It’s not easy to admit, but I was a pretty spoiled child. Not with clothes or toys, but with time. My mother gave us few chores because she was worried that a heavy roster would distract from our education. She tirelessly carted us to and from school plus extra-curriculars and showed up for parent-teacher meetings. She did our laundry and cleaned our rooms. And she cooked. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. We had warm meals on the table every single day, meals that we still recall fondly (and shamelessly request on home visits).
Justin and I, however, both work full-time jobs. If you glance at our blog posts or our Instagram and Twitter feeds, it would take you 2 seconds to figure out that we like to eat. A lot. Frozen packaged dinners were never going to suffice. And unfortunately, we can’t afford a Seamless habit. So we had to start cooking. Justin may have some love for the craft, whereas I HATE IT. (Single Lynn sometimes ate ice cream for dinner. No cooking and no clean up!) Over the years we’ve slowly built a catalog of easy meals that we can throw together quickly. When we heard about Taste Buds Kitchen, we thought it might be a fun way to add to our repertoire.
We signed up for the Taste of India class because we like Indian food, but also because it happens to be vegan. We thought it might provide us with a nice option for a light midweek meal. All the ingredients we needed to make the Tikka Masala, Veggie Samosas and Naan Bread were placed at our Taste Buds Kitchen cooking station. The instructor performed demonstrations, which included step-by-step instructions as well as some kitchen basics (like how to hold a knife). But we received personal instruction at our cooking stations as well.
There were a couple of times when we got a little lost. But we were able to flag down either the instructor or one of the cooking assistants for clarification. I wondered why they didn’t provide the recipe cards ahead of time, but I suspect it’s to prevent over-eager students from jumping ahead. (I probably would.)
The cooking stations accommodate groups of up to four people, so we found ourselves sharing a table with a stranger. But there’s nothing like getting your hands dirty and preparing a meal together to make you feel like you’ve made a new friend. We observed this at the other tables too — there seemed to be a healthy dose of conversation and classroom selfies going around. The class is BYOB — I’m sure that helped!
At the end of the class we sat down to eat the food we’d prepared, so the cost of the class includes a multi-course meal. We were provided with recipe cards of all the items we made so that we could recreate the meals at home. To-go containers were on hand in case we wanted to take any leftovers with us. Best of all: no clean up. The team at Taste Buds Kitchen takes care of that for you.
All in all, it was a fun way to spend an evening. If you’re already an experienced cook looking to take your culinary skills to the next level, or if you’re expecting to learn how to make complex authentic Indian dishes, then the Taste of India class at Taste Buds Kitchen might not be the class for you. But if you want to learn how to make something easy at home that isn’t spaghetti, then this is an enjoyable way to do it. Note that the full two hours were used for instruction and the dining time was additional, so plan accordingly. Taste Buds Kitchen’s tag line is “Learn. Laugh. Cook.” We guarantee you will do all of those things. Bring some friends. Or make new ones.
Taste Buds Kitchen has locations nationwide, and it offers classes for a wide range of cuisines while accommodating many dietary restrictions. It also offers several children’s cooking classes and camps, which seem like a fun way to introduce kids to the kitchen. (Or to assist any children — and parents! — with MasterChef Junior aspirations.) Check out all their options on the schedule here.
Thank you to Taste Buds Kitchen for partnering on this post.
Pair it with:
Dessert at Untitled
So maybe your Taste Buds Kitchen outing was a first date (well played!) and it was an absolute triumph. Or maybe you met some really fun people you’d really like to continue chatting and taking we-fies with. Or maybe you’re Justin and Lynn. Either way, following up with dessert might seem like the obvious move.
If that’s the case, make your way over to Untitled at the Whitney Museum for the Triple Chocolate Chunk Cookie. Chef Miro Uskokovic, the pastry chef at both Gramercy Tavern and Untitled, concocted a cookie made with a combination of dark, milk and white chocolate that is finished with sea salt. It manages to be crisp on the outside, but light and gooey on the inside. And believe it or not, it’s gluten-free. The cookie is served with a miniature cup of milk (that you might recall from our Instagram Stories). It’s not only considered one of the best cookies, but one of the best desserts in New York City by many.
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