Malika Ameen In-Home Cooking Classes - Chicago

In-home cooking classes with Malika Ameen

Cooking classes, often so enticing in theory, are a crapshoot.

The instructor picks the dishes. You don't know your classmates. And how much hands-on action do you really get?

Which is why Malika Ameen's new classes stand out.

You may recognize Ameen's name from her line of sweets, ByM Desserts; by her stint on Top Chef Just Desserts; or from her restaurant, Aigre Doux, which closed in 2009. She's as skilled with savory as she is with sugar and spice–and those skills can now be put to use in your own kitchen.

After a consultation on the theme and the menu, Ameen will lead a four-hour class for up to eight people in your home that's as hands-on (or -off) as you'd like. Recent classes took Mexican cooking, cupcakes or spring as their themes, and included dishes like roasted shrimp with achiote, wild salmon with citrus and coriander, and chocolate pots de crème.

Ameen comes from a cooking-obsessed Pakistani family. Ask for a biryani class and you may end up with raita, quick-pickled vegetables, green-mango chutney, and a lecture on the regional nuances of the hearty meat-and-rice dish.

The best part: At $100 per hour for the entire group, the meals are priced competitively with a night out, and infinitely more memorable.

Contact Ameen about cooking classes via the "Get in Touch" page of her website.