What’s the best advice you can give to an inexperienced cook looking to broaden their skills?
When Otao Kitchen opened, it was my goal to teach as many home cooks as possible. We found Asian food is something new for many home cooks. They just need to hear, see, smell, taste and feel the ingredients and the basics of the dish, so I don’t even give our guests recipes in classes – we send them after. Cooking is a pleasure and people either think of it as they have to, or they love to.
What are some of the classes you offer at Otao Kitchen?
Our popular classes are dumpling parties and Asian finger foods. We do well in other Asian, Mexican and Mediterranean classes. We’ve found people use our themed cooking classes for private celebrations, work Christmas parties, corporate conferences and hospitality and team building. They have the food, wine, private venue and plenty of fun cooking activities.
Otao Kitchen is about increasing accessibility to healthy food. Why is this so important?
People living in Melbourne have array of food offerings, however finding affordable healthy foods is not an answer for everyday meals. People opt to cook for themselves, so cooking classes are an option for gaining knowledge and skills so they can have more variety – especially new salads, finger foods, dressings, lean meat, vegan cooking, and simple desserts.
You also offer food tours and catering. Tell us a bit more about this aspect of the school.
As a small business, we engage our customers in different ways. Our guests love to have an integrated experience, from cooking the food they love to us catering their favourite foods to their home and office. Our chefs often take guests traveling with them to their home town.
Find Otao Kitchen at 360 Victoria St, Richmond. For more information, head to otaokitchen.com.au.