The Chef & The Dish, a new web service based out of Toronto, pairs home cooks with chefs from New Orleans, Tokyo, Barcelona, Rome, Milan and Boston via Skype. The masters teach easy-to-follow classes in local specialties, like ravioli, jambalaya, sushi or tapas. The class time is private, interactive and as culturally accurate as it can get. “Your personal chef comes from the region where the recipe originated, making it the most traditional, authentic and tasty version of the recipe,” explains founder Jenn Nicken. Unlike most online tutorials, users work intimately (one-on-one or in small groups) with mentors, who observe, instruct and offer cultural insights into the ingredients, recipes and techniques.
The sessions last about 2 to 3 hours, cover three or more dishes or courses and range in price from $299 to $329USD for two people, plus $50 for each additional person. Prior to your culinary date, a kitchen assistant gets in touch with shopping lists, tool requirements and technical support. “The Chef & The Dish marries technology and tradition,” says Italian chef Paola Martinenghi. “I teach techniques that you can’t learn from a recipe or through watching a video. I’m able to coach throughout the class. At the end, you get a cultural experience and fantastic meal to enjoy at home.” Just make sure your Wifi works and your culinary curiosity is stoked.