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Top 10 Reasons to Throw a Cooking School Party

Learn why your next fête should be a cooking school class disguised as a party.

Now that Food Network has turned us into "foodies" ready to kick our cooking up a notch at any given opportunity, the era of the cooking school party has dawned. Whether you're planning a get-together for family, co-workers, your kids, or friends, a group cooking experience could be the perfect way to liven up your next event. Here are 10 benefits of throwing a cooking school party:

1. Cross "food" and "entertainment" off your list in one fell swoop.

If you're throwing the party in your home, you may still need to spend some quality time corralling dust bunnies and herding them into the trash, but the most important elements of party prep will be effortlessly taken care of.

2. Encourage a high attendance rate.

Social pressure to be ready for a Bobby Flay-style "throw down" at any moment, plus the promise of copious quantities of food and wine will definitely attract a large number of "Yes!" responses to your invitation.

3. Give a diverse group of acquaintances something to talk about.

A cooking demonstration will give everyone common ground and a topic for discussion. Your guests will love you for helping them avoid awkward small talk.

4. Uncover your guests' hidden personality traits.

Whether you're cooking with your nearest and dearest or casual acquaintances, you can learn a lot about someone by the way they handle a knife.

5. Allow Type-As to optimize their down time.

And by "optimize," we mean "eliminate." After all, why bother with unstructured time when you could attend cooking school instead?

6. Help your co-workers avoid shop-talk.

We've all been to the company "party" or "team-building event" that turns into an unfortunate extension of the work day. Fun. The attention-absorbing task of preparing a meal will give everyone something to focus on other than this week's tasks.

7. Turn your office's usual dynamic upside-down and sideways.

It is often the case that the powers-that-be at the office are not the ones reading back issues of Bon Appétit under their desks. This may not be equally true of other members of the staff, however. It can be a lot of fun to shift the power dynamic and shake things up.

8. Give Mom the night off.

You know how stressed your mother gets when she's charged with making potato salad for 36 people? Throwing a cooking school party for you next family get-together will help to relieve that burden.

9. While we're at it, let's give Grandma a treat, too.

Grandma probably spent a lot of time in the kitchen in her day, and she may love the idea of sharing her skills during a cooking party. She may even have a few tips that the professional chefs don't know about.

10. Indulge your kids' urge to run wild in the kitchen.

Children love to "help" prepare food. Why not give them a couple of hours to go crazy with measuring cups, mixing spoons and messy ingredients? They will love it, and they will love you. Win-win.


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