While we were in Lisbon, Logan and I decided to participate in a cooking class. Being of Portuguese descent, I decided it was time I finally learned how to actually cook all this delicious food I love eating so much! I stumbled upon Cooking Lisbon and we booked their basic cooking class where we would learn how to cook a meat dish, a fish dish, and a dessert.
Cooking Lisbon offers a variety of different cooking classes apart from the basic one we participated in; they also offer a gourmet class, a pastry class where you learn how to bake Portuguese pasteis de natas, as well as special market tours and seafood experiences. (Certain classes only run on certain days, so be sure to check when your class is offered!)
Upon arriving at Cooking Lisbon we were greeted with wine and allowed to explore the classroom kitchen. The entire kitchen set up is a beautiful and big enough to fit a full class which has a maximum of 14 people.
Before getting into the cooking the class was given some olive oils to sample with fresh Portuguese cheese and bread. This, as well as the bottles of wine, remain open during the entire class for you to snack and drink on while you work.
The class is broken into different prep stations with two people being stationed at each one. Our head chef, and teacher Maria went through each station and demonstrated proper techniques for mincing garlic, chopping onions, cracking and whisking eggs, and preparing the herbs. Once each station had their prep work done, Maria walked us through the next steps of combining the ingredients and starting the cooking.
Everyone was able to take turns stirring the pot of rice for the rice pudding, cooking the chicken for our chicken in a pot, frying the fish for our cod cakes, or simply observe and listen to Maria explaining the steps while enjoying some wine and cheese.
After all the food had finished cooking, our entire class sat down together to enjoy the delicious meal we had just cooked. Everything tasted amazing, even more so because we were the ones who had made it!
This cooking class was probably one of our most fun nights in Lisbon and was definitely a highlight of our entire trip to Portugal. Learning how to cook traditional Portuguese food was such a rewarding experience and we made some amazing new friends, including my new travel blogger friend Farah. Farah participated in the pastry class with Cooking Lisbon as well! You can read about her experience HERE.
After the class, Cooking Lisbon emailed all the class participants a Google Doc containing every single recipe from all of their cooking classes. This was a huge bonus to me as I’m really hoping to continue cooking these dishes now that I’m back home.
Overall, I think this class is an amazing way to get a hands-on, authentic Portuguese experience in Lisbon. It was really fun being able to actually understand what goes into making these dishes and having the chance to actually make them ourselves. Above anything else it was such an incredibly fun night. Maria and Luis, the co-founder of Cooking Lisbon, were both amazing teachers and hosted a fantastic evening filled with equal parts learning and fun.
If you find yourself in Lisbon, definitely take an evening off from restaurant hopping and try making a traditional dish yourself. I promise you will not regret it!