Local cooking school goes virtual during COVID-19

SEATTLE, WA - Two local business owners are working to provide a unique food experience, as well as create valuable cooking skills, and clients don’t even have to leave their homes.

For the last three years, Alice Carli and Erica Weisman have taught people cooking through their business Seattle Cucina Cooking School.

Their business grew, and they added about two dozen employees to help them. However, that growth stopped a few weeks ago.

“This crazy thing came right out of left field,” said Weisman.

Now, their business is down to just Weisman and Carli. They can’t do any lessons in person, but that does not mean they have stopped teaching.

“We knew that cooking and cooking at home would be such a fun activity for families and kids, that switching to online and switching to digital was almost instant,” said Weisman.

Carli and Weisman are now providing step-by-step live streaming lessons. While Weisman and Carli cook, people are able to follow along right in the comfort of their own kitchen.

Weisman says in providing online classes, what they found, was a need in the community for this kind of service.

“Now, people are able to, sort of, face this thing that maybe they’ve been intimated by, and turn it into something that is actually fun,” said Weisman.

On Friday, Carli taught a virtual class to two roommates who learned how to make homemade gnocchi.

“We’re not the best cooks and we don’t have a lot of experiences,” said Krissy Adkins.

Adkins, and her roommate, Maria McGlinchy say before the pandemic hit, work and travel kept them so busy they did not have time to make food. In some cases, Adkins says, she would eat-out once a day.

Now, they have time, and they say they want to learn how to cook. With the classes, Adkins says, they are getting more than just a recipe.

“It’s nice to do something together, and still have that social aspect,” she said.

Weisman says the goal is to provide people skills and confidence to cook for themselves, and create an enjoyable experience during the “stay-at-home” order.

“Cooking and eating together as an opportunity to put a pause on some of the fear and anxiety you might be feeling right now and really use that opportunity to have fun together,” she said.

Here are some quick tips Weisman says can get you started cooking from scratch:

Find a recipe you like (cookbook or online research)
Set aside plenty of time to cook
Be patient (especially if you’re using cooking as a bonding opportunity with your family or kids)
Stay positive (Cooking is a trial and error process)
Take a virtual cooking class

For more information on Seattle Cucina Cooking School or to sign up for classes click here.