There is little question, New York City is one of the most diverse in the world. You don’t have to walk far to enjoy international cuisines from all over the globe, but what if you could go as close to the source as possible to learn how to dish up some of these meals yourself? The League of Kitchens is doing just that and all you have to do is sign up, travel to the kitchen of a New York City immigrant, cook together, learn about one another and, of course, eat together.
You can learn about falafels, palak paneer, samosas, aloo gobi masala, baba ganoush and so much more. Immigrant women from nearly a dozen countries open their homes for a memorable culinary experience through the League of Kitchens. Women from Nepal, Mexico, Uzbekistan, Japan, Argentina, Greece, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, India and Lebanon teach up to six participants at a time homemade and authentic recipes from their native countries.
PIX11 cameras caught up with Afsari, who is originally from Bangladesh, and Jeanette from Lebanon.
The workshops offered range from a full day immersion with the ladies to a 2 ½ hour “taste of” lesson. Whichever you choose, you will walk out with a full stomach. This experience, however, is meant to be about more than just food. Just as in almost any kitchen, you will hear the stories of how these recipes were passed on from generation to generation and how these women brought a taste of their culture to the United States.
Owner Lisa Gross created the business as a 3-month project, but three years later she is showing no signs of slowing down and even plans to expand to Los Angeles next year. Gross says she was inspired after she lost her grandmother, who always cooked Korean dishes for her as a child but after she passed away Gross says she never had the opportunity to learn those recipes. Gross adds her for The League of Kitchens was to create a community, allow New Yorkers to really get to know one another and their neighbors.
Depending on which workshop you choose, this can cost you $110 or $175 per person. You’ll head home with a recipe booklet, with detailed instructions on everything you learned. Instructors are always revolving and The League of Kitchens is always looking for new cuisines to expand. Teachers are paid $25-$30 an hour and are also reimbursed for their ingredients.
Currently, their most popular classes are those focusing on Japanese, Indian and Lebanese cuisines.
If you’d like to find out how to become an instructor, visit their website here.