Learn To Cook Like A Local, Take An Argentine Cooking Class
Article by Nora Wallenius.
We all know Argentina boasts some of the best food in the world. Restaurants, cafés, closed door restaurants, and street food are abundant throughout the city. However, ask any local and they will always say that the best food is their mom’s cooking – or their aunt’s, or their grandmothers, or their Italian father’s- the answer remains the same: The best food is always homemade.
If the best food in the country is produced in homes, how can any newcomer to Argentina experience the delicacies of homemade Argentine food? Call Norma Soued, Argentine cooking class instructor, and “Argentine mom” for rent. Argentine Cooking Classes is Norma’s brainchild, an organic result of years of friendly lunch gatherings and cooking empanadas in her kitchen. Norma realizes the value of hands on experience in the kitchen and aims to show visitors to Buenos Aires the beauty and simplicity of Argentine cooking.
The class takes place on Saturday afternoon in Norma’s beautiful Belgrano home. With floor to ceiling window visibility and a wraparound balcony, the apartment’s views offer visitors a rare perspective of downtown and greater Buenos Aires. The fabulous kitchen is bathed all in white, with the meals ingredients laid out and ready for the class. There is only one rule in the kitchen: only cooking talk allowed. All other chatting like, “Where are you from?” or “Have you been to San Telmo yet?” is reserved for the table during lunch.
Norma explains about the dishes of lentil stew, empanadas, and alfajores that we will be cooking. Each dish has multiple steps that our group takes turn preparing. Norma explains secret tips of homemade cooking you won’t find in a traditional cookbooks. (Insider tip: don’t add salt to the lentils until they are cooked!) Norma is knowledgeable in the kitchen and can explain both in English and Spanish for those looking to practice their language skills. None of the steps are too difficult and the other guests remarked how they will actually cook these items in their own kitchens, a slice of Argentina traveling home with them.
Once we have finished cooking, we sit down to sip on some delicious Torrontes and Malbec wines and begin to serve ourselves the feast. Rich and thick lentil stew, crispy and savory carne empanadas, fresh salad and homemade vinaigrette, and a sweet dessert of dulce de leche alfajores. Our post-cooking chatting begins around the table, really making the lunch feel like an authentic “sobremesa” experience. Guests receive a book of all recipes used in the class, a certificate of cooking course completion, and a packet of chimichurri mix to take home. Oh, and all the leftovers!
Contact Norma to participate in Argentine Cooking Class, Saturdays from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm.