If you love being in the kitchen cooking up interesting recipes, why not share your knowledge of cooking by giving private tutorials to budding chefs who want to learn how to cook?
“No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.” - Julia Child
What’s better than sharing a meal with friends or family?
Follow our advice for becoming a cooking tutor and soon your students will learn to cook with confidence.
Be the Best!
Good things come to those who wait...
You’ll need to be an experienced cook before you start teaching cooking tutorials. That said, you don’t need to be a Michelin Star chef or even have a degree from a cooking school.
In fact, you don’t actually need any qualifications to start teaching private cooking tutorials. On the other hand, you will need experience. You wouldn’t consider teaching people how to drive if you didn’t know how to start a car, would you? The same goes for cooking.
Are you often told that your cooking is great?
Do you often impress your friends and family with the meals you make for them?
There’s more to it than just knowing how to cook, though! You need to be able to transfer all of that expert knowledge of the culinary arts to your friends, whether they’re absolute beginners or decent cooks.
Before you start teaching, make sure that you practise regularly to ensure that all your skills are sharp.
You’ll need to have a lot of tips up your sleeves and be able to teach your students complex cooking techniques. Simply following a recipe won’t be enough, you’ll need to be familiar with all the fundamental techniques involved including knife skills, chopping, different levels of “doneness”, which vegetables are in season, and how to prepare menus from scratch.
You can get this practice by cooking for families and friends. You could provide a free demonstration to them as if you were a teacher in your own cooking school. Their feedback will be useful when it comes to refining both your cooking techniques and your teaching techniques.
Find out more about the cooking tutorials available around the UK.
Think about Your Offering
What are you planning on teaching your students?
This is a question you’ll need to ask yourself about your teaching methods and the type of food you’re going to teach them to cook! You might want to teach a general cooking class on various different types of cooking or focus on certain specific cooking techniques.
Tutoring jobs in cooking will come to you if you can prove that you offer something special to your students beyond just fish and chips.
To make sure your cooking class stands out and your students can find you more easily, you might want to consider focusing on one particular type of cooking, a particular set of culinary skills, or cooking with certain ingredients.
You could teach parents how to help the kids in the kitchen, focusing on safely using knives and kitchen safety, or you could focus on baking (it's rather popular at the moment) and help you students make their own dough, etc. If you have decided to teach people how to bake, for example, then just focus on improving that particular aspect of your cooking.
In fact, rather than being a culinary Jack of all trades, it's better knowing everything about a given topic or style. For example, you’d have to adopt a different approach if you want teach Japanese cooking rather than Italian cuisine.
A basic cooking class won’t be taught in the same way as a cooking tutorial on baked goods, making healthier meals for kids, or vegetarian cooking. When prepping for online tutoring jobs, it's important to have a plan and know what exactly you are trying to teach.
There are three main categories of cooking tutorials:
- General cooking classes: These classes focus on cooking as a part of life and can include topics like: avoiding waste, basic ingredients for cooking, making recipes with what you have in your fridge, getting kids to try new things, making starters/appetizers or desserts in a few hours, etc. These classes tend to be for lower levels and will require you to take a hands on approach and often follow a cookbook (or your own recipe).
- Technical cooking classes: These are classes for those want to learn how to cook for work and can include advanced techniques like cutting chicken, cooking Canelés, making homemade custard, preparing sushi, etc. Since the students in these classes will probably be more advanced, these types of classes can be run as workshops with multiple students. However, certain cooking methods will require one-on-one instruction.
- Cooking prep classes: These classes focus on preparing the ingredients for things like pies and cakes, paella, coq-au-vin, etc. and will have a focus on time management and the kinds of skills you are taught in a culinary school.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What recipes could I make better?
- Am I better at making mains or desserts?
- Have I got the technical ability for teaching cooking classes?
- What do I wan to teach my students?
Once you’ve decided exactly what you can and will teach, you can start planning your classes.
How to Create a Cooking Class Lesson Plan
Just like teaching any other subject, it’s important that your cooking classes are carefully planned and you know exactly what the objectives of each lesson are.
To do this, you’ll need to plan out your lesson and take the following into consideration:
- The length of your lessons: You can’t teach as much in an hour as you can in three. You need to plan your lessons based on how long they last. Avoid overwhelming your students with too much information or boring them by having ran out of things to teach them after half an hour.
- Where your cooking classes are taking place: Are you teaching them in your own house, a private kitchen, or their place? If you’re teaching at your place, make sure that you adhere to the same hygiene standards a restaurant would be held to since your student will be probably eating the food.
- The goals of the lesson: Whether it’s making a certain dish or dessert in a given amount of time, using different ingredients, or pairings, make sure that the lesson objectives are achievable both in terms of your student’s level and the length of the lesson.
- The necessary materials: the utensils, products, herbs, spices, etc. Make sure you don’t forget anything that you’ll need both in terms of ingredients and teaching resources.
- The recipes, of course: If you’re going to get your students to make a beef bourguignon, you should show them the recipe before you set them on their way.
It might be worthwhile putting together a lesson plan on paper so that your lesson has structure and focus. Once you’ve got all this ready, you can get going and start teaching your student exactly what you planned to. You should check out how some of the other cooking tutors are doing it.
Outline the Steps to Follow
Before you start cooking gourmet meals and trying some of the delicious dishes that you and your student make, there are three steps you should follow:
- Preparation (or prep): Outline which utensils they’re going to need (so they can get them out), which products they’re going to use and how much of each ingredient, as well as the techniques they’ll be expected to use.
- Cooking: Whether in an oven, water bath, frying pan, or sauce pan, you need to think about the temperature, how long you’ll be cooking it for, and how you’ll be able to tell when it’s done. Your students will find the latter very useful.
- Serving/Plating: For the full chef’s experience, show your students how to display their creations on a plate.
Learning to cook like a professional chef takes patience, organisation, and technique. You’ll be expected to teach your students each of these elements. We recommend you put together a document or handout with different tips for preparation, cooking, and serving.
Additionally, you should take photos of your recipes and if you have someone to help you, you should ask them to film you and the different techniques you use while you’re making the food. Photos and videos will help your students to follow along with your lessons.
Define Your Offering
Now that you’ve got your cooking classes ready, it’s time to formalise your offering. There are several things you’ll have to do before you start your lessons and become a private cooking tutor:
- The price: your price will vary depending on how long your cooking classes are. The price will also change according to the type of lessons you’re offering. For example, the average cost of a private cooking tutorial in London is about £30 per hour. Of course, this rate differs across the country and also depends on the qualifications and experience of the tutor. The price can also change drastically depending on the type cooking tutorials you’re offering. A specialised bakery tutorial could cost more than a general cooking tutorial. Have you had a look at similar tutors and adjusted your rates accordingly?
- The number of students: Are you considering teaching private cooking tutorials or did you consider teaching group classes? If you’re teaching several students at the same time, you’ll need to consider the maximum class size. If you have limited space, this will affect the maximum of students you can teach. In fact, a narrow kitchen might mean that you won’t be able to have a lot of students.
- Tasting: Will your students be eating what they make at the end or will they be taking it home to eat? You’ll need to consider this when you’re planning how long your lessons last.
- Your unique selling point (USP): To gain more students, you could run special classes for hen parties, team building exercises, or groups of friends. You could also offer special gifts for loyalty, reductions on rates for recommending your classes to friends, etc. Let your imagination run wild and make your classes an essential part of your students’ schedules.
- Cooking for your friends and family is not the same as teaching cooking classes. The latter requires much more planning and organisation.
- Becoming an expert in a particular aspect or style of cooking will help you when it comes to teaching cooking classes.
- Focus on what your lessons are about: teaching a beginner how to cook is not the same as teaching an experienced pastry chef advanced techniques.
- Be organised and methodical: Create a handout summarising your class, where it takes place, the lesson objectives, the materials students should bring, and the recipe they’re going to be working on. Be just as organised and methodical when preparing, cooking, and plating the dishes.
- Finally, don’t forget to adapt your classes to your students. That’s why they’re getting a private tutor, after all.
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