Cooking is an interesting field since everyone needs to eat in order to stay alive. Whether somebody’s a foodie or not, it's a skill they should have, especially if they want to learn how to cook nutritious food for themselves and their family.

You don’t need to have attended a prestigious cooking school to be able to teach cooking classes! However, you will need to have spent a significant amount of time in the kitchen, have some hands on experience, and be familiar with the recipes you want to teach.

Of course, you probably won’t become a Michelin Star chef, either, but that’s not why you’d teach private tutorials. You should teach private cooking tutorials because you want to share your knowledge of the culinary arts with other aspiring chefs. 

Private classes provide wonderful alternative jobs for teachers in gastronomy, away from the anonymity of big cooking schools.

Whether you want to teach molecular gastronomy, cooking classes for beginners, kids cooking workshops, or team building cooking classes, how do you find students?

This is the question that we’re hoping to answer in this article. Let’s go!

Stand Out from the Crowd with Original Cooking Lessons

I’m not going to lie, you’re not the first person to think about teaching cooking privately. Private cooking tutors are popping up everywhere thanks to the popularity of cooking with shows like MasterChef and The Great British Bakeoff and the number of people who want to learn to cook.

How do you make cooking tutorials more interesting?
Make sure that you offer quality cooking lessons, it could affect your ratings. (Source: geralt)

Whether you love or hate these shows, you can’t deny that they’ve inspired a lot of budding chefs to pick up their pots and pans and start cooking or baking. At the moment, it seems like you can't go onto Facebook without seeing videos of people making baked goods, muffins, cookies, or something with chocolate.

In addition to inspiring many to become private cooking tutors, the fact that more people want to cook means that you’ll have more potential customers.

Of course, don’t think that it’s a piece of cake. The higher demand, the higher supply tends to be. This means that you’ll need to find a unique selling point to differentiate yourself from all the cooking tutors online.

Follow our best advice for hosting a cooking workshop!

What extras can you offer as part of a cooking tutorial?
You could offer wine pairing sessions as part of your lessons. (Source: Oldiefan)

When it comes to cooking tutorials, you’re spoilt for choice. This means finding your niche and differentiating from other tutors can be quite difficult. Preparation is key when it comes to offering quality tutorials.

So how do you do this? Look at the trends:

  • Look at the bookshops and see which the best-selling cookbooks are. This will help you find out which types of cooking are popular. If every cookbook in the bestsellers is about baking, cakes, or pastry, then there are probably students who want to be taught this.
  • Are you an expert in local cooking, such as Italian cuisine (pasta dishes are great for beginners), or gourmet cooking? Don’t hesitate to mix things up and play off your strengths. It might be worthwhile teaching some of your family recipes to your students.
  • If you’re a wine connoisseur, you could find students who want to learn how to pair wine with a certain ingredient. Why not offer a special tasting session?
  • You could also offer lessons on cooking with common utensils, knife skills, or preparing tasty homemade meals on a budget.
  • If you're teaching kitchen safety for kids, teens, or adults (which is becoming increasingly popular), make sure that you've got the relevant experience in professional kitchens.
  • Adding a sprinkle of creativity to traditional or popular dishes could be a good idea. If your background's in nutrition, you could think about making healthier versions of traditional dishes. While kids can be a handful during lessons, showing them interesting cooking techniques in new ways can help keep them engaged during the class.
  • Organic fruits and vegetables, vegetarian and vegan dishes, and healthy eating are all very popular at the moment. If you’ve the necessary skills and have found your niche, don’t hesitate to offer classes in it.

Have an Online Presence

The internet is essential for anyone looking for information. Getting your smartphone out and Googling something is an everyday occurrence.

On average, people look at their phones 150 times a day, every 6 and a half minutes. This trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Videos accounted for two thirds of data traffic on smartphones. There are 39,000 searches every second on Google, 227,000 connections to Facebook every minute, and 4 billion YouTube views per day (25% of them from mobile).

Learn how you can make your cooking classes lively! 

Which is the best social network for recipes?
Instagram is a good place for inspiration and sharing pictures of your recipes. (Source: stevepb)

But what does it all mean? You can be present and omnipresent online!

  • Start a blog: There are plenty of resources for those wanting to make a blog: Wix, Overblog, WordPress, etc. You don’t need to be an expert in coding to make your own blog from scratch. You can share your passion for cooking on the web and make yourself more visible to potential tutors.
  • Maintain the quality of your content: make sure you have quality photos from your classes! If you want visitors to your site or blog to be interested in your classes, there’s nothing better than photos of delicious food! Pay particular attention to lighting to avoid shadows. You don’t need an expensive camera, either. A decent smartphone can take good photos of food (just ask Instagram!).
  • Make videos: As the figures before show, videos are the future of the web. To gain your audience’s attention, you should have a couple short videos, being careful not to go over two minutes since that’s when people’s attention can start to dwindle. You should also think about the sound, especially if you don’t have decent audio equipment. Furthermore, there may be people watching your videos without sound. Include text or subtitles explaining the measures and ingredients. Again, pay attention to the lighting so that your food looks good.
  • Use social media: You’ll still put your photos and videos on your website. However, don’t forget about social media channels! Instagram is great for visual content and Facebook has a huge user base. Focus on these two channels and don’t forget to use stories on channels like Snapchat to share what you’re up to! You could maintain a virtual culinary school where students can share ideas with one another.
  • Share content with your students between lessons: Use email and social media channels to share a recipe for the next lesson. Enthusiastic students will probably want to do some prep before class and peruse your menus.
  • Use Superprof! It’s simple and free! There are thousands of potential students on Superprof. You just have to sign up, complete your profile, set your rates, and wait for potential students to get in touch.

As you’ve probably understood, it’s almost impossible not to use the internet when it comes to teaching cooking classes.

Stay in Touch with Your Students

Social media and blogs allow you to create a link with your students. You can introduce yourself, show off the classes you offer, and get in touch with students before you even meet them for the first time. You can answer their questions, help them with recipes, advise them on fundamental cooking resources, and offer advice and tips on basic cooking techniques.

If you’re just starting out, you should get in touch with friends and family members to ask them if they could help you get some photos and videos of you at work. When potential students see how fun your lessons look, they’ll want to sign up.

Don’t forget to highlight positive reviews from current and former students to attract new students. These students are your best advertising tool, so make sure you maintain a good relationship with them.

How do you develop a rapport with your students?
Tutors who offer good classes will end up with even more students. (Source: RitaE)

On Superprof, we highlight recommendations from former students. For example, Sina teaches Cambodian cooking in Paris: He’s got a 5/5 rating and plenty of glowing reviews.

Céline had this to say about him:

“Sina is an excellent teacher who takes the time to help us learn about the flavours from his country while giving us useful advice! We had an excellent evening and dinner was a success!”

Loulou was also won over by his Asian cooking:

“I organised a cooking class at home with 5 friends. We had an unforgettable evening and learnt about some delicious and sophisticated cuisine. Everything was well organised, the ingredients were fresh, and the atmosphere was great. I highly recommend him for anyone wanting to have a great evening.”

You could also put together a little competition between your students where the best students wins a little prize and mention it on your social media channels. Make sure that your exchanges on social media are warm and friendly in order to create a community of budding chefs and increase the number of potential students. After all, cooking is all about sharing. Make sure that your lessons have the same atmosphere as meal with friends or family members.

In short:

  • A chef isn't automatically good tutor. Finding students can take time and effort, especially for those just starting out. Regardless of your cooking methods, as an instructor, you'll need to have teaching skills, too.
  • Keep in mind that when you give private cooking classes of any kind, you need to want to share knowledge.
  • Keep up to date with current trends to find potential students.
  • Have an online presence. If this isn’t your thing, you should probably learn more about it.

Now that you know all this, learn how you can prepare for your next cooking lesson!

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Joseph is a French and Spanish to English translator, language enthusiast, and blogger.