Date Night Cooking Class at Dirty Apron

Vancouver is all about the outdoor activities during the summer, but there are much fewer evening activities for couples or small groups. Now The Dirty Apron Cooking School, Delicatessen & Catering is opened again with strict health and safety standards, you can get active in their cooking classes during the evening. I recently attended one of the cooking classes, featuring Mediterranean dishes, and I am impressed by how much I learned within the evening.

Location

The Dirty Apron is steps away from the Stadium-Chinatown skytrain, and it locates just right next to Jam Cafe on Beatty Street. It is definitely more convenient by transit, but street pay parking is available as well.

Individual table set up in the dining room

Post-COVID-19 Experience

Instead of the classic long table, each group is seated separately with social distance. Though you are not required to wear masks during the class, the class capacity is also decreased. The groups are scattered in the kitchen, and you won’t have direct contact with the instructing chef. The staff who prepared our ingredients wore masks and gloves. I felt safe dining and cooking in here.

Types of Cooking Classes

For the first timers at the Dirty Apron, there are two types of cooking classes – 4-hour Hands On and 2.5-hour Demo & Dine. The Hands On cooking classes are offered on Monday to Saturday evening, and each class has a theme featuring different region’s cuisine. You will learn how to cook 3-4 dishes in the course and learn tips and techniques from the chefs. Guests who want to sit back and relax can try the Demo & Dine cooking classes. A 4-course tasting meal will be taught and prepared in front of you by the instructing chef, and you can learn and enjoy the food during the class.

What’s Included in the Class?

Each course includes alcoholic and/or non-alcoholic beverages, all ingredients and equipment required for the dishes, a take-home recipe, and of course a detailed and fun cooking class from the instructing chef. It may also include additional dishes made from the chefs at the Dirty Apron. For example, my class offers a house made ice cream for dessert in the end. It is usually mentioned on the class information page.

Our Experience

We arrived 30 minutes in advance as per request to settle down and enjoy a glass of beverage (we chose sparkling cranberry juice). There were also some house made flatbread with hummus to pair with it. Alcoholic beverages are also offered with no extra charge.

Alcoholic or nonalcoholic beverages with flatbread before the class

There were a total of 5 groups in our class, and each group is seated separately with social distance. Once all guests arrived, we moved to the kitchen where our instructing chef introduced herself and started the class.

Our class features Mediterranean dishes, including Grilled Squid & Prawn Salad, Pan-Seared Halloumi Cheese, and Grilled Lamb Loin with Flatbread.

Notepad is provided to jot down any notes

Before entering the kitchen, we were provided with a notepad to jot down any notes and techniques. Otherwise, a detailed recipe is provided as well.

Lemon Cilantro Grilled Squid and Prawn Salad with Charred Tomato and Avocado

The instructing chef first taught us the first course from scratch. We then cooked the first course and enjoyed the meal, before learning the second course. I really enjoyed this way of teaching, so there will be no information overload or heavy lecturing prior to being hands on. Any questions are welcomed during the class as well.

Pan Seared Halloumi Cheese / orange and pomegranate reduction, caramelized fennel, toasted pita

Our instructing chef taught us many cool techniques and knowledge related to our ingredients, and she is friendly and easy-going. During the hands-on time, she walked around to make sure we are on task and not struggling on any steps. If so, she guided us through it. We all ended up with completed, successful, and delicious dishes.

Cumin and Coriander Grilled Lamb Loin with Grilled Flatbread, babaganoush, tahini vinaigrette

Overall Impression

It was my first timing attending a cooking class at the Dirty Apron, as well as in Vancouver. Though it may be an activity that is on a pricier side, it is a great and unique date idea for a special occasion. You don’t even need to have any previous cooking experience to be in these classes. I am in love with the cooking class, and we will definitely return (maybe for a French/Italian cuisine). One of the most memorable dish is definitely the Grilled Lamb Loin with House Made Flatbread, which we made our flatbread from scratch. I had no idea that it uses only simple ingredients that can be found in my home.


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