“Cooking is an expression that crosses boundaries.” - Ranveer Brar
While more and more of us love the idea of cooking, we spend less and less time doing it. However, cooking as a hobby is becoming more popular thanks to shows like MasterChef and The Great British Bake Off. In this article, we’re looking at how you can teach private cooking tutorials.
Preparing Private Cooking Tutorials
Before you start looking for your first students, you need to think about your cooking tutorials and how students learn to cook. Not just anyone can become a private cooking tutor. You’ll need to have experience and skills to teach a cooking class.
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You don’t necessarily have to have studied at a prestigious cooking school or have spent 10 years working in the Ritz, but if you don’t know basic cooking techniques, you won’t be able to teach.
Your students won’t necessarily be absolute novices when it comes to cooking, either, so don’t ever stop practising and learning new techniques.
Find out more about private cooking tutorials.
Do You Have an Idea?
Wanting to teach people how to cook is quite vague. This is like saying you want to teach people to do sport.
What is your speciality?
You can offer general cooking classes or focus on a specific type of cooking:
- French cuisine.
- Japanese cuisine.
- Italian cuisine.
- Thai cuisine.
- Molecular cooking.
- Vegetarian cooking.
- Home cooking
- Food from around the world.
Establishing what you do will make things easier. You don’t need to be an expert in every type of cooking but rather just an expert in your particular field of cooking.
Take the Students’ Needs into Account
Once you’ve decided on what you’re teaching, you’ll also need to tailor your tutorials to the student. If a student gets in touch, they’ll probably have a particular goal in mind:
- Reduce waste.
- Learning how to cook and prepare delicious recipes for the whole family.
- Cook simple recipes.
- Eat healthily.
- Learn quick and easy recipes to cook for their family.
- Make a meal for a birthday, hen-party, etc.
- Cook hors d'oeuvres for a fancy soirée.
- Learn to make sushi.
- Advanced cooking methods and the culinary arts.
- Baking and pastry.
- Knife skills.
- Learn to bake.
By starting with the students’ goals, it’ll be easier to plan your course. Make sure your cooking lessons have structure as learning to cook can be difficult and there's nothing more infuriating than a cooking course where the student doesn't know what they're supposed to be doing.
To save time when planning your lessons, you should have them follow a particular structure that you can adapt to the student.
For each cooking workshop that you teach, put together a lesson plan according to the learning objectives:
- The duration: you can’t teach the same things in an hour as you would in three. Make sure that the structure of your lessons won’t leave you half an hour with anything to do or too much to do.
- The objective: make a recipe, make a whole meal, make recipes with seasonal produce, wine pairing, etc. Even though your students’ objectives can change over time, each lesson itself needs a clear objective.
- The number of students: You can teach several students at once. Of course, this means you’ll need to adapt your lessons so that you can help each of the students in attendance. Similarly, this will affect how long the courses should be.
- The equipment necessary: Make a note of the utensils and ingredients that you’ll need to teach the class.
- The recipe: Whether your students are cooking beef bourguignon, risotto, or cordon bleu, you’ll need to provide them with the recipe and have it on hand so that they can refer to it while they’re making it.
Don’t forget to make the recipe yourself before the lesson so that you can note down how long everything takes, everything you’ll need, and whether or not it’ll take the student longer.
Find out how to find students for your tutorials.
Teaching a Cooking Workshop or Tutorial
Before you start your private tutorial, you’ll need to agree with your student on who will buy and pay for the ingredients, whether or not you’ll give them a shopping list and let them do it, or whether you’ll pick everything up for them.
Provide them with a list of utensils that they’ll need (unless you’ll be providing them). You can also ask your student to send you a picture of their kitchen so that you know what you’ll be working with.
You should also ask them if they have an oven, microwave, and hobs, as the cooking time and preparation might need to be changed.
There are three stages to cooking tutorials at somebody’s home:
- Preparing the food: cleaning, peeling, slicing, dicing, chopping, marinating, beating, etc.
- Cooking the food: boiling, simmering, baking, etc.
- Serving the food: putting all the food onto plates or into bowls.
During each stage, your student will be learning important vocabulary and skills for cooking. If you want to become a good cook, you need to be patient, organised, and methodical. You have to follow each step, focus, and not forget anything.
Once you’ve created your recipe, you can always add tips to it for each stage. This will help you and your student to remember everything and get it right.
Learn more about offering online cooking tutorials.
Should You Cook Alongside Your Student?
When teaching a cooking tutorial, you have three options:
- You cook and your student observes.
- You cook and your student copies.
- Your student cooks and you tell them what to do.
The last option isn’t viable for group tutorials or cooking courses with several students. Similarly, for the second and third options, you’d need a specialised room for group tutorials.
The third option works best in private cooking tutorials. Most people’s kitchens aren’t suited to two people cooking simultaneously. It’s better to tell them what they need to do and help them when they struggle.
Adapting to a New Environment with Each Lesson
Your first challenge will be to adjust to a new kitchen every lesson. Some kitchens are spacious and a dream to work in. Others can be small, cramped, and awkward and will take some careful organisation to get the most out of. Some of your students mightn’t have the best utensils, either.
Your role is to help them to get the most out of what they’ve got.
After the Lesson
If you want, you can always provide your student with a summary of the lesson that they can keep to show them what they’ve learnt.
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It might be useful if you have regular students as they’ll be able to see the progress they’re making. If their goal is to learn cooking techniques through 10 easy meals, it’ll take them 10 lessons.
Your role will be to show them what they’ve been learning and encourage them to keep going. Provide them with a summary of the lesson, a progress report, or the recipes that they’ve made. You can also film or take photos of their creations and show them their progress.
At the end of the 10 lessons, take the time to evaluate their progress, provide them with feedback, and even ask for feedback on your teaching. This will help you get better for the next students.
So are you ready to start teaching private cooking tutorials?
If you'd like to become a tutor on Superprof, remember that there are three main types of private tutorial you can offer: face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials. There are pros and cons to each of these for both the student and the tutor so you'll need to decide which combination of them you'll offer.
Face-to-face tutorials will be between just you and your student. In these types of tutorials, your students will expect a bespoke service. As a result, you'll be expected to put in extra hours outside of the tutorials planning and preparing the courses for each student. Of course, this extra work can be reflected in your rates as you'll be offering a premium service.
If you've got a good computer, webcam, microphone, and internet connection, you can also offer online tutorials to your students. You'll still be expected to tailor the lessons to each student but with no travelling, you'll be able to save money and schedule more tutorials per week. This means that you'll have fewer outgoings and a higher capacity for earnings, which will allow you to charge more competitively for your tutorials.
Finally, there are group tutorials. While you can't tailor these to each student, with multiple students in the tutorial, you can charge less per student as you'll have the potential to earn more per hour if the classes are big enough. Make sure you're classes are full.
To attract more students, make sure you offer the first hour of tuition for free. This is a great opportunity to impress the students and convert them into loyal customers.
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