online and a loyal following of over 350,000 subscribers to his French Cooking Academy YouTube channel.

Free videos include tutorials on making Escoffier-style onion tarts, creamed bean soup in the style of famous French chef Jo ë l Robuchon and Brittany’s famous Far Breton aux Pruneaux (or prune pudding in humble English). For a more extensive introduction to French cooking, you can also enroll in a paid course, which covers five versatile stocks, authentic sauces, ragouts, quiches, the ‘world’s best’ pomme purée and much more.

Indian with Jyoti Sawant

For more than 12 years, Jyoti has shared her Indian heritage and love of cooking with foodies around the world. Creator of the SizzlingPots brand, her online cooking classes have attracted more than 4,000 students across 108 countries and include a ‘Pot Master’ lesson, covering easy pressure-cooker recipes, and a general ‘Art of Indian Cooking’ session.

Her ‘Indian Restaurant Favourites’ course is a real people-pleaser and consists of more than 25 popular recipes for both meat eaters and vegetarians, taught through instructional videos you can watch at any time. Alternatively, check out CocuSocial for live cooking sessions with Jyoti, streamed directly into your home.

Chinese with Diana Kuan

Discover healthier versions of your favourite Chinese takeout dishes in the hands of Diana, a cooking instructor, blogger and author with a treasure trove of tried-and-tested tricks.

Diana will take you through some of the most popular Chinese dishes, including egg rolls (no deep fryer needed), comforting wonton soup, noodles, kung pao chicken and moo shu pork. Learn how to craft dishes that satisfy your cravings but are made with fresh, nutritious ingredients for all the pleasure and none of the guilt.

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