New York City is home to food from all over the world, and thus has some of the best activities available for enjoying and learning about food. Die-hard foodies and amateur chefs alike will enjoy these food-related activities.
Take a Cooki
Cooking classes are a great way to have fun with friends and enjoy a meal while also learning some new skills. While some classes can be pricey, discount sites like Groupon offer deals that can help keep the cost down. With Cook&Go Culinary Studios, learn to cook a themed three-course meal — an international appetizer, entrée and dessert — in 90 minutes ($19). Or attend a three-hour class at the Bikini Kitchen to learn how to make recipes that are both healthy and delicious, utilizing fresh fruit, vegetables and lean-cut proteins. A Bikini Kitchen class is the perfect way to get back on track after the usual holiday carbo-loading ($39).
Go on a Food Tour
Explore and experience a variety of the city’s best dishes by taking a food tour. Food on Foot offers many different food tours, each with a different theme, including international cuisine, sandwiches, noodles and ice cream ($38). For those with a sweet tooth, take a tour focused on eating dessert first. Great New York Tours offers a cupcake-themed tour of six different bakeries, including Crumbs and Magnolia Bakery ($20).
Treat yourself after the end of finals by dressing up with your friends and taking afternoon tea at one of the city’s many classy tearooms before saying goodbye for the holidays. For a well-priced tea, visit Bosie Tea Parlor ($20), or, if you feel like splurging, visit the Russian Tea Room ($50). If your budget is tight after buying so many holiday gifts, visit the Harney & Sons store in SoHo for free samples of any tea from their wide selection.
A Bit of Friendly Competition
The Brooklyn Kitchen’s Mystery Basket Class is perfect for competition junkies and food lovers alike. For fans of the Food Network’s hit show “Chopped,” this workshop will be an entertaining experience and a chance to show off the your cooking-show observation skills. Participants have one hour to make a dish that uses all the ingredients given to them in their mystery basket. Ingredients are chosen by the head chef and can range from everyday spices to obscure tropical fruits ($75).
Use your cooking skills to give back to the community. Spend a few hours volunteering at a soup kitchen. Bake cookies to bring to the local fire and police departments to say thank you for all they have done, especially during the recent Hurricane Sandy crisis. Organize a canned food drive in your residence hall to help food pantries restock. Make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to bring to a homeless shelter. There a small price to pay for the good feeling you get from knowing you’ve helped someone.
Bryna Shuman is a staff writer. Email her at [email protected].