My first (and only) visit to Prague was for a law conference, but I was determined to incorporate some fun into my trip as well. When I stepped off the plane, my friends greeted me with excitement to explore the city. One commented that Prague really did look like a scene out of a fairytale or storybook (as you can see above). I agreed!
One of my favorite things to do while traveling and exploring a new place is to try a cooking class. It's a great way to meet local people and get a feel for a place's culture through its food and drink.
Before visiting Prague, I researched cooking class options several months in advance. I quickly found Chefparade Cooking School Prague. I found the staff easy to communicate with and scheduling my visit was just as simple. I appreciated their flexibility to work around my law conference schedule and provide me with a Saturday morning option.
I chose the cooking class plus market tour (about four hours in total length for both). I learned that one of the best parts about this cooking school is that it is located next to a fresh market in Prague (http://www.prazska-trznice.cz/zeleninovy-trh).
Before the class started, the organizer presented me with a list of courses, and she asked me to make selections based on my dietary needs. I would learn how to prepare these specific courses during my class.
The class size was intimate; it was just two other individuals and me. Our instruction was kind and friendly, and he encouraged us not only to observe but also to participate as he conducted the class.
I was curious about cuisine in the Czech Republic given its history of diverse cultural influences. I had heard it was had a very "meat and potatoes" cuisine, and I was determined to find out!
We prepared and learned four recipes. I'm including a short list of ingredients so you can get a feel for Czech cuisine yourself.
1.) Czech garlic soup (appetizer): contains onion, garlic, potatoes, cheese, and chicken or beef stock.
2.) Chicken with paprika (main course): contains onion, chicken, paprika, sour cream, oil, and salt.
3.) Dumplings (accompanying side dish): contains bread crumbs, eggs, flour, milk, parsley, salt, nutmeg, and white pepper.
4.) Cottage cheese dumplings with fruit (dessert): contains cottage cheese, flour/bread crumbs, milk, eggs, salt, fruit, and sugar.
After trying our delicious finished products, our instructor took us on a tour of the adjacent Holesovicke Trhy Prague Market. It was definitely a highlight! The place was packed with fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, spices, and the freshest milk I have ever tasted. I was even able to purchase fresh nutmeg and a mix of spices (including the paprika used in the chicken recipe) to take home with me.
While this particular mix of recipes may not have been friendly for vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free folks (I did it before going gluten-free myself), I would highly recommend it otherwise and if your diet allows (as mentioned above, you can choose a menu tailored to your needs). I appreciated the instructor's attention to detail, the ease of scheduling, and the follow-up e-mails complete with photos of our experience and recipes to try out at home. I would definitely do it again!
All opinions are my own, and I received no compensation for expressing them.
Second image above: Chefparade Cooking School.
© 2017 Melanie Glover. All rights reserved.